Olympian network security

Wednesday, 30 April 2003, 12:16 PM EST

Some security tasks are bigger than others. Yahya Mehdizadeh is director of managed security services at SchlumbergerSema, which is providing the infrastructure to protect tens of thousands of servers, systems, and wireless devices at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

What's missing from most network security efforts?

Most companies lack a way to get a holistic view of problems on their networks. For the Athens games, we needed to invent a tool that lets one analyst see a correlated, bird's-eye view of events being logged at firewalls, at routers, and elsewhere. A business IT manager is typically part of a team where members sit in dispersed areas, looking at different logs, and team members see no correlation between security events.

Auditing, managing patches, and emergency response plans are also problems. Look at the recent Slammer worm that brought parts of the Internet down. That happened because people hadn't applied a simple software patch that was available. Then, after it struck, people racked up costs from not knowing what to do.

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