Today's Dynamic Networks Need a Converged ApproachToday's Dynamic Networks Need a Converged Approach
Security-driven networking is the new security strategy.
December 31, 2020
Organizations today need to give their users secure, instant and uninterrupted access to network and cloud-based resources and data – especially business-critical applications – no matter where their users are. The traditional perimeter has expanded and continues to do so with the rise of remote work and emerging technologies.
While cloud adoption plays a critical role, it’s now apparent there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to compute models. Even as cloud adoption continues, on-premises data centers aren’t going away. All of this means that security must adapt to the changing network demands and configurations, but legacy systems won’t suffice.
A new approach to security is needed: security-driven networking. It requires the convergence of traditional and cloud-based security, as well as deep integration between security and fundamental networking elements. And this convergence of security and networking presents significant opportunity for partners, both in terms of their internal infrastructure and what they offer customers.
No One-Size-Fits-All Compute Model
Compute consumption patterns are changing due to the increasing availability of 5G, long-term remote work, cloud migrations and similar outcomes resulting from digital innovation. This has transformed the traditional network to one that has many edges. All of these edges must be secured.
Organizations face challenges that arise from digital innovation, including the rapid expansion of the attack surface and dynamically changing network configurations. This has resulted in new and incremental opportunities to provide additional levels of protection and access control that these organizations and users require.
At the same time, these changes to network configurations and to the threat landscape mean that many traditional security solutions no longer provide the level of protection and access control that organizations and users need. In this environment, security has to be delivered anywhere from any place, at any time and for any device.
Benefits of Security-Driven Networking
Organizations have unique needs, and they need to be able to select and deploy those security offerings that are best suited to their unique network environments and business requirements. The convergence of infrastructure and security has emerged as one of the most important concepts for today’s networking and security teams. This “security-driven networking” allows you to put security anywhere on any edge.
A security-driven networking strategy tightly integrates an organization’s network infrastructure and security architecture, enabling the network to scale and change without sacrificing security. This next-generation approach is essential for effectively defending today’s highly dynamic environments – not only by providing consistent enforcement across today’s flexible perimeters but also by weaving security deep into the network itself.
This approach is designed to encompass the entire network development and deployment life cycle, ensuring that security functions as the central consideration for all business-driven infrastructure decisions.
The Opportunity for Partners
For partners, security-driven networking brings a lot of opportunity – both for growing their business and offering their existing customers more. Security-driven networking is a tangible way for partners to demonstrate to customers they have an answer to the challenges they faced this year and what they face going forward, which is hybrid IT. All organizations have hybrid IT challenges now. The pandemic and the rise of remote work have made this clear.
Three reasons to adopt and recommend a converged security and networking approach include …
… hybrid infrastructure, flexibility and performance.
Very few companies are cloud-only or only have a data center, so that means it has hybrid IT. Even if your customer is a very cloud-focused company, it still has endpoints, especially with remote work today, and those endpoints are the network. It needs to invest in solutions that allow you the flexibility to make decisions as needed over time. Partners are wrestling with these things internally, but they can also provide their customers better offerings by incorporating this kind of convergence.
Security-driven networking is also flexible. You never know when the next big shift will happen, and you need to build flexibility into your infrastructure so you’re able to adapt.
And then there’s the matter of performance. Customers expect quick and effective solutions, which means security to match the speed of the network. And that’s regardless of how factors like remote work and 5G affect it; customers want, and should receive, the speed they need.
To call today’s networks dynamic barely scratches the surface in terms of describing the speed and complexity organizations must deal with. The modern network is multiedged, and the perimeter is nearly nonexistent. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this year’s many shifts, and so must channel partners as they seek to keep their clients secure. The pandemic and other forces have made hybrid IT a reality for most, if not all, organizations. These rapid changes have rendered many traditional security solutions incapable of fulfilling their duty. From the ashes of the old approaches comes the convergence of security and networking, which is both more effective and offers significant opportunities for partners.
Jon Bove is the vice president of channel sales at Fortinet. He and his team are responsible for strategizing, promoting and driving the channel sales strategy for partners in the U.S. A 17-year veteran of the technology industry, Bove has held progressively responsible sales, sales leadership and channel leadership positions. Follow @Fortinet on Twitter or Bove on LinkedIn.
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