Scale or fail

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11 November 2016 | 0

The scale of cybercrime has risen to stratospheric levels in recent years. Cyber-attacks cost global companies billions of dollars every year, which directly affects the bottom line and overall operational efficiency. The loss of business is only one measure of impact. The loss to brand reputation is incalculable. As firms look to expand their services, protecting applications and sensitive data is vital to safeguard intellectual property. Those companies that successfully adapt to the changing needs of customers and the workforce will be successful in navigating the threat landscape. Those firms that fail to scale their security strategies will leave themselves vulnerable to costly malicious attacks that will hinder productivity.

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As more customers and employees use applications anytime and anywhere, this trend has led to high demand for data protection. Cloud computing services can deliver enormous benefits, including the ability to scale elastically. Yet, as the workforce becomes more mobile it also places huge demands on network performance. Many companies, however, still need to expand their capabilities to compete in a rapidly emerging global marketplace.

More freedom means more complexity and this can make it easy for unscrupulous hackers to attack organisation’s operations and render applications useless in their quest to gain access to valuable data. Delivering the right amount of IT resources precisely when and where it is needed and from the appropriate geographic location can simplify data storage issue, streamline services and significantly reduce costs. The successful ingredient in scaling an operation is to factor comprehensive security solutions to tackle cybercrime, whether in private, public or hybrid environments, hence mitigating DDoS threats even as they strike the network.

Interestingly, the world’s largest DDoS attack was captured recently with a peak of over 1Tbps. With the availability of easy to compromise devices (in this case an IoT botnet), it is simpler today to launch large scale attacks. Businesses that protect their infrastructure from relentless breaches can stay one step ahead of the hacker. With the right solutions in place, it is possible to ensure that vital data is secure through the support of a cloud-based DDoS scrubbing service. This can be achieved with granular DDoS rules and policies coupled with contextual knowledge of identity and user access to applications and data, including automatic collection and analysis of data that provides rigorous SSL inspection, behavioural analytics, bandwidth usage, health monitoring and other statistics.

“Delivering the right amount of IT resources precisely when and where it is needed and from the appropriate geographic location can simplify data storage issue, streamline services and significantly reduce costs”

Many international companies have turned to F5 Networks, a leading provider of application security and cloud platform strategy. Through an ecosystem of integrating solutions, customers have gained the benefits of web-scale IT architecture without sacrificing application availability, performance and security. Harnessing the agility and scalability of the cloud and combining it with the security of on-site solutions, businesses are able to protect critical applications where they reside backed by a comprehensive data centre security solution that prevents unauthorised access to the network. F5’s security ecosystem helps customers gain the most scalable access solution in the industry, delivering over five times the scale available from other vendors.

Whether in the banking and finance, telecommunications, public sector or consumer retail sector, having the right tools makes it possible to configure the functionality of ‘intelligent packet brokering’ in an easy and scalable way, according to the origin or type of traffic, routing and the ability to copy separate flows of traffic to different platforms (i.e. for monitoring, antivirus, filter URLs, parental control, etc.). In addition, a robust web proxy solution combines high performance and scalability with the most advanced techniques for detecting malware in real-time and for filtering content.

With the right cloud-based application services platform and architecture, services can be deployed on-demand to achieve seamless scalability, security and performance for all applications in both traditional and cloud environments. With the combination of on-premises application services, cloud-based support services and state-of-the-art security tools, organisations will achieve quicker response times, greater visibility and analytical reporting, as well as significantly improved cost efficiencies.

A comprehensive cloud strategy mitigates the risk of cybersecurity breaches and ensures a company’s business is suitably positioned to reliably scale and adapt to the changing needs of its workforce. Greater mobility is driving businesses forward. Fail to scale and the business will be vulnerable to attacks and competition.

 

 

Paul Dignan is senior systems engineer with F5 Networks

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