Network defence

Securing corporate networks has become an increasing complex task, but one in which solution providers are able to access a good opportunity for profit, if they have the right skills and the right solutions portfolio

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Network defence
By  Piers Ford Published  November 24, 2013

Securing corporate networks has become an increasing complex task, but one in which solution providers are able to access a good opportunity for profit, if they have the right skills and the right solutions portfolio, writes Piers Ford.

Despite the rise of cloud computing and increased corporate interest in outsourced infrastructure and managed services, the enterprise network remains a complex beast to manage– and it is only going to become more so as demand for bandwidth, capacity and real-time access to business tools and applications continues to grow.

Nothing embodies this complexity as much as the challenge of securing the network. In an age of bring your own device (BYOD), holding cyber criminals, viruses and emerging threats at bay is a constant thorn in the side of the network manager. Given that no two networks are the same, the opportunity for the channel to provide customers with solutions that can be tailored to their specific circumstances, and a range of associated consultancy services, is considerable.

According to market analyst Gartner, the global security and services market will be worth $67.2bn by the end of this year – up from $61.8bn in 2012. By 2016 it will breach the $86bn barrier.

“With security being one of the top IT concern areas, the prospect of strong continued growth is assured,” said Ruggero Contu, research director at analyst firm Gartner. “The consistent increases in the complexity and volume of targeted attacks, coupled with the necessity of companies to address regulatory or compliance-related issues continue to support healthy security market growth.”

Quite simply, agreed Florian Malecki, EMEA product and solution marketing director at Dell Software, businesses need 360-degree visibility, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“In addition, network managers need to anticipate the unknown, identify key assets to protect and identify potential weaknesses, empower employees and educate users,” he said. “Security should be a number one priority for any network manager.”

But in a market full of choice, the range of firewalls, secure remote access tools, anti-virus and email security applications, and centralised management and reporting tools is daunting. Network managers in the Middle East need help in separating actual from potential risks while ensuring the day-to-day security of the data flowing in and out of the organisation.

“Identifying tools that give the confidence to prioritise one risk or vulnerability above another has to be the key to any successful network security strategy,” said Brent Thurrell, executive vice president, EMEA and India, at risk identification tool specialist BeyondTrust.

“That confidence is gained through a clear view of the state of the network security landscape, enabling the team to make rapid, accurate decisions and to take appropriate, necessary action. Identifying the tools that will give that confidence is the greatest challenge facing network security teams today.”

A major complicating factor is the rapid rate at which the cyber threat picture is changing, and the constant arrival of new emerging threats that are unpredictable and increasingly sophisticated.

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