Cloud Keeps Customers Compliant in an SD-WAN, Hybrid, BYOD World

Level 3's Bill Wohnoutka

Bill Wohnoutka

By Bill Wohnoutka, VP, Security Solutions Sales, Level 3

Increasing use of unsecured broadband and mobile devices by remote workers is accelerating the need for a new, flexible strategy to protect users regardless of how they access enterprise assets. This discussion needs to be part of your sales strategy for many of today’s hottest technologies. For example, SD-WANs are popular with the channel and customers. They promise all the benefits of network orchestration by delivering ease of design, deployment and management for connecting remote locations to an IP/VPN — but the presence of premises-based x86 equipment perpetuates the need to manage a complex device, potentially running four or five different virtualized functions from multiple “best of breed” vendors.

Furthermore, SD-WAN solutions do little or nothing to protect enterprise users on mobile or broadband networks.

Meanwhile, in-house network and security staffs run lean. We typically see one to two dedicated security employees in our midsize to large enterprise customers. The budget to hire, train, retain and retrain a larger staff simply does not exist.

It’s no surprise, then, that hardware-based prevention and detection tools consume the largest share of the IT security budget: If you can’t pay people to stand guard, you buy solutions. However, as IT budgets continue the transition from capex to opex – with capital preserved for strategic investments – the pressure is on to find similar “pay as you go” and “expand as you go” solutions for security. Delivering against governance, risk and compliance objectives remains the No. 1 task for senior IT executives today, and that accountability brings these issues in front of the board of directors regularly.

Partners who can’t step in with advice and solutions may find themselves replaced.

The Answer? Push Into the Cloud

Much has been said about the fear of compromised security in the cloud ecosystem — and cloud does not absolve customers of responsibility. Still, incorporating cloud-based services into a multi-layered security approach undoubtedly provides opportunities to defend users, devices and applications with tools that simply could not be provided with a perimeter-based hardware security strategy.

Let’s look at three selling benefits of cloud, backed up by stats.

“By 2020, 85 percent of large enterprises will use a cloud access security broker platform for their cloud services, which is up from less than 5 percent today.” —Gartner, “Market Guide for Cloud Access Security Brokers.”

In many cases, the only physical barrier standing in front of network security appliances in a remote location is a locked door. Migrating enterprise security controls from hardware located on premises into a cloud-security service puts multi-layered physical security in place immediately. More importantly, using a cloud-security service will enable you to …

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