Hosted at Mercedes Benz World, Juniper Networks’ and Netutils’ recent workshop on Innovative Transitions in Networking & Security provided an opportunity for our customers to learn about Juniper Network’s latest innovations in networking & security. Watch the video from the day here.
By Malcolm Orekoya, Technical Specialist, Netutils
Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Malcolm Orekoya, Technical Specialist, Netutils. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company.
How do we enhance security but allow users access to the data and resources they need seamlessly and improve enterprise productivity, while still keeping up with the trends in mobility, consumerisation and cloud? The answer is by following those trends.
Look beyond the technology and look at the people that use the technology. This tells us two things: users do not prioritise security, and your enterprise productivity is directly related to the ability of your users to perform their tasks efficiently. So companies cannot adopt a “lock everything down” mentality. It is effectively a denial of service attack against yourself, because you are essentially denying access to the essential services needed by your users. So security, and enforcement of it, is solely the responsibility of the enterprise. It may sound harsh, but it is the reality; employees are accountable for the procedures, guidelines and policies to which they are required to adhere to.
The only viable way to build a secure network that moves with CoIT is to use existing corporate user identity systems (such as Active Directory, LDAP, SQL) to integrate with evolving ideas to automatically provision context-aware applications and resources.
So how to secure data and the network while still allowing seamless access and speedy resource allocation? Don’t ignore the trends in the IT industry. Cloud and hosted applications are continually increasing in adoption because they guarantee a certain level of security of access, ease of access, flexibility, automated provisioning, ease of upgrades, cross platform compatibility and reduced CAPEX, while maintaining compliance and security standards. The providers of these solutions are themselves heavily regulated and required to adhere to high standards of data and network security.
If you prefer to retain in-house control of applications, then virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) means you benefit from reduced costs over time of purchasing user endpoint machines by moving to thin clients. But also these VDI platforms allow control of what applications employees have access to, and provide much more granular control on what tasks users can perform. Because a lot of the VDI platforms allow “hot-desking”, as user profiles are maintained on centralised servers, they provide access flexibility and remote access, which fit with CoIT needs.
Zero-Day protection is also another useful trend; the means by which an enterprise can protect its data and resources from threats and vulnerabilities that are currently unknown, so consequently do not have a fix. Zero-Day application exploits, targeted attacks, advanced information stealing malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) all pose a serious security threat to enterprises, but as these threats evolve, so does the approach to effective and manageable protection. Active defence, which discourages attacks by focusing on raising costs and risks to attackers, is slowly creeping into enterprise strategy. Proactive protection – including advanced Web Application Firewalls (WAF), counterstrike and intrusion deception techniques – are all protection methods that have seen a revival. For example, in 2012 Juniper Networks acquired Mykonos Software’s intrusion deception software (Junos WebApp Secure) to enhance its web application security portfolio. It places deception points along the way. When an attacker trips one of those tripwires, we are alerted to the fact they are there and can watch them.
The reality is that vulnerabilities and threats exist, and come from inside as well as outside the network. The biggest insider threats are the employees, but we can only educate staff on how to handle sensitive corporate data and how to use corporate resources. For outsider threats, innovation brings assistance.
The rise of user expectations for anytime, anywhere wireless access places increasing pressures on the IT team. To meet this demand today’s organisations are required to offer guest Wi-Fi services throughout the communal areas of their head and branch offices for visitors, contractors and staff. View our webinar recording here on our Cloudutils Guest Access solution.
In this short webinar our Marketing Manager Vanessa Cardwell in joined by Rogier VANDERWAL, VP Cloud Services, Ipanema to deliver an overview and demo of our Cloudutils App Performance Solution. Cloudutils App Performance allows enterprises to take full advantage of cloud and internet based applications guaranteeing application visibility as a service. A simple, flexible cloud managed service from Netutils helping you improve user productivity, reduce user complaints and get the most from your cloud apps.
Are you moving or planning to move business applications to the cloud? If so, you may share some of the following concerns:
• The time & costs involved in resolving application performance problems
• Having the information visibility you need in order to make QoS decisions
• Ensuring business critical applications take preference over resource hungry social and non- critical applications
If your role includes responsibility for cloud application performance and delivery and you identify with one or more of these issues then watch our webinar here.
Meet Janusz Naks, Information Security Manager and winner of our iPad mini prize draw at Cloud Expo Europe. Janusz was a visitor to our stand at the event in January 2013 where we launched Cloudutils, our range of cloud services.
‘I’m thrilled to have won the iPad mini, it came as an unexpected but very welcome surprise! In the higher education sector we are looking at BYOD as part of on-going strategy. In HE students, staff & visiting lecturers are already using tablets, laptops, and smart phones, as are some of the IT team, so winning the iPad mini will support our BYOD initiatives and will be instrumental in defining policies aimed at securing the BYOD environment. I am sure that the iPad will become an essential working tool for me day to day. Thanks Netutils!’
We will be keeping in touch with Janusz to find out how he’s getting on. In the meantime many congratulations from all the team here at Netutils. (And no… we’re not jealous .. well, maybe a little bit.)
A high performance AAA RADIUS solution is the cornerstone of any access control system. Rather than continue with the burden and ongoing overheads of hosting your RADIUS servers yourself, why not consider RADIUS-as-a-Service in the cloud?
Our Cloudutils RADIUS-as-a-Service AAA cloud solution removes the management burden of server implementation but keeps you firmly in control, allowing you to manage your authentication service around your users and your business needs for just a few pence, per user, per day. No capital outlay, no on-site hardware, no upgrade or maintenance costs, just one simple annual subscription plan.
Watch the webinar to discover how Cloudutils RADIUS-as-a-Service can help you.
The rise of user expectations for anytime, anywhere wireless access places increasing pressures on the IT team. To meet this demand today’s organisations are required to offer guest Wi-Fi services throughout the communal areas of their head and branch offices for visitors, contractors and staff. If your role includes responsibility for secure guest access then please take a look at our recent popular webinar which introduces our Cloudutils Guest Access solution.
Gartner predicts that by 2015, 42% of the UC market will be in the cloud. This coupled with the exponential increase in BYOD means that your network needs to perform at a higher level to facilitate live interaction and real time communication. As more & more customers demand solutions in the cloud Netutils are proud to launch Cloudutils our collection of cloud solutions including; Guest Access, RADIUS-as-a-Service and App Performance. In this video blog our Marketing Manager, Vanessa Cardwell is joined by Philip Smith, UKI Channel Director from Ipanema to give you a high level overview of our Cloudutils App Performance solution which allows Enterprises to fully take advantage of cloud and internet based applications guaranteeing application performance and delivering full visibility as a service.
By Malcolm Orekoya, Network & Security Specialist, Netutils
Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Malcolm Orekoya, Network & Security Specialist, Netutils. These views are his own
So everyone has been talking cloud this and cloud that for what seems like forever now and you can be forgiven for being completely confused at times as to what exactly cloud computing is and why all the fuss. The definition of “cloud computing” on Wikipedia probably sums it up best; “Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet)”+.
The reason for all the confusion is that cloud computing nowadays refers to several services such as Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), Software as a service (SaaS), Desktop as a service (DaaS), Storage as a service (STaaS), Security as a service (SECaaS) and many more variables. To make matters even more confusing, once you have got your head around the concept of cloud, you then have to deal with the options of “private cloud”, “public cloud” or “hybrid cloud”. So why are there so many services moving to some form of cloud?
Well, there are several reasons behind the proliferation of cloud services, but amongst them all the following will almost always fall within the top 5:
Security – This is a major issue for all organisations, from small to large and can be a headache for many IT business decision-makers. The amount of data that is being consumed by today’s users, across data centres around the world is outstanding and the requirement to make sure this data is securely accessed and secured from malicious activity is just as great; whether this is for regulatory/compliance requirements or not. Getting the secure infrastructure (hardware, software, data centre etc.) and expertise needed for today’s networks can be prohibitively expensive and time consuming for organisations, therefore offloading this responsibility to cloud providers makes sense. These providers spend their time and money to provide you with the secure and compliant network that you need, without you having to worry about anything other than your internet connections to the cloud.
Access – People want remote access to as much content as they can possibly get their hands on. Whether it is being able to work from home, an internet café or a pub, users expect to be able to access their personal and corporate data via the internet. In conjunction with this, the other big buzz in the industry “BYOD” (bring you own device) and the overabundance of mobile devices that support this trend, makes providing mobile access to your users at the top the agenda for most IT business decision-makers.
A Forrester Research on Mobility, Cloud and Big Data written in October 2012 reports that “In the last 18 months, 47% of businesses have seen increased demand from end users to bring their own devices to work”++. In order to meet these access demands alongside maintaining security, a lot of organisations find it much easier and cost effective to have part of their network accessible in the cloud and relieve them of the hassle of providing and maintaining the necessary platform to feed this ever growing access need.
Costs – Keeping an eye on the IT budget always plays a major part in any organisations decision making process for any project and being able to reduce costs over time is key. The fact is with the two reasons already mentioned above; any organisation that keeps its entire infrastructure hosted internally will continually have to spend on hardware, software, training and staff in order to keep up with the industry. Cloud services have become increasingly more cost effective and in many cases can provide a more efficient Return-on-Investment (ROI) for many services.
So now that we know what all the cloud fuss is about, why should we jump on the band wagon; for all we know this is all a ‘phase’ and things will soon return back to normal (some hope)? Well I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that is not going to happen, cloud is here to stay for good and is a trend that is not likely to change direction any time soon.
In October 2012 Forrester Research also found that “44% of businesses have seen increased use of cloud services – from software and infrastructure to business processes as-a-service offerings”++ and Cisco’s second annual Global Cloud Index (GCI) has predicted that “within four years, two-thirds of all data centre traffic across the world – as well as workloads – will be cloud based”^.
Whether it’s for personal or business use the cloud has already changed the face of your network, in some cases without users having to do anything; I recently found out that by simply combining the free cloud storage space I get from my Hotmail, Gmail, Amazon, iCloud and Dropbox accounts, I’ve got nearly 30GB of free Storage as a service (STaaS) that I wasn’t even aware of.
The facts are internet bandwidth is cheaper than ever before; home users can now easily boast of 50MB internet connections at home. Internet content and ‘apps’ for work and play are richer and more widely available now than at any other time in history and the means of accessing this rich content via the plethora of fancy mobile devices is so accessible now, even six year olds have smartphones (as I recently found out at a birthday party I attended). The new way of working and playing involves the cloud and there’s no going back now.
Join us on stand 691 at Cloud Expo Europe 29th – 20th January 2013, National Hall Olympia. Find out about Cloudutils* – Cloud Solutions without Compromise. Solutions include Secure RADIUS and Managed Guest Access.
*Cloudutils is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Network (Utilities) Systems Ltd.