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Illustration: Axios Visuals

At next month's RSA cybersecurity conference, around 600 cybersecurity vendors will be in the expo halls vying for visitor dollars. By next year, many of them will be out of business; others will be sold.

Quoted: "I believe there will be a lot of consolidation in the industry and that it's exactly the wrong thing to do," Mark McLaughlin, chair and chief executive of Palo Alto Networks, told Axios.

"No one company can create all the innovation": Cybersecurity isn't like word processing — most companies can't get by with a single vendor or single program to perform all the functions it requires. The market is flooded with tools and services primarily designed to do single functions, each of which competes for security staffs' attention.

  • "We hear 'I can't keep consuming more and more technology,'" said McLaughlin. "Or 'I want less vendors.'"
  • But McLaughlin worries single vendors either must be so large that they lack agility or so small that they lack features. "No one company can create all the innovation," he said.

Consolidating platforms, not companies: McLaughlin has a horse in this race. Palo Alto Networks is launching an app store-type model allowing all vendors to operate within the Palo Alto framework.

  • If it succeeds, it will fundamentally change how companies, particularly smaller ones, compete in this space. On the one hand, for better and worse, it narrows the scope of a company's control over its own environment. On the other, companies won't need to lose focus of their strengths to compete. "You should pay attention to what you're good at," he said.

Go deeper

44 mins ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Harris wants more union membership in fed workforce

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a virtual town hall with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Oct. 14. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.