Software Defined Secure Networks for the Digital Economy and IoT
Mar 23, 2016
Once upon a time, talking on a mobile phone in public was considered to be rude and annoying. It was new technology for the few. To many, it seemed unnecessary. What could possibly be so urgent? That was about 20 years ago. Now, it is hard to imagine life without being constantly connected. We think nothing of instantly communicating with the world, rarely needing speech to relay ideas. It’s almost as if humankind evolved a telepathic superpower. And it has become the norm. Today, there are nearly three billion smartphone users worldwide with 6.1 billion expected by the year 2020.
I’d imagine that by 2020, we’d think the same about our transformation towards digital economies and the Internet of Things or what I like to call the Internet of People and Purpose. The uncommon ideas of today will become common ideas tomorrow. With a projected 21 billion connected devices by 2020, there will be an entirely new level of normalcy. Humankind may evolve another, almost telekinetic, superpower - our ability to control the physical world simply by programming the connected devices that surround us. Our government, education, healthcare, transportation, and entertainment will change dramatically. Our expectations will change. Our habits will change. In a few years, our lives today will seem nostalgically inefficient to us.
The connected future offers great potential and opportunity, unfortunately not just for the good guys, but the bad guys, too. The more connected our lives become, the more our lives are exposed to attacks, and the more lucrative it is for bad actors to emerge. More devices mean a larger threat surface. Malicious attacks are more frequent, organized, and sophisticated than ever before. In 2015, there were three times as many successful cyber attacks per week than in 2010. The damage of attacks more than doubled, costing an average of over $15M per company.
This pace of transformation has stressed every single CIO in every type of business. Mobility has made traditional network perimeter security strategies ineffective. Threats that come from inside the company are just as likely as from the outside. Employees carry laptops and smartphones away from the office and connect to the world through public locations. If infected, these devices circumvent perimeter defenses when they return to the office.
Consequently, security architectures have been forced to evolve beyond a strong firewall perimeter model. Operators must assume that threats are already inside the network. Then, security must be infused throughout the network infrastructure to detect and block bad actors as soon as possible. In the game of soccer, defensive responsibility is not simply left to the goalkeeper. All players attack and defend in all positions.
Unfortunately, this creates new degrees of complication for network operators – managing a secure infrastructure with the agility to keep pace with attackers. A typical enterprise network is secured with an average of 4,000 nodes from five different vendors. Manually managing security policy changes or upgrades in this environment could take days, or even weeks, to execute. Even the best firewalls on earth are rendered useless if they cannot adapt quickly to a new exposure.
With Juniper’s Software Defined Secure Network solution, the best security products in the industry can be operated as a unified detection system. Policies are created with a click and enforced either globally or discretely, in any data center, campus, or branch you choose. Other vendors offer either partial or single-purposed security management systems that force operators to painstakingly switch between applications to defend themselves. By automating security enforcement and a newly designed user interface that minimizes screen clicks, Juniper can reduce risks of errors and costly lag time. Watch the video below and see.
We can be sure the digital economy and the Internet of Things will come and change our lives. The details of the connected future, however, are uncertain. We can imagine it to be both wonderful and frightening. With efforts such as Software Defined Secure Networks, we plan to make it wonderful.