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Physical, virtual, cloud – Extending protection across them all

Organisations are increasingly adopting mission critical applications deployed on private, hosted or public cloud environments.

As consumerisation of IT takes hold of almost all industries, organisations find it more and more difficult to deny their business users a wider variety of mobile smart devices to use, and new ways of working outside of the corporate network perimeter.

Also, the organisation finds itself becoming increasingly distributed, as employees untether themselves from their desks and their offices and want to work while on-the-go, or from their homes.

This drastically increases attack surfaces for cyberhackers to compromise.

Sanjay Ramnath

Sanjay Ramnath

According to Sanjay Ramnath, Barracuda Networks’ Senior Director of Product Management, organisations are facing targeted, sophisticated attacks across an increasingly complex IT environment. The attack surface is also expanding as a result of more unsecured personal-owned devices entering IT environments, office devices being used for more than just work, or a combination of the two.

He said, “Our customers are dealing with multi-vector attacks that may start with a phishing attack to steal user credentials, then a backdoor exploit, then a vulnerability exploit on a Web application and so on.”

“They need to proactively identify all threat vectors from the get-go, then lock down all these vectors, and also ensure all their solutions work together.

“This ties back to what we are doing with the Barracuda Total Threat Protection (TTP) framework,” Sanjay explained.

Barracuda’s Total Threat Protection framework secures the six main internet threat vectors. These threat vectors are: the network perimeter, Web users, Web applications, email, remote access and mobile Internet. It combines scalable, best-of-breed solutions that share common management interfaces allowing for central administration.

Distributed attack vectors, one point of control

Traditional approaches towards security, have focused on either point solutions for different threat vectors, or trying to integrate multiple solutions into one hardware appliance. This has raised issues like disconnected workflows, issues from management and resources perspective as well as performance and features gaps.

Barracuda Total Threat Protection is an integrated framework for resource-constrained organisations that provides a simple way to proactively think about security infrastructure.

According to Sanjay, “Barracuda’s Total Threat Protection aims to provide powerful, integrated security protection across multiple threat vectors at an affordable cost, simplifying security for resource constrained organisations.”

“Our solutions secure all internet threat vectors with comprehensive protection against advanced threats. The solutions can span on-premises, private and public cloud deployments,” he added.

Barracuda next generation firewalls (NGFW) provide application regulation, visibility and user awareness to help organisations manage on-premises and cloud-based network infrastructures.

Barracuda’s Web security and Email Security solutions can be deployed as hardware appliances, virtual appliances or as a service hosted by Barracuda. The email security solutions can also be deployed on public cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Its Web Application Firewall (WAF) solutions are installed as hardware or virtual appliances and deployed on public clouds. Mobile devices can be managed through Barracuda’s mobile Device Manager (MDM) solution which is cloud-based along with lightweight agents for devices, that can transparently redirect traffic through their cloud-based Web security solutions.

How does Barracuda get all these products in dispersed locations and with different functions, to work together?

They all complement each other and form a holistic ecosystem when brought together by what Sanjay described as central management. Barracuda Cloud Control is a cloud-based management portal that provides aggregated management and visibility for Barracuda solutions across any number of sites.

In addition, the Barracuda NG Firewall (NGFW) can be managed by the Barracuda NG Control Center that provides centralised control for highly distributed enterprise environments.

The centralised management combined with consistent user interfaces streamlines configuration, management and monitoring to reduce operational overhead on IT. What Barracuda also offers is all-inclusive pricing and support that comes from one single phone number and someone who is in same time zone as customers in this region.

Extending protection

Current technology trends like virtualisation, cloud computing and mobility are changing the way businesses consume their IT services. Sanjay observed, “Customers often deploy services in a hybrid fashion – some are on-premises, some are in a virtual form factor, and yet some other components may be moving to public cloud platforms.”

This in turn impacts how businesses are securing them, and Barracuda strongly believes that independent of where a business chooses to implement their infrastructure or servers; on-premises, virtually or on public cloud; the business should be able to implement security to go with that, as well as be able to scale and migrate along with applications.

Another crucial trend that is taking important business data outside beyond the corporate network, is mobility.

“This is another attack vector that your security solutions have to extend to. Your security infrastructure has to extend beyond your network perimeter. It’s something you have to proactively think about,” Sanjay said, adding that Barracuda comes in when infrastructure is involved.

“If you have a phone and you want to access corporate data on your phone, the Barracuda Mobile Device Manager can ensure the device has the right policies – passwords, apps, permissions and so on – that conforms to the company’s security posture.”

Sanjay also explained that Barracuda’s hosted Web security solutions can ensure that users are protected by security policies even when they are outside the network boundaries. Similarly, Barracuda’s hosted email security solutions can extend protection to hosted email infrastructures like Office 365.

Virtualisation and cloud technologies are changing the way that computing is done, and Barracuda has observed that the public cloud is introducing a paradigm shift in the way that customers deploy and consume applications.

“Our security, application delivery and data protection solutions are designed to help customers adopt the cloud and use it in a safe, efficient and reliable way,”.Sanjay concluded.


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