More than 160 senior IT managers and executives gathered at the Piedmont Center in Buckhead Atlanta, GA, for an informative morning of presentations followed by a CIO Panel discussion.

First to present was Mauricio Sanchez, Chief network Security Architect at HP ProCurve Networking. Mauricio covered the subject of Balancing Network Security with Accessibility. Sanchez’ opening comments put the issue in the most current context. President Obama is the first American President to use a Blackberry. For the device to be an effective tool for the President, he must have continuous real-time access, but National Security is paramount. This example is a great illustration of the constantly changing threat landscape from the march of technology that all organizations need to recognize and tackle.

Recognizing this changing threat landscape, HP ProCurve want to challenge the status quo when considering IT security issues, stating “There is no easy button, but there are ways to make [IT Security] easier.” ProCurve focuses on securing data in-motion, and carefully considering access control. Sanchez commented that a significant risk, often overlooked, is the point at which an intruder is detected. If detection is in the core network, the intruder may already have visibility of your network topology, and even your key servers, creating opportunity to plan or perpetrate an assault on your IT defenses. It is essential to limit who can access your network and what they can see at the earliest stage of detection.

Another key point made was paying attention to securing network management protocols, and practicing an approach of command from the center – control to the edge.

In the ideal world a best of breed, multi-vendor approach is needed to ensure the optimum components are in place to maximize IT security capabilities. In the real world this can provide unwieldy to manage, not least because of the lack of a single point of accountability when issues arise. HP ProCurve are seeking to tackle this thorny matter, by offering a template approach to providing tried and tested combinations of best of breed products, taking on the mantle of single point of contact,  accountable for the security solution chosen by their clients.

HP ProCurve’s partners include Microsoft, Fortinet, SonicWall, McAfee, and AirTight (wireless).