Dealing With the Carcinization of Security

Varied viewpoints as related security concepts take on similar traits create substantial confusion among security teams trying to evaluate and purchase security technologies.

Recently, a friend brought up the term “carcinization” and I must admit, I had to look it up! Turns out the term was coined more than 100 years ago to describe the phenomenon of crustaceans evolving into crab-shaped forms. Today, there are even memes for it. So, what does this example of convergent evolution have to do with security? It’s an apt description of how the security industry has evolved and why security leaders often struggle to determine the right security investments for their organization.

The security industry started out with a series of point products to solve very specific challenges. Organizations used endpoint antivirus, firewalls, IPS/IDS, and routers to protect themselves. Email and web security tools were soon added, along with SIEMs and other tools like ticketing systems, log management repositories and case management systems to house internal threat and event data. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools then came into the mix and a few years later served as the jumping off point for the next phase in the industry’s evolution. That’s when the traditional walls between endpoint and network security technologies began to crumble and product categories were no longer clearly defined.

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