HP Targets Cyberthreats

The PC business at {complink 2376|Hewlett-Packard Co.} might not know where it's headed, but the enterprise business does. HP wants to provide an end-to-end security framework built around filling the gaps between existing security solutions.

HP Enterprise Security Solutions rolled out more than a dozen products and services Monday targeting threats and potential liabilities resulting from the rise of mobile services, cloud computing, and social media. (See: Is Social Networking Increasing Cyberthreats?)

“Some of these are products, and some are services related to the cloud,” Rebecca Lawson, director of worldwide cloud service initiatives for HP, said in a phone interview. “What we have done is recast our portfolio into a framework that eases customers' posture from what it is today to where they need to go.”

HP research finds that companies are becoming more vulnerable to hackers as they expand their horizons through mobile applications and social networking.

“What we are seeing in both our internal and third-party research is the current approach to security is not working well,” Lawson said. “Mobility and the enterprise are coalescing and causing a lot of vulnerabilities that are being managed through a patchwork of legacy systems. Most enterprises have been adding security measures as an afterthought. Hackers are smart, and they know how to exploit the fact that many products and systems were not designed to work together. So our portfolio has been designed to help solve those problems.”

HP has pulled together the capabilities of its ArcSight, Fortify, and TippingPoint businesses as the foundation of a unified approach to enterprise security. Within big organizations, security systems have evolved into disparate silos that address the specific needs within a division — finance may focus on transactional security, while operations focuses on facilities management. “When we take executives from across all disciplines and put them in one room, they all have the same problem, but no driver that helps them plot a roadmap to create an end-to-end plan for securing all information assets,” Lawson says.

HP’s Enterprise Security Discovery Workshop (PDF) brings executives together to identify such gaps, she said. “All these companies have a lot of security, but they don't think about whether there are holes between the systems. We help them take what they have and make it work together.”

Though EDI systems are not specifically targeted in the latest rollout, HP provides products and services such as encrypted key management. Industry experts expect the supply chain to increasingly move functions such as EDI to the cloud as a low-cost alternative to these largely proprietary protocols. (See: Managing Business Relationships in the Cloud.)

Lawson says companies must take the view that every external link contributes to or detracts from the overall security of the enterprise. “It's all about raising the awareness that the technology is there. It's putting the right things in place, plugging security holes, and making the right security decisions.”

12 comments on “HP Targets Cyberthreats

  1. AnalyzeThis
    September 13, 2011

    I'm not going to argue with HP's point. It's true, that quote from Lawson about the current security approach in many enterprises is pretty much dead-on, in my opinion.

    But here's the problem with HP. Let's put aside what the average IT guy or CIO thinks of HP, because that's a little bit irrelevant.

    The big problem is, if you go to your CEO, and you ask, “hey, should we trust our technology security with HP or IBM?” I'd be willing to bet if you asked that question to 10 CEOs (without giving any additional information), at least 9 will choose IBM.

    HP can compete in this space. But they will face some challenges, particularly when it comes to the perceived strength of their brand.

  2. _hm
    September 13, 2011

    This is promising approach from HP. This market has value added high margin business. And we need alternate to IBM.


  3. Ashu001
    September 14, 2011


    Remember the saying-“Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM???”

    This is exactly what you are speaking about here.

    HP has to do a lot of marketing(& Convincing to bring around the doubters here)…

    But it can be done.HP has bought a lot of really good security products into their stable.The trick is to be able to integrate them into One Good offering and sell it successfully to end users.

    Sure it can be done.But does this mark a complete transformation of HP to one along the lines of IBM???Only time will tell.ALso in the Security space would you go with existing brands(like Symantec/Trend micro/McAfee/Kaspersky) or trust a bumbling company known for making a total hash of things like HP???

    It can be done but requires a whole lot of work from the Management people at HP.



  4. Ashu001
    September 14, 2011


    For those interested here's another great article on this Issue.

    HP has built the right suite of products but question is does the market trust them? Especially after looking at all the mis-steps they have made over the past two years or so.

    Only time will tell..



  5. mfbertozzi
    September 14, 2011

    Ashis, I've kept an eye on the article and it is very fascinating, from my point of view. Crossing opinions about with Barbara's editorial, while mobility through smartphone or similar devices is becoming “pervasive”, in am wondering if HP aims to take leadership also on mobile security. After all they are trying to climb position also on that market, by launching WebOS, even it seems some issues for them are coming also in that segment.

  6. Ashu001
    September 14, 2011

    Hi mfbertozzi,

    That is the big problem with HP-There is ZERO clarity from their side what exactly they intend to do or regarding the how much management support/approval exits behind the products they currently offer.

    Take for instance the WebOS suite you talk about here.First HP buys it from Palm at heavily inflated valuations(in my opinion) for a product which was clearly an Also-ran in its segment(Android and Apple are very clearly the front-runners here) whose time has come and gone.When they bought it they spoke in glowing terms about integrating WebOS with the rest of HPs suite of products and what not.

    Now what do we hear?HP is exiting the entire PC business including the super-hot Tablet business[Thats why they sold those touchpads for $99 a piece].

    So no,most industry pundits(and me too) have no idea or no faith in what HP is trying to do or doing today.

    And the same uncertainty is going to hit their Security Business too[Regardless of how good their products actually are]…



  7. mfbertozzi
    September 14, 2011

    Well Ashish, it seems also on commercial strategy some mistakes are done. For example, they have announced the day before yesterday refunds for people which have bought WebOS smartphone, before slashing product's price as per recent promotion.

  8. Ashu001
    September 14, 2011


    I agree its all-round chaos at HP today.

    The Head does'nt know what the Tails wants to do and viz.

    This is a common phenomenon in an organization without strong leadership ,poor staff morale and an average orgainzational culture.

    The important  question is-Can things be turned around from here?

    Sure they can but be need strong leadership at the helm first.



  9. t.alex
    September 14, 2011

    It is definitely promising. But is this really the strength of HP? 

  10. Wale Bakare
    September 14, 2011

    HP might fair very well in the security business. Competing with IBM in enterprise end -to-end security market may well be determined by how HP security technology offers unique features. Nevertheless, HP still a famous brand in IT.

  11. Jay_Bond
    September 15, 2011

    @Dennis Q, I believe you're completely correct on choosing IBM. HP has chosen to go down another path from an area that has made them very profitable and the largest PC maker. The path they have chosen shows promise and growth, but this is going to be a rough path for awhile.

    IBM has some serious pull with executives everywhere based on decades of experience. HP is trying to enter this world and hope to be more profitable than they were with their PC market. Ultimately HP might survive this venture, but IBM will still be king.

  12. Barbara Jorgensen
    September 15, 2011

    Interesting conversation, readers. During our discussion, the “I”-word (IBM) did come up. I've had some experience with IBM's security business and I've always considered it the gold standard. I haven't had as close a look at HP's offerings, but they are definitely making a push to establish themselves in this sector. Anyone that has any first hand experience let me know.

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