Are your branch-office users complaining about slow application performance? Try offloading your Internet traffic
Branch-office staffs may be scattered around the globe, but they remain central to business operations and profitability. Yet, how many remote-office users struggle every day with the performance of mission-critical business, Internet and cloud applications? Too many to count.
The use of cloud services, the Internet, video, BYOD and guest networks is sharply rising and MPLS networks are getting hammered. CIOs trying to improve services to branch offices are also getting slammed—with unanticipated and unbudgeted network costs for additional MPLS and Internet capacity.
Following solid recognition in 2012 through dozens of industry awards, Virtela is again earning accolades for our cloud and managed service innovation and exceptional customer support. These awards reflect Virtela’s continuous commitment to deliver the enterprise networking, security and mobility solutions that help empower our customers to make waves around the globe. Here’s a sampling of our 2013 awards to date.
The cloud continues to evolve, and those who adopt it are reaping its benefits. But the amount of return on your cloud investments and the quality of your cloud experience can vary greatly due to differences in network architectures, managed service providers and SaaS providers. For example, in the past couple of years, SaaS powerhouses including Salesforce, Google and Amazon have experienced some major cloud problems, proof that cloud outages and slipups occur even for some of the world’s smartest, most innovative companies.
As workforces become more mobile, the workplace becomes more distributed, surfacing in remote offices, home offices, hotel rooms, airports and coffeehouses. Regardless of wherever and whenever they need them, remote employees need corporate resources at their fingertips.
It’s up to the IT team to ensure that remote and mobile users have quick, secure access to file sharing resources, customer data, ERP software and more—as if they were sitting in the office using the corporate LAN.
Traditional private MPLS networks have been around for nearly two decades. During this time, network operators have been using MPLS to deliver a wide variety of services. However, globalization and changing network requirements, especially those related to the explosion of Internet usage, are demanding more flexibility in the network architectures of today’s enterprises.
When IT security professionals are asked to describe a “typical” day at the office, there’s usually a wry smile followed by a few moments of hesitation. Considering the wide variety of threats they may face or fires they might fight, it can be hard to come up with a simple summary that an outsider would understand.
Nevertheless, some days are stranger than others. And when things start getting “weird” on the company network, administrators are all but assured of a long night ahead. To mitigate potential damage and increase their odds of an early evening, smart IT pros know it’s all about effective security information and event management (SIEM).
Security and compliance are the primary pillars of risk management in the IT world, yet companies are still having trouble resolving how the two interact. Some assume that the terms are essentially synonymous, just subtle variations on a theme. But others insist that the two are decidedly different, and often end up prioritizing one over the other as a result.
As is often the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. While compliance and security are two distinct principles, effectively satisfying each objective depends on keeping them in close alignment with one another.
It’s not a bad time to be on the business side of the cloud. In fact, if you keep up with the latest analyst reports and projections, it’s actually a good time to be in the cloud. Gartner’s most recent IT spending report, released earlier this month, predicts cloud spending to nearly double within the next five years, jumping from $109 billion in 2012 to a cool $207 billion in 2016.
Not too shabby.
Of course, it’s not a bad time to be on the customer side of the cloud either. Massive spending growth for the cloud indicates someone must be doing something right.
However, there is still confusion surrounding the cloud. For all its benefits, there are plenty of myths, misconceptions and general misunderstandings about the technology that may hinder businesses from using the cloud to its utmost potential – or in some cases, may lead businesses to develop too high of expectations.
Ask yourself: Do you need a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) to maintain PCI compliance?
According to section 10.6 of the latest Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard requirements (PCI DSS v2.0), any entity involved in payment processing is required to perform log analysis at least once daily.
At a recent security conference that I attended, SIEM was the keynote topic. The speaker covered the areas of log retention and reporting in great detail, but fell short in analysis. I asked the speaker to explain the process around creating log analysis, knowing this was a loaded question as we at Virtela have been working on this for years. My intent was not to challenge the speaker; I simply wanted to compare our thoughts about good processes for log analysis . The speaker danced around the subject, answering in abstracts like “try to understand what you are looking for” (not bad, but pretty vague), “understand the threat landscape” (OK, sure that is important, but still pretty vague), and went on about some other lofty ideas, but no concrete “first you do this, followed by this, and then proceed with this…” As I have attended many conferences this year, it is becoming apparent to me that there seems to be a lack of clarity on the subject of operationally defining security events that can be generated (via correlation) from a SIEM. So, I decided to share my thoughts on the subject in hopes of helping those that are trying to deploy a SIEM solution, as well as maybe sparking a healthy debate.