Posts

Easy, Advanced Security Orchestration for Business Growth and Workforce Distribution

Digitally transforming organizations have to support increasingly distributed business workforces. This saddles IT teams with a balancing act of providing Internet access, enterprise-network connectivity, and assuring that the resulting network traffic doesn’t contaminate private channels and expose sensitive data. New offices are opening, the deployment clock is ticking, and IT personnel has to mobilize to install firewall appliances at every added site in order to centralize smart enterprise network and security management. Or do they?

Security-as-a-service (SECaasS) represents a cost-effective best practice and ‘firewall alternative’ for enterprises of all sizes as they attempt to manage the Internet and multicloud access of remote workers and various offices across the country or globe.

The Need for Advanced Security Orchestration

When the digital business is growing faster than the IT staff’s capacity, it gets challenging to protect headquarters and multiple offices – a dozen branch offices by some averages. The security management responsibilities get even unwieldier when you add the growing number of remote users who might be squatting over an Internet access point that is untrusted. If network IT teams don’t keep up with the latest preventions, digital transformation (and its growing pains) can expose the business. Internally managed firewall appliances can get bypassed during new traffic flows over the Internet or in the cloud, resulting in network dark spots and newly introduced avenues for exposure.

If they could see granularly at the endpoint, some CIOs and IT managers might find their networks rapidly drifting into unfamiliar waters. Protecting distributed branch offices and remote users with legacy and static tools is no longer sufficient given the growing variety of Internet access points, IP addresses, application types, and threats in play. Meanwhile, limited resources, including a lack of personnel and advanced cybersecurity skills, leave IT management spread thin toward ensuring connectivity, performance, visibility and up-to-date security across network endpoint equipment and the graying private network perimeter.

IT managers, who have a lot of different business and security systems to manage, want to make network security systems easier for themselves, their technical staffs and business customers to use. Rather than IT and business workforces serving the IT system, the IT system ideally should work for them, reducing monotonous manual tasks. Too often, maybe because of a regular cadence of truck hauls or software license renewals, each system itself becomes a chore (a monolith to worship) versus being a strategic and operationally efficient business tool. These on-premise, in-house installation projects limp to keep up with the spontaneous access privilege and security requirements that crop up across a grid you can’t control. As a result, small IT staffs struggle to equip, welcome and protect a growing workforce, while meeting network service rollout and data privacy timeframes.

Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS)

How do you get branch offices and remote employees up and running and contributing without months of delay? Do you have to rely on multiple security equipment vendors? The answer is to streamline security orchestration via a security-as-a-service (SECaaS) cloud platform.

The OPAQ cloud is purpose-built to simplify and tighten control by applying a consistent security policy across an organization’s branch offices, and mobile and remote users. Organizations achieve centralized visibility over their network through a secure cloud controller, which delivers monitoring and reporting capabilities.

It’s manually exhaustive and expensive to manage multiple firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, across multiple locations, and to make sure all your network security policies are configured properly. OPAQ provides an infusion of intelligence into the enterprise IT network infrastructure, allowing you to secure multiple branch office locations within assigned timelines, while also providing greater visibility and control over the widening, distributed network.

OPAQ security-as-a-service (SECaaS)  empowers organizations to:

  • Centralize and accelerate branch office security, with easy-to-deploy advanced network endpoint protection and segmentation all in one.
  • Facilitate remote office security policy distribution to support business growth and agility. Activate branch offices in one day from the OPAQ cloud and security-as-a-service.
  • Eliminate gaps or darks spots in protection coverage through secure Web gateways, secure cloud access points, and advanced endpoint security and workstation segmentation.
  • Adapt quickly to new business requirements or security threats by adding new infrastructure to the OPAQ security cloud.
  • Eliminate redundant security products. One security-as-a-service (SECaaS) solution staves off traditional security equipment product redundancy. No new hardware is required on premises (none to acquire or manage). The maintenance is all built-in so regular upgrade and software-flaw fire-drills go away.

Reduce network security costs, simplify advanced security, and reduce CAPEX via advanced security orchestration. Equip your CIO and core IT security staff with a smart system aggregating and dashboarding network security data across segmented network endpoints. Grow your business with confidence through the OPAQ cloud.

Learn more about OPAQ advanced security orchestration and security-as-a-service (SECaaS).

Watch the Sandy Alexander video case study:

Discover OPAQ for rapid branch enablement.

 

SECaaS: How Cybersecurity-as-a-Service Can Enhance Coverage; Shrinks Costs

In our digital world, we tend to talk about the cloud, automation and virtualization as if every business professional and organization is consciously adopting virtual assets and deeply indoctrinated and invested in these technologies. Let’s face it… the cloud and virtual machines (cloud-hosted computers, databases and servers) are predominantly a large-enterprise, high-tech or platform-provider perspective bias, and those of us with a technologist bent tend to assume that every real-world company is digitally transformed in this regard.

However, it’s not so simple when you look beyond basic business network computing, Internet access and mainstream cloud app usage (AWS and Office 365).

Today’s reality is most network IT teams are still forced to patch and reconfigure hardware and software on an as-available human-resource basis versus leveraging automation as a way to try to stay ahead of evolving threats. For most companies, physical equipment is still predominant. It’s often still on premises, whether that’s a regional office or small branch office.

Most companies are still managing firewall hardware; some even have no firewall at all. They still treat network and security management as if the perimeter is ‘fixed in place,’ and trust their users will log into the company VPN when outside the fixed LAN security perimeter.

Meanwhile, end-user employees, coated only with antivirus protection, are roaming on their portable devices, connecting on this network host to that IP address. Ahh, digital business transformation… Your people want to expand their connections and help you to grow your business, but this wandering presents big IT security risk. Denial of service attacks, ransomware, phishing, identity spoofing, and increasingly sophisticated malware can breach and then tunnel into your digital network like a worm through an apple.

Digital transformation is an ongoing journey, a continuum, not a lasting status that an organization one day crowns itself with and then uses to rule over the market for many years while everyone else uses less-advanced tools. Because of this fluctuating landscape, small and midsize organizations can take giant leaps via digital-economy equalizers in the cloud that enable them to catch up or achieve strategic edge.

One of these digitally transformational accelerators is network- and security-as-a-service. There’s an IT skills shortage; network and cybersecurity expertise (the two often go hand in hand) are in short supply.

With an estimated 74% of organizations affected by a cybersecurity skills shortage, it’s ‘Advantage Hackers.’ One recent study reported 94 percent of IT security professionals believe the advantage has tilted to cyber-adversaries over cyber-defenders. (ISSA and ESG.)

This can lead to struggles in defending against the latest, most sophisticated cyber-attack or cybercriminal methods as well as the inability to patch software and hardware vulnerabilities rapidly. It can also leave your enterprise employees, workstations, networks and servers reliant solely on one or two static barriers, instead of a sounder, multilayered security architecture.

Exacerbating this cybersecurity skills shortage is network complexity, product overlap, and product fatigue. As the workforce becomes more distributed, network endpoints are moving and changing, making them difficult to inventory and manage. Meanwhile, backhauling all branch office and remote worker traffic through the core network is many times more expensive than providing these individuals with direct Internet access, and can introduce QoE latency. From both a business access and security perspective, small network and IT teams just can’t keep up across the many products, pieces of computing equipment and user access needs they have to manage across distributed sites.

Help for the network IT staff can come from automation and the cloud.

Security as a Service (SECaaS) for the Changing Network Architecture

What is security as a service (SECaaS) and why is it so important in a network without boundaries world?

At a high level, SECaaS is a rapid deployment that immediately solidifies both your network perimeter and lateral traffic security. It accomplishes this by providing key advantages over traditional IT security deployments.

  • Speed. With advanced cybersecurity skills in low supply, do you wait for the on-device reconfiguration to be performed, or do you deliver advanced security agents that don’t require routine in-house patch releases? SECaaS is distributed network security protection in minutes versus weeks or months.
  • Cost. The cloud empowers organizations, large and small, to more easily and rapidly facilitate less-expensive remote-office activation and branch-to-Internet connections. In this cost-efficient environment, SECaaS enables organizations to receive advanced security capabilities previously accessible only to deep-pocket large enterprises, and to do so without myriad tool acquisition and maintenance costs.
  • Network Performance. You don’t have to compromise on security or performance as you migrate some of your traffic off the private network and into the cloud. Conduct your traffic with greater precision and quality of service, taking advantage of less-expensive yet high-performant network transports while orchestrating and automating advanced network security across distributed domains.
  • Advanced Protection Against Targeted End Users. Firewalls do a good job of protecting the perimeter against north-south invasion, but when something inevitably does slip through the cracks (perhaps by compromising a device outside the firewall or VPN), it can spread laterally like wildfire. Secure your flexing and fluxing network, with always-on protection at the endpoints, which also defends against lateral movement leading to widespread infection, hijacks or outages.
  • Central Management. Hackers prey upon inconsistent security policy enforcement across distributed network infrastructures. SECaaS enables central enforcement of policy, which is automatically applied throughout the entire distributed network, strengthening protection and closing loopholes.
  • Simplicity. Whether you’re a managed security service provider or public or private network operator, OPAQ brings automation, easy orchestration and simplicity to your complex distributed network or networks. This IT service agility also makes it easier to meet regional and vertical compliance regulations.

Security-as-a-service can lead to easier, more holistic network security coverage for digitally transforming managed service providers and enterprises alike.

Visit our security-as-a-service (SECaaS) page.