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SDN solves a lot of network problems, but security isn't one of them

Kacy Zurkus | March 28, 2017
SDN security: More capabilities versus protocol and dependency weaknesses

Vitaly Mzokov, solution business lead, data center and virtualization security at Kaspersky Lab, said, "Whether or not organizations have SDN, their security strategy should integrate multiple layers of cybersecurity to protect the corporate environment."

In days of old, Mzokov said,"Organizations had to predict or estimate how cyber criminals would want to attack the corporate infrastructure and what vectors they may use. Then, they would start designing the proper IT environment, along with configuring network and firewall policies."

But modern cyber criminals have learned agility is a key to success. They have to change their tactics in near real-time as technology evolves. "This means that the more time spent trying to predict attack vectors and then design proper infrastructure, the more vulnerable organizations become to modern or unknown threats," Mzokov said.

Newer cyber threats are hard to identify because they are less understood in the industry and hard to detect with old-fashioned security solutions. "SDN allows for faster reconfiguration of the environment, and also brings micro-segmentation into the picture," Mzokov said.

"Without proper integration or interoperation with anti-malware solutions, any SDN technology is just a powerful tool that people underutilize. An organization should simply let SDN know what is happening inside the virtual machine from a security perspective, and they will see how much more efficient SDN’s operation and overall corporate environment can be," said Mzokov.

Understanding what they are getting remains a critical piece of software defined network security. Yes, traditional means of securing controllers still apply, but Pickett said, "It is important that we step up our game. And to do this, security needs to be part of the discussion."

 

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