Managed security is attractive to many companies that don’t have full time IT staff or don’t want to get into the acquisition and maintenance of their own security appliances. Instead, they buy this service by the month with the provider installing a security device on the premises. Security in the cloud is a bit different. Not only do you not have to make the capital investment in security hardware or maintain it, but the hardware is invisible to you as well.
Integra Telecom is uniquely positioned to provide this type of cloud security because they are both a facilities based telecom carrier as well as a cloud services provider. Most providers are in one business or the other. The advantage of this dual role becomes apparent when you see just how the security is being accomplished. Integra builds a firewall between the public Internet and your network. What’s different is that they do this off in the cloud, not at the edge of your LAN. A major advantage is that you can also include your VPN or VPNs and MPLS network connections between business locations behind that firewall.
The actual security component is a Palo Alto Networks Enterprise Firewall. Their solution is a rack mounted appliance that supports firewall throughput up to 10 Gbps with up to 4,000,000 sessions and 20,000 SSL VPN users. You could buy one of these and install it in your own data center, but you can gain the benefit without the management headaches by letting Integra do this for you in their cloud.
Integra’s Cloud Firewall Service goes beyond mere port blocking for network protection. Their solution is application aware so it can block unauthorized traffic based on policies for a particular application. Application visibility, control and reporting is part of the standard level of service designed for smaller organizations. The mid-level “plus” service adds intrusion detection and protection, URL filtering, policy customization, report customization, and an optional VPN client for remote users. The premium level of Cloud Firewall Service adds network anti-virus and anti-spyware protection along with file and data content filtering.
Like many cloud services, this firewall service offers the opportunity to increase the protection of your network while reducing the total cost of ownership. Is it any wonder that the cloud is moving in to envelop just about every business? There are also advantages for smaller companies to assure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements without having to staff up a separate security department.
When considering managed security, it is well worth your while to take a systems approach that treats network security as tightly integrated with public and private network connections. Integra is well versed and equipped to provide connectivity as simple as dedicated Internet access and complex as private multi-site converged voice, video and data networks.
Could your business benefit from managed network security in the cloud? Why not get competitive pricing and options for cloud services that make sense for the requirements of your particular organization? Then see if doing it yourself still makes more sense.