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Check Point had it right with OpSec

In spite of its stagnant business strategy, Check Point deserves a lot of credit for its OpSec partnering and development project.

Firewall king Check Point Software Technologies is sort of looked at as the Digital Equipment of security. Once a powerhouse, Check Point is now considered an afterthought in most aspects of security, with the exception of its legacy Firewall/VPN installed base.

In spite of its stagnant business strategy however, Check Point deserves a lot of credit for its OpSec partnering and development project. When Check Point owned the firewall and network security a few years ago, it decided that the best way to protect itself from competitors was to build a development and integration community around its products. OpSec was the manifestation of this. At its peak, Check Point had dozens of OpSec partners bolstering the value of its products.

Ironically, many Check Point customers would willingly switch to Cisco or Juniper firewalls were it not for OpSec. Rather than Check Point acting as the nexus to pull in partners, the value of partner integration is now saving Check Point.

The security industry should take note of what Check Point accomplished. A set of standard messages, data and APIs united individual security products and thus improved security, management and operating costs. What's needed today is a standard framework to accomplish the exact same objectives. My Cisco PIX firewall ought to be able to work together with my TippingPoint IPS, Symantec desktop security and Nortel VPN.

I've said it a thousand times: When it comes to security, the technology industry has a moral obligation to cooperate. Shame on us if we prioritize monetary goals over increasing levels of cooperative protection.