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The future is here now. It’s time to pivot and rethink your network security.

By: Steve Grossenbacher

The future is here now. It’s time to pivot and rethink your network security.

Securing corporate networks is a lot like pushing a boulder uphill, only to have it roll right back down. It’s hard to do, not to mention costly. Network security architectures made sense 20 years ago, when most employees worked on-site, but today’s reality is far different.

The quickly evolving threat landscape demands the constant retooling, updating, and maintenance of a complex, sprawling security architecture. Network security appliances working in isolation make it difficult to get a comprehensive view into threat activity, and the management headaches associated with a multi-vendor security environment just seem to get worse. Users can add to the problem, as they succumb to social engineering attacks or forget to install the latest updates on their systems, leaving organizations vulnerable to exploits like ransomware and other advanced threats. All of these issues are driving up costs, and security teams are finding themselves making compromises between cost, performance, and capability. Doing more with less is never easy.

Despite the challenges—and the fact that breaches continue to mount year after year—security appliances have been the best solutions available to enterprises. And IT teams have heroically tackled their complexity and their limitations in an effort to combat threats.

But the technology landscape has changed radically. In the era of cloud and mobility, users and applications have moved off the network and the secure perimeter has dissolved. In its State of the Cloud survey, RightScale reported that companies are running 79 percent of workloads in the cloud. The mobile workforce has been growing dramatically, too, and, according to an IDC report, mobile workers will account for nearly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce by 2020. An increasing percentage of business is taking place outside the bounds of the corporate network, yet legacy appliances remain stuck in the data center.  

SaaS applications—Microsoft Office 365, Box.com, Google Drive, and others—are meant to be accessed directly, but traditional networks force user traffic through the data center, which creates latency and frustrates users. In many cases, they simply bypass security controls and go direct, compromising security in the name of productivity. Branch office workers face compromises, too. It’s nearly impossible to replicate HQ security in branches, so organizations find themselves either backhauling internet traffic—which is expensive and slow—or accepting less stringent security.

And still, in spite of massive investments in security appliances—estimated at $16 billion* per year—breaches are increasing in scale, frequency, and sophistication. In a nutshell, network security appliances are failing. If your existing security solution is so complex, expensive, and ineffective, how can you justify staying with the status quo?

The answer is: you can’t. It’s time to look beyond the network and rethink network security. Users are no longer on the network, but they still need to get comprehensive and consistent security no matter where they connect, especially since poor security awareness and habits are hard to change. Plus, your IT teams shouldn’t have to compromise between what they can inspect and what they can afford.

As you move your applications and infrastructure to the cloud to take advantage of its lower costs, scalability, and agility, how can your security make the transition?   

There’s an easier, more cost-effective way. You can achieve cloud-ready security through a cloud-delivered set-and-forget architecture that’s ubiquitous, with always-on security and access controls (no more bypassing), and transparent updates (no more delays due to change windows). Here’s what your solution should deliver:

  • Software-defined policies, not networks, that securely connect users to applications
  • Fast, secure, direct-to-internet connections
  • Centralized controls and visibility into threats and user activity across the entire cloud
  • Around-the-clock security updates for prevention against new and evolving threats
  • Consistent policies that follow users, no matter what devices they’re using or where they’re connecting—headquarters, remote offices, cafés, or airports

If you’re ready for simplified, streamlined security that’s better than traditional network security by a long shot, just point your router to the nearest Zscaler cloud—all starting for about the price of a cup of coffee per user per month.

Learn more by viewing our video, “Zscaler Internet Access in Action" on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaKe_ipcrKY&t=9s

As you look to transform to a mobile and cloud-first organization, consider joining us at Zenith Live, the Zscaler Cloud Summit, June 25–27, in Las Vegas. Attend hands-on sessions and informative breakouts, and hear from leaders in the drive to the cloud-enabled digital future. Learn more and register at:  https://zenithlive.zscaler.com/

 

* Based on IDC estimates, including Worldwide Network Security Forecast 2016-2020 (September 2017), Worldwide IT Security Products Forecast, 2017 - 2020 (March 2017), and WW Data Loss Prevention Forecast 2016-2020 (March 2016).




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