As organisations expand their use of mobile networking and social media to stay competitive and at the forefront of business, they are also increasing their reliance on delivering business-critical applications and services through the cloud. The expansion of cloud-enabled models, however, creates critical security challenges and risks for builders of enterprise campus networks.
Security challenges and risks
- Growing security vulnerabilities – in the cloud-enabled enterprise, threats don’t come from a single source and attacks can happen in different forms on any point in the network.
- Increasing deployment and management complexity – at a time when there is mounting pressure to be faster and more agile in building, scaling and managing the network.
- Potential performance gaps – which could negatively impact the availability and performance of business-critical applications.
For network builders this means ensuring network performance and reduced complexity for a wider volume and variety of devices and locations. And adopting a secure networks approach that provides a united front against potential attacks. Next-generation network security models move away from the traditional disparate security products and points. Instead, security is deployed on a network-wide basis in a unified model.
The concept of a united and integrated secure networks approach for all locations is being driven by the changing needs of the cloud-enabled enterprise. It’s also being necessitated by the growing sophistication of attacks that increasingly exploit vulnerabilities of mobile users, social media and bring-your-own device initiatives.
Six critical factors to secure your network at all distributed locations in a cloud-enabled environment:
- 1. End-to-End Visibility
To secure the network you need to have end-to-end visibility to understand and then program it, to defend against threats or bad actors. As networks become more virtualised and builders increasingly adopt software-defined models, it’s important to have visibility and control across both physical and virtual infrastructure.
- 2. An Advanced Network Security Policy and Management Platform
Network administrators need to set and enforce policy across the entire network to account for emerging and traditional risk vectors. Network builders should deploy a security management platform that provides extensive scale, granular policy control and policy breadth across the network. The platform should include automated policy enforcement capabilities in order to reduce the risk of human error.
- 3. Anti-Malware Protection with Advanced Threat Prevention
Those who would do harm to your business are constantly seeking to seize upon new vulnerabilities. Consequently, conventional anti-malware products have become less useful as bad actors increasingly attempt to leverage command and control (C&C) servers to attack. Network builders in cloud-enabled environments need to incorporate solutions that deliver advanced anti-malware protection against sophisticated zero-day attacks and unknown threats.
- 4. Secure Gateways for Campus and Branch Locations
One of the particular challenges of the cloud-enabled enterprise is to provide secure network connectivity for campus and branch locations. These networks provide employees with their on-ramps to the cloud – whether private, public, hybrid or combination. So securing them must be the highest priority for network builders.
- 5. High-Performance Security for Virtual Environments
The cloud-enabled enterprise relies heavily on virtualisation to drive efficiencies, reduce costs and improve agility through resource sharing. High levels of virtualisation, however, can complicate security efforts and security policy management. These challenges can only be met by security solutions designed from the ground up for virtualised environments.
- 6. Avoid the Proprietary; Embrace the Open
The underlying framework of the cloud-enabled enterprise should be based on the support of open standards. Using multiple clouds from different vendors you’ll want to ensure the highest levels of integration and connectivity. Also, with the move toward software-defined networks, you’ll want to deploy agile and high-capacity networks. Those that serve greater numbers of users, devices and locations. While using fewer resources and delivering improved cost efficiencies.
In conclusion, building the right solution requires an integrated portfolio. Especially one that brings together all of the elements required for a comprehensive and strategic approach to network security. We partner with Juniper Networks to provide automated, scalable and secure network solutions that offer agility, performance and value.
‘6 Security Measures for the Enterprise Campus Network’ taken from TechTarget and Juniper impact report.
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As organisations continue to expand their use of mobile networking and social media to stay competitive and on the forefront of business, they are also increasing their reliance on delivering business-critical applications and services through the cloud. Find out more by downloading the report.