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It wouldn't be a new year without at least a quick assessment of the current state of things. One theme of the past year in the security market seems to be consolidation. Security companies bought or merged with other security companies. As Mark Edwards describes in "Managed Services on the Rise," Security Update, November 8, InstantDoc ID 94176, security managed services companies advanced this trend. EMC purchased RSA Security and Network Intelligence and combined them to form an information security division. Those are just a few of many examples in 2006, and this trend seems likely to continue in 2007.

Security products added features. Unified Threat Management (UTM) tools have been around for a couple years now. The appeal of purchasing one product that performs firewall, antivirus, antispam, intrusion detection and prevention, and/or other tasks instead of buying and managing multiple products is obvious. Another product combo that seemed popular last year was storage-device control and application control on the desktop. At least one product seems to combine a UTM tool with device and application control: a new version of eEye Digital Security's Blink Professional that was released in October.

Another new security product performs a different kind of consolidation. Authentium's Extensible Service Platform (ESP) for Enterprise, announced just a few weeks ago, provides a console for managing antispyware, antivirus, content-filtering, and other end-point software applications from multiple vendors. ESP for Enterprise is designed to provide one interface for managing both the security software products themselves and the licenses for those products. Vendors whose products can be managed include Authentium and Sunbelt Software. According to Authentium's Web site, vendors coming in a future ESP for Enterprise release include Computer Associates, Kaspersky Labs, and SurfControl.

Consolidation is a theme I'm thinking about as 2007 begins. I'd like to hear what security trends strike you as being important in the coming year. Email me (rmunshi@securityprovip.com) and let me know.