The Era Of Self-defending Networks

New Delhi | Updated: Apr 28 2004, 05:30am hrs
Security threats are growing in frequency and complexity and their ability to spread in a matter of minutes - thanks to interconnected networks - has also increased the extent of the damage severely.

In this scenario, an enterprises security solution alone is not enough. Today enterprise networks should be equipped to automatically identify and tackle threats keeping in mind the short time it takes the worm to spread through the network and into other networks. Experts say that the self defending networks approach is what enterprises and service providers will have to undertake globally.

As Indian enterprises connect with global networks it is important for them to protect themselves against such security threats. A Frost & Sullivan study shows India is the 2nd fastest growing network security market.

According to key findings from the Frost & Sullivan 2004 Network Security Market Report:

* India is the second fastest growing market in the Asia Pacific Region. The market was $29.9 million in 2003 and is expected to be $1.42 billion by 2010 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25 per cent.

* Banks and financial institutions followed by the service provider and software export companies were the three largest verticals in terms of adoption.

* Large enterprises are the major contributors. However, revenues from the small and medium business (SMB) segment is expected to grow at a higher CAGR of around 35.1 per cent.

Strong economy, increased IT spending, Internet penetration and growing awareness of security threats have led to an increase in the spending on network security solutions among Indian enterprises, Frost & Sullivan report said.

In todays environment, where Internet worms are growing in intensity and spread across the world in a matter of minutes, enterprises need a comprehensive network security strategy to protect their networks.

US networking major Cisco Systems has sensed the need. The company has recently announced its Self Defending Network security strategy for the enterprise and service provider network security market in India.

Ciscos Self-Defending Network security solution addresses the complex security threats faced by todays global enterprises and is designed to improve the ability of the enterprise networks to autonomously identify, prevent and adapt to a range of security threats.

These self-defending networks will identify threats, react appropriately based on risk level, isolate infected endpoints, and reconfigure the network resources in response to an attack. The entire approach is built around the idea that human intervention is no longer sufficient to stem attacks that IT systems are subjected to - so networks must be enabled to deal with threats on their own.

Cisco identified network security as a billion dollar market opportunity globally and has made significant investments in it. Today, it offers a security solution that enables enterprises to have a self defending networks approach to security, said Cisco Systems vice-president for India Naresh Wadhwa.

As Indian enterprises use the flexibility and cost effectiveness of the Internet to extend their networks to branch offices, telecommuters, customers and partners, security becomes paramount for business success.

Cisco Self Defending Network security approach addresses this need by offering an end to end security solution right from the desktop level to the network level including secure access, he added.

Its Secure Connectivity solution includes solutions for site to site virtual private networks (VPNs), remote access VPNs, voice security, wireless security and solution management and monitoring. Ciscos Threat Defense system solution includes solutions for endpoint security, integrated firewall, network intrusion protection, content security, intelligent networking and security services embedded in routers and switches.

Ciscos Trust and Identity Management solution includes solutions for identity management, integrated-based networking services and network admission control (NAC). The Cisco NAC program is developed in conjunction with leading anti-virus software vendors including Network Associates, Symantec, and Trend Micro.