Thanks to Riyanka Khanna at Text100, New Delhi, I managed to get into conversation with Bipin Kumar Amin, principle consultant, Borderless Networks – Security, Cisco. I started by asking him about the security challenges currently faced by enterprises.
Security challenges faced by enterprises
He said: “Indian network security market is growing consistently as organizations increasingly realize the importance of securing their data against external and internal threats. The advent of 3G in India has opened up new roads for technologies and applications owing to the greater bandwidth available, as well as faster data transfer. As data becomes more pervasive, privacy and security becomes the important concerns for the enterprises. Consequently, there has been no let-down in IT security spending because CIOs realize that without ensuring the security of their vital data, it’s not possible to expand business.
“The traditional network and physical perimeter is no longer the only border where information must be defended. Collaboration, IT consumerization, mobility, and new computing technologies are increasing productivity while presenting new security requirements.
“BYOD is a new phenomenon, which every enterprise is witnessing and has to deal with the management and security the data on mobile devices, whether they are owned by an enterprise or user. There is greater pressure on IT to meet the demands of a dynamic workforce-both in terms of service delivery and security challenges. New solutions are needed to protect borderless networks and to help further improve business efficiencies in the mean time.”
As for the trends in security, he added: “There are three major trends sweeping through the enterprise: rapid rise of the consumerized endpoint, onset of virtualization and cloud computing, and growing use of high-definition video conferencing. Each one of these critical technologies is transforming business—and forcing a fundamental shift in how security is developed and deployed.”
Borderless network architecture
So, the obvious question: what is borderless network architecture? How is Cisco’s borderless networks architecture enabling enterprises to overcome security challenges?
Amin said: “The challenges CIOs face today, from a business or technology perspective, is very different from what their predecessors have faced. Technologies such as collaboration, cloud computing, and web applications promote productivity for an increasingly distributed workforce. These technologies need to be employed within an organization to provide employees with the flexibility that they have come to expect. However they pose new security challenges for CIOs. Cisco Secure Borderless Networks promote workforce-enabling technologies while protecting company data, resources, and staff.”
On April 19th, 2011, Cisco announced the latest enhancements to its Borderless Network Architecture that allow organizations to achieve superior customer experience, higher workforce productivity, and increased IT efficiency. Cisco SecureX Architecture and TrustSec are key security solutions in Cisco’s Borderless Networks Architecture.
Some of Cisco’s recent enhancements to its cloud security offerings include: Cisco ScanSafe Web Intelligence Reporting (WIRe) and Cloud-based Cisco IronPort Email Data Loss Prevention and Encryption.
Borderless networks are here!
How does the borderless networks for government, finance, ITeS and wireless domains work? Amin added: “We believe that security challenges across verticals are similar; however the importance of security requirements differs from vertical to vertical. We see opportunity for our Borderless Networks solution in both SMBs and large enterprises. The banking and finance vertical is the biggest adopter of security solutions, closely followed by the ITS/BPO vertical. The traditional enterprises, retail, health and education verticals are now catching up.”
He mentioned three market transitions really driving the Borderless Networks Architecture across all segments. The first is mobility. Mobility is becoming extremely pervasive in organizations, and we expect, over the next three years, some 1.5 billion new network mobile devices moving into the enterprise. However, the resources that are being provided to support those devices are not growing at anywhere near the same level. The second one is around video, with the video growing so aggressively in organizations; they’re beginning to wonder if their networks are able to cope with this explosion.
The third market transition is around changes to the workplace experience where organizations, if they want to be nimble, if they want to be agile, if they want to be collaborative, have to break down the silos and the borders that exist within their organization and also between their organization and the outside world. And that outside world can be their partners, their customers and all their suppliers. With these market transitions we expect a demand for our Borderless Networks portfolio of solutions across all segments.
Relevance for India market
How is this solution relevant for the India market? Amin said: “In India, we’re witness to a change in the way we work- the biggest change is in the way we look at mobility. In the past enterprise organizations had defined models and makes for phones, laptops or any other end points which they would allow into their network.
“But now, with changing times, individual users have their own devices including smart phones (iPhone, Android, Mac etc.), which are needed to be given access; thus breaking the device border. Likewise they would like to have a workplace experience from where ever they connect – home, airports etc. And this user access needs to be fully secured without compromising the policies of the enterprises. Hence the location border is broken to drive flexibility, productivity and the changing business needs. More and more organizations are in the journey to implement these working environments due to the blurring borders.
“With technologies like third-generation (3G), virtualization and cloud computing, mobile networks are opening the way for access to an ever-expanding array of high-bandwidth applications and data services to mobile subscribers. As the Internet becomes more pervasive in India, people are expecting – and demanding – information to be accessible at any time using any device in any location. Because of these demands, businesses must balance the need to provide easy information access while protecting the information itself. Keeping this in mind Cisco has launched its Borderless networks Architecture in India.”