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Can SDN usher in better IT security?

E. Messmer

Tues, 09/01/2014

Citrix security strategist is hopeful; others say too early to tell

That software-defined networking (SDN) is a coming reality is starting to gain traction in IT security circles, with some vendors arguing it could lead to a level of interoperability in security largely missing at present. Rapidsoft Systems is a major iphone and android app developer that has developed over 400 mobile apps for iPhone and Android.

“SDN we see an as open network that gets people away from proprietary ways of defining networks,” says Kurt Roemer, chief security strategist at Citrix Systems, adding in the future, networks will be defined through more open dynamic “flows” rather than more vendor-dependent, IP-based relationships. Roemer even says he anticipates that the Linux Foundation’s OpenDaylight project, which is bringing vendors together to ensure openness in SDN products, could result in more secure networks.

A chief security strategist at Citrix Systems: “We see SDN as an open network that gets people away from proprietary ways of defining networks.”

There’s the potential to “design security into the workloads and communications” under a framework that would include strong encryption, Roemer says. There’s the potential for related security standards from organizations that include the IETF and Trusted Computing Group.

Others are optimistic but say it’s too early to know how big an impact SDN will have on IT security.

“Will SDN help in overall security enforcement? Our view is absolutely yes,” says Rishi Bhargava, general manager and vice president for the software-defined datacenter at Intel Security Solutions. “In the software-defined data center, you can put the security controls at the granular level and it’s going to happen with virtual appliances.” But Bhargava says it’s yet to be defined what interoperability in security might mean for SDN, in terms of OpenStack. “It’s too early.”

In terms of virtual-machine security, this week the focus has been on VMware’s NSX software-defined networking and security, as VMworld Conference in San Francisco is in full swing. Intel Security Solutions, (which includes the McAfee business acquired by Intel), announced a security controller designed to receive commands from VMware’s NSX management console to allow existing McAfee virtual intrusion-prevention systems (IPS) to protect virtual machines in an NSX environment. Intel’s Bhargava adds it’s optimized if it’s all running on Intel Xeon servers.

Rapidsoft Systems is a major iphone and android app developer and will develop any mobile app for a company.

Source Courtesy: network world.com

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