This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent report, “Shielding Your IT Operations With a Software-Defined Secure Network.” Download the full report here.
The Challenge – Perimeter Dissipation Leaves You Exposed
The federal government handles huge amounts of data, ranging from financial information to national security secrets. To address the challenge of increasing data and information demands, many agencies are leveraging both public and private cloud services that are designed to meet the sensitivity level of the data stored on each platform.
“As agencies increasingly look to public cloud solutions to augment private cloud capabilities, many are realizing that certain applications work better in certain cloud environments. This creates complexity in managing and securing sensitive government information,” said Greg Fletcher, Director of Business Development and Capture for Civilian Agencies at Juniper Networks. Juniper Networks is a networking technology provider that can help agencies deploy a software-defined secure network (SDSN). “As time goes on, we’re likely going to see an expanding number of different cloud providers. How’s an agency going to manage and secure all of that?”
Organizations that have multiple clouds have larger, more complex networks with larger attack surfaces that need defending from cyberthreats. It’s a daunting task, as foreign nation-states, terrorists, criminals and hackers constantly threaten federal infrastructure, information and data.
“Every millisecond counts as you’re trying to understand the health of your network and have situational awareness about it,” Fletcher said. “You have to detect bad actors in various, creative ways, inform the network of their presence, shut down infected areas and keep the network clean.”
Unfortunately, perimeter dissipation makes cybersecurity in the multi-cloud model challenging. Perimeter dissipation happens when an agency’s information spreads across a growing private and public cloud infrastructure faster than the barriers and techniques used to protect that information. Having more clouds increases the number of potential vulnerabilities needing vigilance.
The Solution – Dynamic, Adaptive, Multi-Cloud Security with SDSN
Federal agencies must take a synergistic approach that leverages network and security elements equally in an open, multi-vendor ecosystem with centralized policy, analytics and management to transform their traditional network into a secure network. To proactively defend their networks against evolving cyberthreats, agencies need tools that let them monitor and defend them in real time. Software that is open for integrations and fueled by automation enables this cybersecurity for multi-cloud environments. Using these tools, agencies can reap the benefits of a SDSN to stay ahead of cyberthreats while bringing new levels of efficiency to their security teams.
“With a multi-cloud environment, agencies are increasingly able to move instances wherever there’s the fastest, cheapest, most reliable and relevant environment for that workflow. It’s whatever the need is at the time. How do you ensure security in such a dynamic environment?” Fletcher said.
SDSN meets this challenge by providing agencies with a platform that integrates, centralizes and automates defense for today’s sophisticated threat landscape.
“It’s not just network management, it’s true network security,” Fletcher said. “You’re not putting more firewalls and security appliances into your network, you’re making your network into a firewall. Instead of your network and security components being siloed, they’re all talking to each other and they’re all able to be impacted and have policies enforced on them.”
It’s an approach that additionally helps agencies reach federal cybersecurity standards. SDSN ensures that organizations comply with programs like CDM while simultaneously hardening their cyber defenses.
Download the full report now and find out how your agency can monitor and defend against cyberthreats in real-time using SDSN.