Journey to Software Defined Networking: The End of History and the Realisation of Dreams.

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The time for action is Now - as organisations seek to contain costs, transform operational efficiency and defend themselves from Cyberthreats. Sure’s 4-stage plan to secure ‘Software Defined’ networking takes you there.

News of further security breaches in global organisations and the eye watering fines that accompany them, highlight and focus the mind on the ever-present threats from cyber space, end-user mis-judgements and internal administration errors.

Advances in flexible working, cloud-based technologies and the ability to connect anywhere from any device make IT security ever more complex and challenging.

In 2020 Cisco predict there will be 50 billion globally connected devices or ‘things’ (as in IoT,  the Internet of Things) - and as networks expand, so will the attack surface area, increasing our exposure to cyber threats.

Alarmingly, when a security problem is identified, it’s likely the breach occurred many months before, and the criminals have been quietly working away in the background.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as recent developments in networking provide a ‘Security Everywhere’ approach, along with a roadmap to increased agility and simplified management.

Organisations are moving towards ‘Zero Trust’ architectures that have advanced perimeter defence systems and rigorous interrogation of internal and remotely connected devices or things.

New application-centric networks react to organisational needs by understanding business roles as policy. They streamline and boost everything from manageability, efficiency, scalability, security and compliance, by centralising policy adherence.

Software Defined Networking (SD WAN and LAN) uses encryption to route traffic according to application behaviour and priority, without sacrificing protection for agility. Enforcement and operational decisions can now be managed through a single point ‘pane of glass’ console.

SD networks optimise and route traffic according to need. A ‘Cloud First’ approach is used, so if you’re accessing ‘on-ramp’ cloud-based services outside your estate, you no longer need to be routed through the company gateway. This reduces traffic on expensive MPLS networks and frees up resources and bandwidth for more critical internal services.

The infrastructure protects and self-manages itself, so when a security incident occurs it’s dealt with immediately and stopped dead in its tracks.

An Enterprise’s future relies on digital transformation and network evolution, and simplicity, security, flexibility and scalability underpin the business case for investment.

Not Big Bang

Organisations should start to plan their journey to Software Defined Networking, but a ‘Big Bang’ approach should be avoided. We’ve developed a four-stage plan that has tangible and incremental benefits at each step.

Without a joined-up approach and a pre-defined destination, businesses often take the wrong ‘fork in the road’ over decisions about networking and security. And whether that’s due to cost or legacy reasons, the re-engineering needed can often wipe out any original savings.

Sure’s 4 Stage Plan.

We’ve developed a best-practice roadmap to a simplified and secure networking future. Our 4-stage plan will create a software defined network infrastructure that defends itself, both at the perimeter and in the core. Here’s an overview:

Stage 1: Where are you today? An audit of your current infrastructure.

At the initial stage we look in detail at your current networking architecture to see what you have and what you will need to make the journey to a secure SD WAN and LAN environment.

Stage 2: Identity Services – the who, what and where of your network.

Using Cisco’s Identity Services, we’ll help you establish a ‘Zero Trust’ solution of who and what is connecting your network. We identify user intentions are and the risk they present to your organisation, irrespective of location. This covers both the wireless and wired part of the network and will posture check all connecting and identifiable devices and things, as well as providing a consistent user experience.

Stage 3: Advanced Security Services.

Through our Cisco Partnership and formal alliance with Trustwave, a Gartner Magic Quadrant security leader, we’ll build and implement a network security policy and enforcement solution.
Using our ‘Security Information and Event Management’ service (SIEM). We export your live data to Sure’s offshore SIEM system where we dynamically analyse and report back on findings.

Stage 4: Software Defined Networking. Advanced, efficient and secure.

Access, identity and security with Cisco’s DNA services. An intuitive, efficient and secure environment to empower your people to work faster, safer and smarter with the right blend of applications and systems needed to succeed.

Early adoption businesses that have done this are benefitting from high cost savings and on-going resourcing efficiencies - along with the added bonus of automated security.

The four stages of the journey provide a structured roadmap to self-defending networking with tangible and realisable benefits at each step. We’ll do what we do best, leaving you free to focus on your core business.     

For more information please contact us.

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