Security from the Mainframe to the Desktop

Security Concerns are the Same Across Platforms

From almost the time the first mainframe computer was delivered to the Census Bureau in 1952, we have been expecting mainframe computers to become obsolete.  The Univac 1, often mistakenly referred to as “the IBM Univac.”, used 5,2000 vacuum tubes and weighed 29,000 pounds.  Let’s not even try to calculate the processing power of this machine to today’s iPhone.

Yet today, in 2019, there are still thousands of them still in use.  The numbers continue to gradually decline, but the power of them continues to increase, continuing to support enterprise requirements.

One real impact to the mainframe world has been the retirement of the “green screen” programmers and operations people who continue to leave the active workforce.  One way to replace and increase the capacity of the mainframe workforce is to leverage the capabilities of newer distributed solutions and enable them to support mainframe requirements.  

Companies that still utilize the capabilities of mainframes are even extending applications and use cases to consumer users, who have no idea that they are being served from these, thought to be dinosaurs.

One of the common threads that is of supreme importance here is security.  Security of the data, security of the access to the data, and security of who has access to what parts of the mainframe.  Everyone is not direct connected to the boxes from the same rooms anymore. We are accessing this valued data from all over the world and from multiple types of devices.

Couple that with the changing of the guard, if you will, of operators and developers who are more fluent in GUI based distributed solutions, and you have a ready-made need for end to end, top to bottom and a through and through a common security experience.

The Broadcom Solution

There is only one company that can provide a common set of tools for security on the mainframe. That’s CA Technologies, a Broadcom Company.  

In addition to our ACF2 and Top Secret solutions (we support RACF also), we provide solutions for other types of security access to mainframe access via our Layer 7 Distributed Solutions.  These include Privileged Access Management and session recording with vaulted rotating credentials; Identity provisioning with management and governance of credentials for mainframe access;  Multi-factor Authentication via our Advanced Authentication solution and behavioral prediction of events that can cause problems on the mainframe via our monitoring solutions.

In future posts, we will dive into each of these solutions and how we are helping customers react to and solve the security challenges of applications deployed on the range of hardware solutions that they manage.

About the author

With the acquisition of CA Technologies by Broadcom, Marty has taken on responsibility working on the integration strategy for our suite of solutions focusing on how they can better support our customers’ needs and requirements across our complete customer base.  His role involves working with direct and partner sales teams globally, coordinating the efforts of the sales organization as it relates cross product integration, working closely with our Product Team’s to define customer requirements as it relates to future product direction and ensuring that our customers are delighted our solutions.

Marty has been with CA Technologies since the acquisition of Arcot Systems in October of 2010 where he was previously Vice President of Business Development and Vice President of Worldwide Sales.  Previous to this he held VP Sales roles with companies such as ParcPlace Systems (the inventor of SmallTalk (the object-oriented programming language), NeXT Computers (sold to Apple), ValiCert (sold to Tumbleweed after going public), Informix (sold to IBM) and Oracle.  Marty has been a sales leader with other companies in new groundbreaking technologies for over 30 years.

Marty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science, in Technology and Management degree from The American University in Washington D.C.