Today’s enterprise network needs, especially cybersecurity, scalability, and asset visibility, are skyrocketing and CIOs and CISOs are struggling to keep up. Cloud partners play a major role in terms of delivering new features and almost daily scalability. But often lost in this equation is the critical role of the network foundation.
While a company’s network foundation is over five years old and was created at a time when many of today’s advanced capabilities weren’t a factor, the simple truth is that most networks don’t will never be able to meet demand. More worryingly, these older foundations will severely limit the effectiveness of new abilities gained elsewhere.
Consider, for example, SD-WAN. To truly reap the benefits of SD-WAN, a business will need local DDI. What happens when the internet connection goes down, as has happened too often recently in large cloud environments? If this company does not have a local DDI, it will have a location context.
In the midsize business space, about 80% of all networks have an insufficient foundation. This is largely due to overuse of limited free apps, where companies don’t get a proper commercial package system. But even in the large enterprise segment, these issues affect about one in two networks.
These problems usually manifest themselves during a network connection problem. It could certainly be a full-fledged outage that continues for an extended period of time, but it’s more likely to be a series of relatively brief outages or even just slowdowns. It is often overlooked because administrators barely detected the problem before it resolved itself. This is common with slowdown that results in uncertain latency. But for the duration of this incident, location services will fail and context will be lost.
One of the changes over the past two years is a monumental increase in load. To be more precise, it is not necessarily that the overall load of the company has increased so much, but that the load has shifted greatly. This could represent 90,000 workers connecting from different equipment from 90,000 sites and countless local ISPs, while most were working cleanly from corporate sites.
This load shift will also include many more, and much more powerful, IoT and IIoT devices, many of which are shadow computing. It doesn’t necessarily come from employees breaking the rules, like facility staff installing new types of smart lights without alerting IT. I’ve seen some manufacturing companies buy the big pieces of equipment they’ve had for decades. Only this time, the manufacturer placed maintenance IoT devices deep within the machines and never informed customers that they had made this change.
Another aspect of this burden shifting involves the company’s global partners, including contractors, suppliers, distributors, supply chain companies and major customers. These partners are accessing significantly more data today, as well as more sensitive data, than in 2019.
Reducing on-premises systems absolutely plays a major role in this load shifting as companies enter into agreements with multiple cloud providers simultaneously, in addition to the number of phantom cloud sites that workgroup leaders have obtained without IT clearance .
This move from an appliance-centric model to a SaaS model is arguably the most important part of this load shift.
CIOs are in an ongoing battle with their CFOs over funding, with common arguments over ROI and TCO. And yet, without a proper network foundation, every IT and security investment is diluted and can never reach its potential. Upgrading the network foundations promises to deliver a much better return on investment from a myriad of other investments, as their full functionality and efficiency can finally be achieved.
Let’s take just a small example: reducing the workload for major network changes. A modern infrastructure allows IT and network management to create new networks with the click of a button compared to the large amount of manual work they would have had to undertake with an outdated network base.
A strong foundation is a testament to local survivability, SaaS performance, easier and more efficient containerization, automated escalation and egress, better visibility into all forms of IoT, as well than an automatic integration.
This fundamental change is to provide high availability for all networked applications, improve user experience for employees and customers, and protect users, assets, and intellectual property from malware and other cyberattacks, providing true operational efficiency.
Cloud-native technology has matured much faster than companies were ready. Enterprises are now in a race to modernize applications to reap a range of benefits related to infrastructure optimization and developer productivity, which will improve business agility.
It’s also true that cloud-native applications are designed as a collection of microservices that run in Docker containers and can be orchestrated, managed, and deployed using DevOps and continuous integration workflows. Not so much with antiquated network foundations.
IT modernization is now a priority objective for every company. The success of IT and network management in achieving business transformation goals depends on core network services, which include DNS, DHCP, and IP address management. Also called DDI, these services make all network and cloud interactions possible. And yet, in an increasingly cloud-centric world, DDI services are becoming increasingly difficult to manage and control.
Done correctly, this ensures easy deployment in distributed locations, allowing remote users to access cloud-based applications from the closest entry point into the cloud, reducing latency and improving application performance. DDI infrastructure is no longer constrained by factory-shipped hardware or the need to add new appliances for new functionality. Instead, IT can quickly scale services as needed.
DNS, DHCP and IP address management functionality will continue to be resident at the customer’s preferred location i.e. branch office, cloud, regional office and in some cases data centers , but controlling management functions such as provisioning, configuration, and maintenance such as updates and upgrades reside in the cloud. This allows DDI to be managed in the cloud with a SaaS consumption model.
From a cybersecurity perspective, a modernized network approach integrates tightly with the rest of the security ecosystem to automate remediation, provide valuable network context (DHCP fingerprint, IPAM metadata), and distribute threat intelligence across the network. other policy enforcement points. It can also enable a hybrid approach that can take advantage of the scale and flexibility of the cloud, while tightly integrating with on-premises infrastructure for a best-of-both-worlds scenario.
To read more interesting cybersecurity trends, white papers and insights, please visit Security Edge