Deconstructing Distributed Security

Put Security at The Edge to Support a Growing Remote Workforce

Guido Coenders

In this segment of our Deconstructing Distributed Security series, we explain how advances in service deployment give data security professionals and network architects unprecedented ability to deliver security on the edge in support of market expansion.

With a growing remote workforce accessing cloud-based services, such as shared data, applications and collaboration tools, the risk of unauthorized access to these resources grows exponentially. In today’s uncertain conditions, companies need to protect their digital assets while still enabling efficient workforce collaboration as quickly as possible.

Cloud Supports a Distributed Workforce Without Significant Infrastructure Investments

A major benefit of evolving from legacy infrastructure to cloud-native solutions is the implementation speed for new applications and services to a more distributed workforce. Cloud technologies allow enterprises to quickly expand its reach to a growing number of users worldwide without significant infrastructure investments.

Evolution From Single to Multicloud Environments Is Not Unusual

When enterprises begin the journey to the cloud, a single cloud provider typically meets their needs. Later, with opportunities to expand into new markets, they often discover the added value and specific strengths of working with multiple cloud providers. As a result, they contract with additional cloud providers who support required software applications, offer an in-country presence to meet data privacy requirements such as GDPR or offer better SLAs for the new market.

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You Likely Have More Cloud Environments Than You Think

When we ask clients to inventory the number of cloud environments they are using, it’s often many more than they had expected. It includes major platforms like AWS, Azure, Google and Oracle to support various geographies and different applications, enterprise software such as Salesforce, ERP and HRM, collaboration tools like Slack, and discipline-specific applications such as AutoCAD, resulting in any number of private, public or hybrid cloud environments.

Virtual Functions Further Enhance Data and Network Security

Enterprises can further enhance network security with the strategic deployment of virtual network functions available via Network Edge from Equinix. Virtual firewalls and SD-WAN require no hardware procurement or provisioning and can be located to enhance security at the edge while simultaneously optimizing network performance. 

Virtual Firewalls Protect Corporate Data

Equinix offers firewall virtual network functions from market-leading vendors such as Palo Alto Networks, Juniper and Fortinet. An enterprise can protect critical information in corporate data centers by placing a virtual firewall between any corporate apps and the public cloud, but as well between services running inside several clouds  This is a best practice in the renewed architecture for access control and segmentation enterprises have to build in the distributed and multi-cloud world.

Virtual SD-WAN Extends Network Security to Remote Locations  

Equinix offers virtual SD-WAN from Cisco, Versa, Fortinet and CloudGenix, enabling enterprises to deploy network security and policies to remote locations while maintaining centralized control. SD-WAN supports granular security control, providing end-to-end segmentation to protect critical enterprise IT resources by:

  • Defining security policies based on applications in conjunction with packet-filtering provided by firewalls
  • Establishing independent security zones and policies based on workflows
  • Incorporating inline security capabilities like intrusion prevention, DNS enforcement and URL filtering

The clear advantage of the virtual network function strategy is the ability to quickly deploy and scale these functions in anticipation of (or in response to) changing business demands.

Platform Equinix Facilitates Security on the Edge

Enterprises planning expansion into new markets can accelerate time-to-market, significantly reduce the CAPEX required to establish a remote presence, and remotely maintain critical data and network security via virtualized services on Platform Equinix®:

  • Equinix SmartKey™ is deployed on-demand, allowing key management services to be located close to data, applications and users.
  • Network Edge from Equinix is a digital marketplace of virtual network functions that are pre-integrated with an interconnection ecosystem on the world’s largest platform of interconnected data centers and business ecosystems.

Gain Hands-on Experience in Deploying Security on the Edge

Data security professionals can learn how easily key management services can be deployed by registering for the free SmartKey trial. Network architects can explore the wide range of virtual network functions available by registering for a free Network Edge trial.

Enterprises planning to expand their presence and applications into new markets will benefit from virtualized security capabilities available from Equinix and the global reach of Platform Equinix. Its deployment speed, centralized management, and a presence in more than 200 metros enables enterprises to deploy security on the edge to protect critical data and network infrastructure.

Equinix SmartKey delivers security at the edge, locating encryption services close to the data they protect to minimize latency and deliver optimum performance.