Interop
Commentary
11/21/2013
12:00 AM
Natalie Timms
Natalie Timms
Commentary
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Securing The Software-Defined Network

SDNs offer the ability to centralize and automate network security functions, but only if security requirements are implemented correctly from the ground up. Learn how to secure the many components of the SDN.

With the emergence of software-defined networks (SDNs), security must become a core component of the network. Network security can no longer be an afterthought, or added with the assumption that it will "just work" on top of an existing network. With SDN, security services are pre-planned and become the foundation for connectivity. The benefits are centralized policy management, automated provisioning, and real-time mitigation. Sounds good, right?

The problem is the security perks you get from SDN are only as good as what you build into the system from the start. If any element or interaction in the SDN model can be compromised, the integrity of the whole network can be affected.

Integrating Security And SDN

Regardless of the architectural model or the controller-agent communication protocol you choose, SDNs provide perimeter security to an organization. Yes, networks still have a perimeter in terms of today's threat landscape. The perimeter, however, is no longer a single boundary or device dividing outside from inside.

The whole concept of the Internet of everything, where any IP-based device connected to a network may pose a threat, requires each network element or function within an organization be secured in its own right. SDNs address this issue, because agents and controllers can be provisioned to provide perimeters to individual devices or services.

Read the rest of this article at Network Computing.

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