- Software-defined networking is turning concern about security in the cloud on its head, enabling a winning model for protecting businesses.
- Enterprises get predictable cost and value, security vendors streamline go-to-market and service delivery, and network providers gain revenue from vendor partners by hosting ecosystems in a B2B2B role.
Protecting a business network has traditionally meant plugging in a bunch of different security ‘appliances,’ in each business location, to protect all the many different devices and machines connected to the LAN or WAN. Managing the process can be a nightmare for companies of even a modest size, to the point where many often simply give up.
While ‘unified threat management’ solutions have tried to combine the functions of different network security devices into one, as a sort of firewall-plus, the trend now is moving toward using the cloud – or the software-defined network behind it – to deliver security protection wherever it may be needed. The benefits of this approach don’t just accrue to harried IT/security managers and security product vendors; network operators are also benefitting from partnering with the vendors to enable their solutions.
For example, earlier this month, DOSarrest Internet Security announced significant enhancements to its DDoS protection, virtual firewall, and other security solutions. The enhanced capabilities, however, come from a new partnership with global network operator Epsilon, which provides a host environment via its Infiny on-demand connectivity platform for cloud-based businesses. DOSarrest doesn’t have to try selling another dedicated appliance that may go unmanaged (or require an expensive managed service contract) to its potential business customers, because the technology can be delivered anywhere via Epsilon’s global software-defined (SD-WAN) network. And oh, yes, Epsilon gets a new customer and a new role for itself as a ‘B2B2B’ enabler.
Security as a Service: The Consumer
For the business customer, getting a virtual firewall, for example, delivered on demand where needed and managed by the provider as part of the deal eliminates multiple headaches. Vetting products, installing and integrating hardware, and monitoring performance (and managing updates) are all offloaded, while costs are predictable, streamlined, and budgeted as a subscription.
In this example, DOSarrest’s cloud-centric solution enables access to DDoS protection and other security services in real time. Speed of response is critical in network security, and with on-demand connectivity comes a new level of agility when using and optimizing security solutions to protect websites, mobile application servers, or any other digital assets. Traditional appliances provide none of this flexibility and accessibility.
Security as a Service: The Provider
For the security technology developer, leveraging the cloud and software-defined networks eliminates inefficient go-to-market and supply chain operations and makes delivering their solutions much simpler. Service management and monitoring can be included as part of the package, but huge gains from centralizing support and a vast increase in reach and scale make it worth packaging a high-value solution at attractive prices.
DOSarrest has connected to Epsilon’s network through its New York metro hub, and it will eventually be collocated in sites including Los Angeles, London, and Singapore. Instead of shipping hardware and sending engineers around the world, it now offers its DDoS protection, web application firewall, DOSarrest External Monitoring Service, geo-load balancing services, and the Cyber Attack Preparation Platform using Epsilon’s network as its solution delivery platform.
Security as a Service: The Enabler
Businesses and security vendors aren’t the only ones to gain from the cloud-enabled security model. Network and cloud platform operators like Epsilon (or indeed, digitally evolving telcos like BT, Telefonica, or Verizon) also gain by creating a platform for technology adoption and generating revenues through their high-value host platforms.
Epsilon’s Infiny platform enables cloud-based businesses to connect and optimize their applications and services across the globe and on demand, using SDN to add value to its partners and enable them to capture long-term sustainable revenue in an increasingly virtual environment. Those applications might be data connectivity, direct cloud access, and other on-demand network services that support application delivery. Or, they might also be any other function delivered virtually over the network using APIs, including security (like with DOSarrest), analytics, or collaboration.
With such B2B partners having a single platform to procure and manage underlying connectivity, rapidly provisioning on-demand services via a web-based portal and iOS or Android mobile apps, the network or cloud service provider becomes the established home for an ecosystem of partner businesses and their customers. In this way, they turn concerns around cloud security on their head by enabling a model where everybody – from consumer to provider to enabler – wins.