Top 4 New Network technologies in 2012

Regional and international experts discuss new network technologies, such as governance, risk and compliance and mobile application management, and what they mean for enterprises

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Top 4 New Network technologies in 2012 Firewalls are a key defence mechanism in cloud security, according to Dell SonicWALL.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  November 11, 2012

Cloud services are nearly always based on virtualised services, which means that once a workload has been torn down it can be difficult to recover information about it. If that workload has been involved in an incident then conducting any kind of forensic analysis on the processes or on the hardware on which the processing or data storage occurred is likely to be near-impossible. Its evidential value will be questionable as well, since it will be hard to prove that the forensic information has not been tainted by other virtual processes that may have utilised common resources since the incident. Cloud infrastructures create significant traffic over the internet that poses a real challenge. For example, business-critical and productivity-draining applications must contend for the same bandwidth.

Data Protection

To protect their data from attacks, companies must prepare for the impact of known and unknown trends and consider proven solutions for Next-Generation firewalls, application control and visualisation, bandwidth management, secure remote access, clean Virtual Private Networks and data leakage prevention, according to Malecki.

At present there is a high dependency by consumers on the service offerings that vendors provide with little power available to consumers to influence vendor functionality, visibility or control with respect to security.  Many organisations resort to using bespoke surveys and other techniques to make an assessment of prospective vendors to assess their security posture.

“The good news is that a standard for cloud security is likely to be published in 2013.  ISO / IEC 27017 is in draft form, and is based on work by the Cloud Security Alliance.  It is highly likely that once this standard is published, certification services will follow,” says McMillan.

Virtualisation

At a technical level one of the biggest cloud threats, is that the heavy use of virtualisation means that the hypervisor becomes a key potential point of failure.

“Any malware or defective process that can affect the reliability of the hypervisor can have a big impact. Furthermore, the use of common infrastructure can mean that recovery services may not be as reliable as customer might think; its very important to have the cloud provider prove the reliability of recovery services on a regular basis,” McMillan explains.

Dell SonicWALL says that firewalls are a key defence mechanism in cloud security. By scanning every byte of every packet on all network traffic, firewalls can provide complete malware protection, and application intelligence, control and visualisation, regardless of port or protocol, by determining exactly what applications are used and who is using them. In doing so, these firewalls can detect and eliminate malware, intrusions, data leakage and policy violations before they cause harm to your network or its users and your business, says Malecki.

The main concern companies have about the cloud stems from some public failures in delivering what the cloud has promised, i.e. to make a particular issue or task someone else’s problem, according to Angelo Comazzetto, senior product manager UTM for security specialist Sophos.

“Whether you rely on the cloud to store your files, provide a website for your clients, or manage and deploy anti-virus for example, you expect it will be always there and always functioning. This isn’t so much a full security issue, but also one of perception. The cloud is really nothing more than a new way to market data centre services. In the past, you would rent a server or pay for access to resources hosted off site instead of doing it yourself. Cloud computing provides the same sort of benefits, albeit with much more modern tools and services that are more easily served by an ‘end user’,” she says.

“The cloud cannot be made secure any more than the rest of the internet. Indeed there is no such thing as secure, only degrees of vulnerability. That said, depending on the cloud provider you choose, a business has access to a massively robust, scalable, and advanced platform they cannot easily establish and maintain themselves. The trick is ensuring that what you buy is from a reputable vendor and that you configure the user-serviceable parts correctly.”

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