When I told you about Umbrella, the service we’re launching next month, I said we would be focused on helping you do two things: adapt to the changing threat landscape, and embrace the changing nature of how work gets done. I’ll be talking about the changing threat landscape in a future blog post, but today I want to share with you why we’re so focused on embracing the changing way that work gets done.

We see the approach other security companies are taking. They think your corporation is like a castle, simple to defend. They tell you to build strong (fire) walls around the office, dig a moat, fill it with alligators, and barricade your users inside.  They think that if you just have one or two entrances to the castle, you can drop their appliances at those chokepoints and get full visibility into your network traffic.   I don’t know about them, but I don’t work in a castle.  And from talking with our thousands of customers, none of our customers do either.

I have a laptop and an iPhone. I work at the office, but I also work from home, at the airport, and even at coffee shops. In fact, I work wherever work needs to get done. It’s 2012, most of us work that way.  But other security companies don’t want to recognize that reality.  Well, we’re recognizing it.

No other company today seems to welcome the idea that security should be as ubiquitous and broad as connectivity is. Work is very much a thing you do, and not a place you go. That’s not going to change, so security needs to adapt in order to be effective and even act as an enabler to productivity.

Allow me to share an analogy that we’ve been using around the OpenDNS offices lately. When you get in your car and drive to work, the first thing you do is put on your seatbelt. If you have kids, you double-check that they’re buckled up before you pull out of the driveway to take them to school.  But you always wear your seatbelt, not just when you’re driving to work or to school. You wear it anywhere you drive. That’s because you understand that whenever there’s risk, it’s important to add safeguards. So why isn’t Internet security treated the same way?

Having security only when you’re in the office makes absolutely no sense. Security needs to be contextual – you need the right policy for the right person on the right device in the right place at the right time.  Security today doesn’t deliver on that need.  With Umbrella, we’re going to tackle that problem.

Umbrella is security that will follow your users on their roaming laptops and work seamlessly on their mobile devices. It will enable them to be their most productive, no matter where they are or what device they’re working on. And unlike today’s solutions that look at the end user only through the lens of the network admin, we’d like to see security solutions that offer a benefit to the people who are being asked to use them.

We’re in early stages, and have a long way to go to fulfill that vision.  But, we’re well on our way.  If you’d like to be the first to find out more about how Umbrella will secure the nomadic workforce you can register for updates on our launch page or plan to join our webcast in late November.