Your 3-Step Game Plan To Securing Hybrid Networks

Hybrid network architectures are causing security headaches for your clients’ IT team and new opportunities for hackers.

  • April 5, 2022 | Author: Allison Bergamo
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Hybrid network architectures are causing security headaches for your clients’ IT team and new opportunities for hackers. Providing complete visibility across a distributed network while securing and tracking every user and device accessing critical data, applications, and workloads requires a new set of security tools including a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW). Combining modern security tools with a deliberate Protect, Consolidate, and Scale approach can provide advanced threat protection – while keeping hackers in check.

The New Security Landscape
Your clients may be relying on legacy firewalls which were designed for static network checkpoints where workflows and data were highly predictable. However, these tools aren’t designed to support modern workplace demands including multi-cloud environments, work from home (WFA) environments, and 5G.
While 5G empowers your clients’ teams to access critical data, applications, and workloads from the comfort of their couches or favorite coffee shops, their legacy firewalls are struggling to keep up. Tell your clients that 95% of all traffic is encrypted. This is a boon for cyber criminals who use encryption to steal their company data and intellectual property, and to launch ransomware attacks. Most firewalls can’t decrypt and inspect encrypted traffic without negatively impacting performance and UX. As a result, most encrypted traffic – especially high-speed data isn’t inspected.
A Modern Approach to Securing Hybrid Networks
Your clients’ may be racing to support their hybrid networks by investing in “best-of-breed” solutions such as secure access service edge (SASE), software defined, wide area network (SD-WAN), and zero-touch network access (ZTNA). This can result in a complex, disparate tech stack that compromises the user experience and limits IT’s ability to respond effectively to attacks. 
As your clients’ business IT advisor, you can steer them towards an NGFW that integrates these functions into a unified platform that provides contextually coordinated security across the network. Implementing a NGFW can address new security challenges by adding intrusion prevention, application and user visibility, SSL inspection, and unknown threat detection to the traditional firewall. 
You can also guide them into adopting a modern security approach based on three primary functions: ProtectConsolidate, and Scale.
NGFWs should address the entire application life cycle, including interoperating with tools to accelerate application access and use. For example, web filtering augmented with advanced image recognition and video content can help to ensure acceptable use and compliance. 
An NGFW should also include intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and anti-malware. 
Finally, it must interoperate with other solutions, such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), web application firewalls (WAFs), and other security systems.
Prevent your clients’ from burning budget on one-off solutions. An NGFW should seamlessly integrate essential networking and security functions into a unified solution—whether delivered directly from an on-premises NGFW or through a cloud-delivered SASE.
WFA environments mean that applications and workflows can shift one location to another. An NGFW must understand, implement, and enforce the same policies across all locations. This consistent approach empowers your clients’ IT and network security teams to track application and workflows end-to-end.
There is a good chance that your clients’ traditional firewalls are already running at capacity. Because they weren’t designed with hyper-performance in mind, they can’t scale to meet your clients’ growing IT and business demands. Provide your clients with an NGFW that can scale and protect their networks from high-speed attacks with advanced security – without being bogged down with consuming manual configurations.
5G, multi-cloud environments and a hybrid workforce have rewritten your clients’ security requirements. Help them get ahead of the game with a complete contextual security plan that combines NGFW with a Protect, Consolidate, and Scale approach.

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