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Securing the hyperscaled network: Integration, orchestration and automation

15 Jun 2020

Jon McGettigan, Fortinet A/NZ Regional Director, explains how to secure hyperscaling networks and why the best solution is a broad, integrated and automated Security Fabric.

The unsung heroes during the recent trans-Tasman lockdowns are the dedicated techies (that’s you, reader…thank you very much!) beavering away in the background on their mobile devices, laptops and consoles to keep our network infrastructure up and running. 

Remote working, streaming videos, social media and on-line gaming have spiked traffic literally overnight. Australia’s NBN reports a 25% increase in peak throughput in April to 13.8 Tbps whilst NZ’s Chorus network topped out at 3.03Tbps, up 34% from normal. Indeed, our networks have performed so well that it’s a non-story. Halleluiah!

But with the increase in users, apps and devices, have our cyber-security defences been able to keep up? So far so good…no major headlines on data breaches, hacks or malware (knock on wood). We’ve been lucky on both counts.

But you can’t plan your business strategy based on luck. Ensuring business continuity should be the number one priority for IT managers, CISOs and CEOs, especially now when network demands are at all-time highs with no respite in sight.

Hyperscaling – No longer a buzzword

Traffic isn’t the only high-growth metric. More users are using more devices for network access. Students, staff working from home and locked-down consumers are all going on-line to conduct their day-to-day business. It’s conceivable that the spike in traffic isn’t a spike at all but the first step towards hyperscaled networks.

Until March, hyperscaling was the exclusive domain of carriers, datacentres and global enterprises. They have been adding capacity to ensure that they could handle any unforeseen events without network degradation. And they have done a great job. 

Now mid-sized enterprises, schools, government agencies and e-commerce platforms are expanding their networks from the core to an unprecedented number of edges. We’re talking web apps, mobile devices, cloud services and even more data. Each one of these edges expands the attack surface. And each one needs to be locked down…tight.

The security fabric – integrated, orchestrated and automated

The most effective strategy to secure your hyperscaling network is a fully-integrated, comprehensive security fabric. One in which all the security services are managed by a single pane of glass interface, updated with the latest threat intelligence and interconnected so that if a network anomaly is detected it can be quickly isolated and mitigated. 

And to keep up with the pace of change, your security services need to be automated as much as possible so that your network can manage the day-to-day housekeeping tasks. This enables you to focus on maintaining safe and secure network access.

A big ask, to be sure. Best-of-breed and point solutions have worked well. Not anymore. Interoperability is a must-have for today’s security services. If you update one service, you have to update them all. Not easy with multiple vendors. 

This is especially critical with incident response. If a security service from vendor A detects an anomaly, the network’s response has to orchestrate with vendor B, C and D. Again, not easy with an alphabet of vendors.

And with new edges expanding the attack surface, you have to be able to add, delete, manage and secure users and devices in near real time. Humans can’t keep up. Automation is the key. A single-vendor security service is easier to automate, integrate and orchestrate than a basket of disparate services.

Core, edge and everything in between

Fortinet’s Security Fabric fits the bill. Powered by the FortiOS, Fortinet’s Security Fabric is optimised to protect the core and edges, data and apps in the cloud and traffic amongst them. All unified by a common security policy, all updated with the latest threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs and all supported by a dedicated team of highly-skilled experts. No other single vendor can match Fortinet’s value proposition. 

If you already are a Fortinet customer, you’ve made the right choice. If not, perhaps it’s time to think about adopting security services that are as agile, scalable and secure as your network has to be.

About the author

Jon McGettigan is Fortinet’s Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands Regional Director. As such, he is responsible for driving Fortinet’s continued expansion in the region through building and maintaining relationships with businesses, partners and staff. As a senior executive, he understands the risks, motivations and opportunities that face IT managers as they transform their networks into 21st century revenue centres.

About Fortinet

Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) secures the largest enterprise, service provider, and government organisations around the world. Fortinet empowers its customers with intelligent, seamless protection across the expanding attack surface and the power to take on ever-increasing performance requirements of the borderless network - today and into the future. Only the Fortinet Security Fabric architecture can deliver security without compromise to address the most critical security challenges, whether in networked, application, cloud or mobile environments. Fortinet ranks #1 in the most security appliances shipped worldwide and more than 375,000 customers trust Fortinet to protect their businesses. Learn more at the Fortinet website, the Fortinet Blog, or FortiGuard Labs.

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