We have met the enemy and he is us...

Wednesday, 4 December 2002, 12:08 PM EST

Pogo Was A Prophet

"We have met the enemy and he is us" thus spoke Pogo.

Pogo was not an ancient Greek, but an opossum like cartoon creature that spoke political wisdom and satire from more than three decades of American newspapers. While the specific quote above related to the antics of a particular Senator who saw communist conspiracies in every corner of the culture, it has been applied to many other scenarios. The generic message is that while it is convenient to see threats to security as organized from the outside, they are just as likely to be internal. This is true for server security in the data center as well.

Perimeter security has been the historical hallmark of protection for the data center. Like the Maginot line and Great Wall of China before it, perimeter security assumes all threats are external and there are no creative ways to get behind it. It also assumes that there is no enemy within. However, in 1997 the FBI found that 80% of all intrusion in the data center comes from inside. There are countless recent examples of insidious worms and viruses that prove disruptive innovation of a criminal nature cannot be predicted, or defended from a single point. To say it directly: "dependence on perimeter security alone is obsolete; it is false security!"

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