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Access management rules for mixed networks

Apani : 14 August, 2008  (New Product)
Management of firewalls simplified in mixed network environments by software based access management tool from Apani
For security administrators at large corporations, the growing management complexity of internal firewalls and virtual LANs (VLANs) presents significant security challenges. The large number of internal network firewalls dispersed across multiple physical locations makes it challenging to adequately secure these systems. Additionally, the growing adoption of server virtualization introduces a trade-off between fully realizing its benefits and deploying strong security. Consequently, key issues of security arise: How does one reduce the complexities of firewall and VLAN management in a dynamic data centre? Is there a simple way to secure virtual environments?

Apani has identified an alternative approach to securing virtual and physical assets without the use of firewalls and VLANs. Apani champions a new and more effective software solution, designed to eliminate burdensome firewall rule changes.

'We believe that utilisation of a software-based access management solution can be used to properly secure all physical and virtual machines without having to reconfigure the physical network for security,' noted Ryan Malone, Apani's vice president of marketing and business development. 'Designed to secure both physical and virtual environments through a single management window, such a solution helps security administrators rapidly implement policies. Software-based access management is helping organisations protect their critical business assets and enabling them to focus key staff on strategic projects.'

With today's large, complex maze of internal firewalls that must communicate with each other, security management is a very difficult operation. As more firewalls or systems are added, the chances increase that an erroneous rule change will cause an application or access outage. This can result in reduced employee productivity and a big headache for IT personnel.

'If you layer thousands of security rules and access control lists over hundreds of internal firewalls and VLANs, it's easy to imagine the maintenance challenges organisations face,' said Malone. 'And if you add the fact that firewalls and VLANs are static in nature, and one of the premises of server Virtualisation is migration, the management challenges are compounded.'

Complicating this issue is the emergence of virtual environments. Apani believes that the security challenges posed by virtual environments will continue to grow. Communication between virtual machines (VMs) is often undetected by firewalls, producing significant security vulnerabilities. According to recent Gartner statistics, by 2011, 80 percent of servers in large enterprises will be equipped with virtualised security partitions. This means that adequately securing virtual environments and protecting inter-VM communications will be a major challenge for IT and network administrators.

Designed to eliminate the burdensome firewall rule changes and properly secure virtualised environments, software-based access management helps security administrators to implement dynamic and highly secure policies across the enterprise. Software-based access management provides many important benefits including:.

* Logically segment networks, eliminating the need to reconfigure physical networks for security or access management;
* Reduce the burden associated with rule and access control list changes;
* Manage all policy from a central management window;
* Maintain security policy during hot and cold migration to virtual machines;
* Authenticate and optionally encrypt communications between physical and virtual machines.

Apani's EpiForce VM, the industry's single solution that protects both physical and virtual environments is designed to isolate servers, virtual machines, endpoints and business-critical data within the corporate network. This comprehensive software-based access management solution secures physical hardware as well as virtual machines.

EpiForce VM is based upon the company's flagship product, EpiForce, a software-based alternative to using firewalls and VLANs inside the corporate network. EpiForce enables two powerful disciplines - logical security zoning and policy-based encryption of data in motion. A distributed, centrally-managed solution that is transparent to infrastructure, applications and users - EpiForce makes it quicker to deploy and less costly to manage than any hardware-centric solution.

"It is imperative that IT administrators look for a software-based access management solution that enables centralised management of security policies," Malone noted. "The end result should be a simplification of security administration with a superior solution that supports both physical and virtual environments."
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