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RSA's Coviello Predicts Security Consolidation

Speaking before a packed house of computer security professionals at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Art Coviello, president of RSA, the security division of EMC, on Tuesday predicted the demise of the standalone security industry within three years.

"The value of security as a standalone solution is diminishing," Coviello said.

Security, said Coviello, has been too focused on imposing limits rather than lifting them, never mind that this mantra has been used by many companies to explain how they'll adapt as collaboration and connectivity replace walls and silos. "Security needs to be inextricably linked to business strategy," he said.

Coviello pointed to the acquisition of ISS by IBM and EMC's purchase of his own company as a sign of things to come. And as if to hammer home the point, RSA said on Tuesday that it had agreed to acquire Hyderabad, India-based Valyd Software and to establish strategic partnerships with security companies CipherOptics, Decru, NeoScale Systems, and Epicor|CRS.

For those who have been paying attention to Microsoft's security acquisitions and its considerable efforts to build security into its new Vista operating system, or to Symantec's objections to Microsoft's moves, the writing has been on the wall for some time: Security is becoming the province of the big infrastructure players like Cisco Systems, EMC, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle.

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