This summer and fall, our team has written a great deal on how Juniper Networks' intent-based networking (IBN) technology is helping companies automate the configuration, deployment, and management of enterprise data center components. We’ve identified how IBN validates the operational state of the network to ensure that it matches its slated intentions. That’s important because in the end, your technology investments are only effective if they further the business objectives of the organization. IBN prevents your technology directives from going adrift.
But what about security? Security must always be part of any discussion involving new technology solutions due to the prevalence of cyberattacks that originate from an ever-expanding threat landscape. The increasing risk factors that companies face today are forcing them to adapt zero-trust security strategies to reduce their threat exposure. Juniper Apstra not only complies with a zero-trust security mandate, but it also helps enforce it.
Let’s roll the imaginary film and picture a typical bank robbery or museum heist in which the burglars case the building to study the patterned behavior of security guards and other personnel. People are the weak links in any security situation. It is why cybercriminals rely so heavily on phishing attacks to deliver their malicious code and malware payloads. One way to reduce your attack surface and attain greater security is by automating as many manual processes as possible.
This automation should start with device configuration as manual configuration opens the door to fat fingering or leaving checkboxes neglected by mistake. Juniper Asptra will create your configurations automatically, validate those configurations, and then deploy properly so you know they are done correctly the first time. This is also good for large, scaled implementations.
Next comes the policies that govern your traffic flows. IBN converts business language into applicable network rules so that the emphasis is placed on business objectives rather than network protocols. You can also pre-stage your security policies, allowing your team to visualize their impact and take appropriate recourse, if necessary.
You can’t protect what you can’t see. Juniper Apstra gives you a holistic view of your data center environment that allows you to not only see what is in your data center, but to also visually understand how all the pieces relate to one another. Juniper Apstra’s monitoring orchestrator can keep your IT teams informed of suspicious events such as the creation of new agents, processes, or connections. When such events are identified, the IBN system will immediately issue alerts to your team and roll back the changes automatically if desired.
Threat actors don’t implement their primary attack immediately upon their entry into a network. Instead, they spend an appropriate amount of time conducting reconnaissance to identify high-value targets and learn what security tools and measures you have in place to protect them. These invaders will often implement one or more preliminary attacks on your backup systems and security systems to take them out of commission, thus improving the odds of their primary attack. Juniper Apstra can monitor all the components in your security arsenal to ensure that they remain up and operational to protect your environment. Now your security systems can’t be meddled with without your knowledge.
While zero-trust security is the goal, chances are, some type of threat will inevitably penetrate your IT estate. That’s why resiliency is a primary objective. Network segmentation helps ensure resiliency by keeping ransomware, trojans and other types of malicious code at bay. Intent-based segmentation interprets business and security requirements and converts them into segmentation policies that spans your entire distributed network. It can isolate applications and other privileged areas from standards users and workloads. This will curb the spread of a malware attack, giving your IT security teams ample time to thwart the invasion. Juniper Apstra delivers network segmentation at scale and continually validates these segmentation policies to adjust them in real time, if necessary.
Confirmed Traffic Patterns
In an IBN, everything is driven by intent, and that includes your network traffic flows. Juniper Apstra gives you the visibility to see the actual traffic flows of your network. Know where traffic is originating and where it is going regardless of its encryption status. You can’t spot anomalies if you cannot identify what your typical traffic flows look like.
More Time for Innovation
By automating your configuration, deployment and monitoring tasks, your IT staff has more time to spend on cybersecurity initiatives such as disaster recovery efforts, incident response plans, and what-if scenarios. Juniper Apstra allows your IT staff to swap out the mundane manual tasks that they don’t like anyway for value added projects that there was never time to do before.
Intent-based networking translates into intent-based security. Through automation, enhanced visibility, alert management and policy-based segmentation, Juniper Apstra can help deliver the zero-trust security that security minded organizations are vying for today. Find out how Juniper Apstra not only delivers on greater productivity and efficiencies within the data center, but security as well.
Next Steps: Download our FREE whitepaper to learn how Juniper Apstra relieves the pain points mentioned above, staying the course with your network, and how to achieve cost savings across your network’s lifecycle.