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  1. Hardware
May 25, 2017

Businesses should adopt software-defined networks for data protection, says Juniper Networks

As more data is created, businesses need to hammer down on the deployment of secure networks which will minimise the rate of attacks on networks.

By Hannah Williams

The amount of data being created is increasing at a rapid pace, and this is certainly without question. For example, IDC predicts that the amount of data created annually will reach 180 zettabytes in 2025.

This is generated from both, the number of devices that will be developed to create this data as well as the sensors within each device.

The vast amounts of data that are being created increases the importance of data protection that is implemented as the data is stored.

However, many businesses are not aware of how to protect the data they use, something which may stem from a lack of awareness as to what data is being collected and used.

According to Lee Fisher, Head of Security for EMEA at Juniper Networks, who was speaking at the Juniper Networks PoC Lab Tour, “Today, we look at the risks associated with data and getting the balance right of what’s actually protected is really difficult.

Read more: Juniper signs up tech alliance to secure software-defined networks

“Getting that balance right is difficult because most organisations don’t even know what type of data they’ve got.

“The businesses also have the problem of managing the data and keeping it secured all the time, another challenge for an IT organisation to deal with.”

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In 2016, Art Landro, CEO of Sencha predicted that more data will be created in 2017 than in previous years, which will equate to new challenges around consuming the data whilst making strategic and tactical decisions.

In the last two years alone, more data was created than in the previous 5000 years of humanity, and this year it is expected to increase even more, according to Landro.

With more data has come a greater use of it across a myriad of different industries such as healthcare and manufacturing, both of which have increasingly been making use of the data but have struggled to deploy a more advanced protection model.

The noticeable failure to establish an advanced protection models is potentially what is leaving industries vulnerable to attack. With more data frequently comes a greater attack surface, given that this data is frequently stored across numerous locations.

Juniper believes it has the solution to these ongoing problems with its development of a software-defined network, which the company believes is crucial when it comes to businesses being able to leverage in a more appropriate and effective way to protect the business.

As both new and current technologies can be leveraged, Juniper says that an effective way to secure the network will enable businesses to integrate similar behaviour intelligence from across the organisation and around the world.

Fisher said: “It’s time to make use of that combined data across the network, automate every day and secure the network.”

This can be integrated using Juniper’s software-defined secure networks as it provides accurate threat detection, policy management and a selection of other capabilities that provide businesses with a secure network at scale.

Take for example the vastly growing IoT industry, which is expected to lead to the development of 50 billion connected devices by 2020, the use of IoT from a business and customer perspective may be deployed at different angles, but both produce vast amounts of data.

Fisher said: “By 2021, we won’t be saying ‘IoT’ anymore because it’ll be gone. Everything will be connected so we wouldn’t need to highlight it anymore.

“Even if you’re an organisation not using Industrial IoT, your customers will.”

For example, the use of IoT devices within the home stores the data in the user network but the protection of the data that is generated can be scaled at minimal to none.

Although there is awareness of the need to protect data within organisations, many businesses have noticeably lacked when it comes to implementing a strategy or the first right technology to help them. Just a quick glance at the news over the past few weeks highlights the current fragile state of cyber security in businesses around the world.

IoT applicationsProviding advice to businesses, Juniper says that organisations should work with the change in applications. This means that as applications change to an ‘always on’ system in devices, organisations should also change the nature of the relationship between them and their customers.

This is because as data is accessed by different users, hackers are also frequently given the same access without businesses even knowing.

It also brings about the need for organisations to think about the now, whilst also considering the future, as the change in applications should be deployed at a rate which shows they are ready to protect their data.

Another essential consideration is “today threats are inconvenient but tomorrow they may become life threatening,” said Fisher. This means the safety and availability of critical operations are highly necessary.

With inventions such as machine learning being deployed across different industries, it can be described as a technology which is built to leverage speed and non-human behaviour, one that has the ability to identify issues faster. The question then is who becomes responsible for securing all the data as the increase of data will expand and applications develop.

“Now, nobody takes responsibility of ownership and historic evidence shows this will fail again,” said Fisher.

As a network vendor, Juniper is in a reasonably unique position to have extensive insight into the data from the source and to the business. This gives the company the ability to help secure the data in the network and the business.

The introduction of technologies such as software-defined networks go some way to ensuring that data across the network and in the business is kept safe.

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