Editorial note: Over the next several weeks, OpenDNS CTO Dan Hubbard will share his thoughts on where security will see the most disruption in the near future in this five-part blog series.

Clearly disruption within technology is not new. It’s been going on since the beginning of technology. What’s particularly interesting, however, is the pace of change we’re seeing, which is now affecting the cadence of this disruption. From smartphones and tablets to social and clouds, we’re seeing disruptive technology change status quo across markets on almost a monthly basis.

"A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in the new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market." - Wikipedia

What’s also interesting to me is that you have not seen or heard too much about disruption in security technology. I believe we’re in the dawn of seeing some disruptive changes in technologies in the security space and I will be outlining five of these changes in blogs over the next several weeks.

Surely, with the changes in general technology trends its time for security to change.

CHANGE #1: Products to Platforms

The first disruption is for security to evolve from products to platforms. The term “platform” can mean many things to many people. For this example I am defining it not in the realm of “security platforms” but in “technology platforms.”

"Platform technology is a term for technology that enables the creation of products and processes that support present or future development. It establishes the long-term capabilities of research & development institutes. In computers, for example, computer hardware serves as platform for an operating system which in turn is a platform for application software. Transport infrastructure similarly serves as platform for vehicles." - Wikipedia


In many cases security is a mix of purchased assets that companies have compiled over the years in order to build up their protection portfolio, however, rarely are these unified into platforms. More often than not there is some sort of integration via a “look and feel,” or by bundling products together via price. Vendors rarely take the time and energy to create real platforms due to the potential business friction and time to market. There are some APIs, but rarely are they extended, available, fully-featured or viable for others to integrate.

In time data will become a critical component of effective security. Correlating, querying, and combining data in a secure, trusted model will greatly assist in the fight against malware and the associated threat landscape

Data platforms, API access to that data, and data feeds are big disruptors for security today. The intersection of “Big Data” and security is real and I believe not only necessary to keep pace with today’s technology disruptors, but also a big disruptor in traditional security vendors that have software and appliance-driven models.

In summary: When big data becomes a disruptor for security it will become increasingly important for layered software and hardware to transition to the cloud and build security / data platforms. Turning massive amounts of data into intelligent and actionable information will be crucial for organizations to stay ahead and for security vendors to succeed.

Next up: The evolution of customers —> communities. How Internet users around the world can band together to strengthen security.