HYBRID NETWORK

SPOTLIGHT ON HYBRID NETWORK SECURITY CONCERNS IN 2020: WILL SDN PROVE TO BE A STRONG DEFENDER?

Sacrificing security is certainly not an option for businesses as they ask employees to work from home. Continuing operations from remote locations require immense network protection from any central location. The deployment of hybrid systems is proving to be a challenge for IT departments. Of course they have software defined networking solutions but can it be a strong defender in this time of crisis? Several coronavirus themed attacks are doing the rounds and IT professionals are finding it difficult to counter them. This is yet another disruption which seeks rapid intervention to address cybersecurity concerns.

This blog covers some options regarding hybrid network models to ensure safety and security are saved and not sacrificed. At the same time productivity continues from remote locations uninterrupted. 

Security challenges evolve

In the last couple of years’ challenges related to defend networks have become complex. With the applications of interconnected things, the problem has swelled to a large degree. Continuous solutions and adapting to hybrid versions is the key to combat future challenges. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has added to risks of failure and system crashes with long turnaround time to get back to normalcy. This is in addition to BYOD and unlimited network boundaries uncovered by regulatory authorities. Only niche and customized systems should be used by enterprises to address direct and indirect threats. There is a need to have a layered protection which is present in multiple points to make protection stronger. The hybrid prototype is best suited in these times even if organizations use cloud services. It is flexible enough to be combined with onsite internal system. It can also work with private and public infrastructure of cloud services. In fact, this is the best way to mitigate additional costs and also ramp up the defense for networks. It is critical to understand obstacles that may occur with installation of security apps.

The following illustration makes the obstacles clearer with security app deployment.

If the same is done stand alone or separately then the risks are reduced. That is why visibility of traffic is important in hybrid models. And if we take into account the current scenario where people work from home, the risks are 4 fold.

New threats to networks

As employees brace for working from their residences, the threats need to be tackled. They pertain to:

Frauds relating to phishing – Emails can be threatened by asking for sensitive information. Links and malicious software are downloaded and endanger communications. How can this be reduced?

Organizations should circulate official communiques that make the workforce aware of phishing emails and spurious links. Each organization can adopt a unique way to communicate with their employees.

Working from home – Organizations can create a VPN for everyone to access networks. But dependencies could pose risks to crucial company data. If cloud services are used the danger is amplified.

The best solution is to have regular patching of software. IT departments should have a disaster recovery program ready. It should be available even for remote workforce.

Wi-Fi related public access – This is yet another problem to tackle. Unencrypted data is at risk.

Companies should make employees aware that they should not use public Wi-Fis to do work. Make it mandatory to use SSL security transport to enhance the security layer.

Beware of outsourced services – Dealing with 3rd parties are always perilous.

Companies need to have an alternative supply chain ready incase the one operational is compromised

Upgrade systems to software defined hybrid networks

The use of software defined networking is the best solution for meeting risks and challenges when the workforce is not onsite. A good configuration, efficient, and improvized performance network and acute monitoring upgrade are important. It can help operators to work consistently and not worry about the network technology. Having control from a central location is empowering to the organization.

There are 5 ways the SDN defense works in the time of crisis like COVID-19.

All the above information is collated to give an opportunity to improve the network and make SDN like a defense wall. As it controls everything from a central hub, there is no need for routers and switches. Diverse data packs are routed through a single channel. It improves data capture via IDS/IPS. A single architecture is simpler to configure and all VLANS remain highly secure. With automation it makes it easier for everyone to function. Each network operator is able to regulate the network usage with policies that defend the system, data, and organization. High level cloud APIs allow professionals to manage their work. With automation they can use advanced tools to secure the network.

In the eventuality of a patch being affected, the operators can handle it without disrupting the rest of the network functions. Software defined networking is capable of isolating any malicious ware with its strong protocols.



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