Why Partners Should Embrace Security-Driven Networking

By Jon Bove | May 25, 2021

Organizations and their employees increasingly require instant access to network resources, regardless of whether they are working remotely or in an office setting. As a result, traditional network perimeters are expanding and will continue to do so with the influx of new technologies and established telework operations

With cloud adoption playing a critical role in enhancing network access, it has become clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building and implementing consumption models. Further, legacy systems are no longer able to keep up with changing network demands and configurations, meaning security must be adapted. The answer to these evolving security requirements? Security-driven networking. Security-driven networking integrates an organization’s network elements and security architecture, allowing them to expand their IT capabilities without compromising security. The convergence of security and networking presents an opportunity for partners both in terms of their internal infrastructure and what they offer customers.

Security-Driven Neworking: No One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Cloud consumption patterns are changing due to the increased availability and viability of 5G networks, remote work environments, and smart systems resulting from digital innovation. This has created networks with multiple edges, all of which must be secured.

When innovating, organizations can face various challenges, including the rapid expansion of their attack surface, changing network configurations, and tracking data across clouds. In an environment where security must be delivered to anyone in any place, legacy solutions struggle to meet the demands of modern businesses. For partners, there is an opportunity to provide the levels of protection and support customers and their employees now require. 

Organizations need access to security solutions that are suited to their unique network environments and business requirements. As the convergence of network infrastructures and security plays a greater role in business success, taking a “security-driven networking” approach is crucial. This strategy integrates an organization’s network and security architecture, allowing security to function as the key driver in business operations. By adopting a security-driven approach to networking, businesses can embrace digital innovation without exposing critical assets to risks.

The Partner Opportunity Around Security-Driven Networking 

Security-driven networking enables partners to offer customers greater levels of protection while growing their own businesses. Helping customers establish a security-driven networking strategy also gives partners a way to demonstrate value by providing guidance when addressing hybrid IT challenges. There are several reasons to adopt and recommend a converged security and networking approach that prioritizes a hybrid infrastructure, flexibility, and performance.

Companies today rely on the cloud and data centers to conduct business, giving rise to hybrid IT environments. Even if a customer is cloud-focused, they still have endpoints that must be protected, especially with the wide-scale adoption of remote work. To address these changes, partners must shape their product and service offerings around this type of convergence.

Flexibility is a key component to security-driven networking. With flexible infrastructures, organizations can quickly adapt to shifts in the IT landscape, allowing them to provide cutting edge services and stay ahead of the competition. And because customers expect quick and effective solutions, security must match the speed of the network. Security-driven networking gives customers the performance they need without sacrificing security.

Security-Driven Networking Final Thoughts 

Modern networks are becoming more complex both in terms of edges and cloud capabilities. Cyber criminals know this and have taken advantage of shifting network ecosystems to find and exploit vulnerabilities. As hybrid IT becomes a reality for more businesses, traditional security solutions are incapable of protecting critical assets. The convergence of security and networking offers significant opportunities for partners, enabling them to meet their customers’ demands for performance and protection.

This is a summary of an article written for Channel Futures by Jon Bove, VP of Channel Sales at Fortinet. The entire article can be accessed here

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