Story image

Fortinet: The case for internal firewalls

18 Feb 16

Traditionally, cyber attacks on corporate networks have come from outside. With the growing usage of mobile devices and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), however, the danger now also comes from within. It is not enough to protect against external intruders. Today’s enterprises – especially multi-tenant datacentres – need to ensure that data and applications are immune to attacks from inside the network.

“Hackers are actively targeting networks at their weakest point,” says Andrew Khan, Fortinet Senior Business Manager at Ingram Micro, New Zealand’s largest distributor of Fortinet’s high-performance cybersecurity solutions. “Such points can include an unsecured employee mobile phone or a workstation with limited access to corporate data. These weak points typically reside in low value segments of the corporate network. Once the hacker breaks in and gets a toehold, however, they can often navigate to other, more valuable, parts of the network quite easily.”

Traditionally, organisations deploy firewalls at the network perimeter for protection. “Edge firewalls label all external (ie internet) traffic as untrusted and intra-network traffic as trusted,” continues Khan. “They handle the traffic in two distinct ways. Unfortunately the line delineating trusted and untrusted traffic has blurred. Merely deploying firewalls at the edge of the network is no longer adequate − organisations need to secure the traffic flow inside the network itself.”

Zero trust required
Organisations are increasingly adopting a zero trust security model to secure each network segment and inspect and log all traffic. This can be best achieved by an internal segmentation firewall (ISFW) to apply individual policies to each segment and generate logs for all traffic, internal or external.

ISFW comprises two kinds of technologies − policy-based segmentation that identifies a user's parameters and enforces the policy controlling their access to enterprises resources; and firewall segmentation to enable traffic analysis, logging and policy management for each segment.

An ISFW does not replace the edge firewall. Instead, it provides multiple touch points within a network to provide security between existing network boundaries. It also improves visibility by empowering IT management see all layers of the network via a single pane of glass.

Removing the performance and cost barriers
Traditional objections to securing each network segment have been performance and price. Intra-network traffic can dwarf external traffic volumes, so not many firewalls have the capability to handle the workloads without significant latency. And those that can, when deployed in large numbers to cover each individual network segment, can blow out your security budget.

No longer. “Advanced ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) chips are now fast enough to handle internal firewalling and are extremely cost-effective,” concludes Khan. “ISFWs are pushing the network security industry into a safer and more secure era. Datacentres that want to take their operations − and their business − one step ahead of the competition should take advantage of them.”

For further information, please contact:
Hugo Hutchinson, Business Development Manager at Ingram Micro
hugo.hutchinson@ingrammicro.com
P: 09-414-0261 | M: 021-245-8276

China to usurp Europe in becoming AI research world leader
A new study has found China is outpacing Europe and the US in terms of AI research output and growth.
Fujitsu’s WA data centre undergoing efficiency upgrade
Fujitsu's Malaga data centre in Perth has hit a four-star rating from National Australia Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).
Google says ‘circular economy’ needed for data centres
Google's Sustainability Officer believes major changes are critical in data centres to emulate the cyclical life of nature.
How to keep network infrastructure secure and available
Two OVH executives have weighed in on how network infrastructure and the challenges in that space will be evolving in the coming year.
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
How Fujitsu aims to tackle digitalisation and the data that comes with it
Fujitsu CELSIUS workstations aim to be the ideal platform for accelerating innovation and data-rich design.
QNAP launches a new hybrid structure NAS
"By combining AMD Ryzen processors with a hybrid storage structure and 10GbE SFP+ connectivity, the system packs performance into a compact 1U frame."
Ramping up security with next-gen firewalls
The classic firewall lacked the ability to distinguish between different kinds of web traffic.