Cyber-security has always been one of the fastest-moving areas of IT, and the rate of change has accelerated this year. Perimeter defences are old hat in a world where nobody is in the office: a new approach is necessary.
Such is the thinking of Paul Martini, CEO, CTO and chief architect of Cloud Excellence Awards finalist iboss. He explains:
"The traditional method of securing users and devices has been with on-prem security appliances, including firewalls and web proxies. However, the castle and moat strategy of creating a fortress to protect a network perimeter has been completely disrupted due to the shift to remote working from home, cloud application use and exponential bandwidth increase."
The iboss platform eliminates the need to route connections through the office, by enabling organisations to process security for those connections in the cloud. Martini says, "This instantly converts slow connections, which result in a poor end-user experience and low productivity, to ultrafast direct-to-cloud connectivity."
Containers are a popular and relatively new approach to IT architecture, but one that iboss - shortlisted in Cloud Security Product of the Year (Large Enterprises) as well as Most Innovative Cloud Product or Service - leverages across its platform. While alternative Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) platforms might process network traffic from multiple organisations in the same gateways, iboss keeps everything separate.
"With a containerised service like iboss, the network connections from devices and users are processed within isolated containerised gateways performing proxy and firewall functions. The containerised gateways never process data for any other organisation, and data is never mixed with that of any other customer."
Over the last year iboss has gone even further, with a new product called ZTNA (Zero-Trust Network Access) that "inverts the VPN model completely." Rather than granting the user access to a private network, the ZTNA service provides direct access to the application itself. With the massive rise in remote working, this architecture has proven prescient, as VPNs can often get overloaded with spikes in traffic. ZTNA creates new connections directly to resources and leverages containerisation to scale infinitely, by distributing the load across multiple IPSec tunnels.
ZTNA is just one of iboss' recent achievements. Martini, who is waiting for the results of the Cloud Excellence Awards on the 12th November, says:
"This year we are continuing our advancements around secure connectivity to the cloud, with a focus on delivering the most comprehensive platform to allow organisations to more easily implement SASE architectures. A SASE architecture simplifies deployments, improves efficiency and raises security, which is ideal in a world where technology and how we work are rapidly changing."
He adds, "In a world where technology rapidly changes - and now, post-COVID, the way we work has also changed - the IT community is constantly searching for new and better ways to address these new challenges. The Cloud Excellence Awards are important to the IT industry because they help to educate the community around new and improved technologies they may not already be aware of."