Webinar recording: Network Security in the Cloud – Join the Revolution

Cato Networks is rethinking network security from the ground up and bringing it into the Cloud. Cato connects your branch locations, mobile users, physical and Cloud infrastructure into a secure and optimised global network in the Cloud.

Cato is making Network Security Simple Again.

Watch this recording to learn how Cato’s Cloud-based Secure Network offers a simple and affordable platform to securely connect all parts of your business.

Find out more about Cato Networks here.

Exinda: The Business Case for WAN Orchestration

Do you need improved visibility & control of your WAN traffic to maximise user experience & network performance? Watch our short video blog on the key features of Exinda’s WAN Orchestration. The webinar referenced in this video will be available on this blog shortly.

Video : Juniper Networks & Netutils Deliver Innovation

[vimeo vimeo.com/http://vimeo.com/78640657]

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.

Don’t ignore the hype: IT trends deliver security with access

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.

Webinar Recording: Wi-Fi Guest Access Always On, Always Connected

[vimeo vimeo.com/http://vimeo.com/70541790]

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.

Webinar Recording: Guarantee Application Performance

[vimeo vimeo.com/http://vimeo.com/61334559]

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.

iPad mini winner announced!

Meet Janusz Naks, Information Security Manager and winner of our iPad mini prize draw at JanuszIPadmini3BLOGCloud 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.)

WEBINAR Recording: Guest Access, Made Easy

[vimeo vimeo.com/http://vimeo.com/60065586]

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.

CLOUD – The Changed Face of the Network

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.

+ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

++ Source: Forrester Research http://www.juniper.net/us/en/dm/enterprise-data-center/pdf/Building_For_The_Next_Billion_What_The_New_World_Of_Business_Means_For_The_Network_FINAL.pdf

^ Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2012/10/28/two-thirds-of-the-worlds-data-centers-going-to-cloud-cisco/

How CIO’s can fully harness the Enterprise mobility phenomenon

Guest Blog, from Gilles Trachsel, Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks

Two weeks ago I spoke at IP EXPO 2012 – London – where I presented on Enterprise mobility and the security challenges ahead. The following is a summary of the key facts I discussed; at a glance, you have to be able, as an IT manager or executive, to offer more granular control to the users accessing the network, based on who they are, where they are, what application they want to use and from what device, and all this in a controlled and secured way. It’s all about bringing control back to IT.

FACT: The nature of the LAN access will change from wired to wireless Ethernet over the next couple of years. This will be driven in large part by the massive influx of new and highly capable tablets and smart phones which do not have RJ-45 connections.

FACT: The time for enterprise mobility is now. According to IDC, by next year, more than 1.2 billion workers worldwide will be using mobile technology, accounting for 35% of the workforce!

FACT: We can observe a shift from PC based and corporate owned enterprise computing to any mix of devices that are corporate AND personally owned. This creates challenges around security and compliance. The same applies to the applications, where we can see a shift from corporate operated applications to chosen by the user applications. It is again a mix of both – the goal being to gain competitiveness and to bring more productivity.

FACT: The user’s end device is the weakest point in our security today and the attackers know it. The types of attacks are morphing. Today more than 80% of malware uses encryption, compression and file packing evading the traditional security technologies. Smart phones, tablets and cloud services are becoming popular targets for these attacks. Mobility forces enterprises to shift their security strategy away from a perimeter approach, making them realize that borders are now global and that their vulnerabilities are actually internal. Also mobile malwares are becoming pervasive. There are more mobile malwares than ever before, they have gotten smarter and application stores are fast becoming the prime delivery mechanism for infected applications. As a result, your “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) experience could very quickly become a “Bring Your Own Malware” (BYOM) very unpleasant experience

FACT : Mobility is much more than BYOD. Yes, BYOD is the most common and probably feared concern today, but you also have to address corporate own devices and guest access, and all three with a common and consistent approach. The problem here is that most vendors only speak to or can address only one of the three. Experience shows that point solutions fail to deliver comprehensive enterprise network access. So, today’s business environment requires coordinated access across all the identified major mobile user types.

BOTTOM LINE: If you consider the smart phones and tablets proliferation, the fact you have multiple devices per user, you have multiple applications per devices and multiple sessions per application, all this put the campus/branch network under increasing pressure, and there is a need to rethink the way you architect the network. You need a holistic approach to coordinated security for enterprise network access, regardless of who owns a given device. This allows organisations to translate a business policy based on the user’s role and identity and to apply it to the device of the user’s choice. Productivity is enhanced and security is maintained.

IT executives and managers must anticipate this mobile devices explosion and put in place all the necessary tools and components for letting these new devices access the network while at the same time protecting their critical resources and assets. Yes, in most cases, this will require a rethinking of the network architecture, which needs more security coordination, more performance, more scalability and more resiliency. But in the end, organisations will be able to trust, leverage and depend on mobility to create competitive advantage and higher end user productivity. In other words, IT doesn’t need just to be aligned with the business; it is becoming part of it!