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Could Cloud Network Defense Mean a New Source of Security?

By Steve Anderson November 21, 2014

Security, these days, is perhaps one of the—some might even say the—most important functions that anyone who deals with computers, regardless of size or purpose, can undertake. As such, there are plenty of options to bring to the table when it comes to security, from a variety of different vendors. However, a new development from Wedge Networks may offer up a new form of security presented in a whole new way, its new Cloud Network Defense system.

Cloud Network Defense, as described by Wedge Networks' president and CEO Dr. Hongwen Zhang, is a cloud-based platform that brings together the best of network functions virtualization (NFV) as well as its often-referenced cohort software-defined networking (SDN) to perform a service that Wedge Networks calls Elastic Security Services Orchestration. With this technology in place, Zhang elaborates, it becomes possible for the network itself to act as a security provider, offering up embedded tools for networks. This in turn allows a variety of different tools and a variety of different devices to be brought together under a centralized security plan, meaning that “one size fits all” can now be a viable strategy for email, Web and mobile security alike.

Cloud Network Defense makes use of both Deep Content Inspection (DCI) as well as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to provide extra security without throwing in a lot of delays and latency issues, the kind of things that can get sufficiently in the way to make people interested in working around security. But with Cloud Network Defense, the system can take advantage of computing resources, redirecting same or using load-balancing techniques, the kinds of things that would ordinarily be done in hardware. With those changes, traffic is no longer required to leave the network for security purposes, and that makes the whole thing that much easier to work with.

This is a move that makes security a much easier premise to enact and roll with from there; essentially, as described by Wedge Networks' executive vice president for sales and marketing—as well as the company's chief operating officer—Steve Chappell, users would be able to call the service provider and say that the user wanted a set of security tools. Email security, network, malware, whatever kind of protection was desired could be had right there, and for an extra fee on the bill—or at no charge as a way to draw business—security would be built right in.

The best kind of security is the kind that works easiest. If security is too complex, users are less likely to use those systems at all, or use said systems in unsafe fashions just to get things done. It's a lot of why users often use just one password to get into a variety of systems, because after all, it's generally easier to remember just one password than it is a large number of same. Plus, putting the burden of security on the network provider is a welcome development for most users, and one that would probably be worth paying a little extra for. Or, conversely, those network providers competing against others might find it a valuable draw; what if T-Mobile could say “Better security than Verizon!” in its advertising? That might change a few minds.

Only time will tell what overall impact, if any, Wedge Networks' Cloud Network Defense has on the market, but it's clear that this could well be a serious destabilizing force that fundamentally changes a lot of things as known today.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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