When I heard yesterday that Blue Coat had acquired Crossbeam Systems, which sells hardware designed to help companies consolidate security and networking infrastructure, I can’t say I was surprised. The security industry’s incumbent leaders, whose core products are on-premise appliances designed around the idea that people go to an office and do all of their work there, and that corporate services are hosted on-site, are struggling to adapt their solutions to protect people the way they actually work today. But is doubling down on hardware really the answer?

We’ve been witnessing three major trends from legacy security companies: acquisition of companies that sell some cloud-based solutions, delivery of “frankencloud” solutions, and acquisition of companies that also sell hardware solutions, attempting to gobble up remaining marketshare and push out even more hardware to customers. Nowhere on that list do you see ground-up innovation of 100% cloud-delivered security platforms.

One of the main reasons these appliance-based vendors can’t move into the cloud is because they’ve architected their businesses around shipping boxes, stretching out release cycles and entrenching customers in high CapEx and OpEx investments. Pure cloud security vendors, on the other hand, are primed to both secure users for the new reality of how work gets done (outside the office, at coffee shops, in airports, in hotel lobbies), and adapt our businesses at a rate that ensures security actually stays ahead of threats. For example, our new line of security services called Umbrella is 100% cloud-delivered, so we’re able to focus on service, innovation and cutting-edge security research instead of logistics.

If you’d like to learn more, you can join the upcoming webcast, The Evolution of Security from Appliance to the Cloud. OpenDNS CEO David Ulevitch will be discussing the details of how cloud-delivered security solutions are better equipped than appliances to protect against today’s threats. Or, you can see for yourself what the cloud can do for your network security with a free trial of Umbrella, which offers cloud-delivered malware protection for all devices and users, on or off the network.

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