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We’re far from the world’s troubles, helping Australians gain a reputation as relaxed and easy-going. But could that mindset make us an easy target for cyber-criminals.

In previous generations, security for most homes and businesses meant locking the doors at night. Even when computer networks arrived in the workplace, there was comfort in knowing that two or three boxes, including a traditional firewall, were all that was needed to stay safe. An upgrade every five years or so was hardly demanding.

Then the world changed. Increased processing power, developments in storage, access to faster internet and the rise of cloud mean that IT is no longer neatly contained by physical environments. Criminals can attempt to enter your home or business in an instant, from anywhere in the world. Many Australian businesses are inadvertently laying out a welcome mat.

Our legislation may not be helping. Unlike many leading jurisdictions, we have no mandatory disclosure of security breaches. Think about that for a moment. If our personal or business information is compromised, there is no requirement for us to be informed. Without disclosure, there is less collaboration by businesses to bolster defences. And Australia, still happily in our ‘lucky country’ bubble, feels immune. The innocence makes us a softer target.

In this new era, where your business and employees benefit from mobile work practices, legitimate access can happen from anywhere. This doesn’t have to mean opening the floodgates to every cyber-criminal, but it does mean that security is long overdue a rethink. Simply battening down the hatches and blocking the outside world is no longer a realistic option. Smarter security has become as much about your networking technology as your firewall.

Given that today’s datacentres are largely virtualised, often spread over several sites as well as cloud environments, there are new demands placed on your network. The resulting complexity and risk requires a new kind of networking technology, designed to be both simple and smart. Enter intelligent networking.

The charge to smarter networks has been led by Juniper, whose MetaFabric™ architecture employs automation far beyond the capabilities of previous generations. This means that new applications and services can be rolled out a lot quicker. It also means you can tell in detail what is happening in your network, and be alerted to potential risks – sometimes before they happen.

Not that firewalls aren’t important, just that they have to work in conjunction with intelligent networks to secure a very different environment to those of a few years ago. Realistically, with multiple new risks emerging daily, it cannot be a matter of relaxing knowing you have a good firewall, or even that you have been conscientious about running updates (although these are both important).

Rather, harnessing the intelligence and automation available in modern networking technology, you ensure risks and intrusions are identified and dealt with before harm can become significant. Your network becomes your eyes and ears.In spite of the technology being available, there is a cultural shift needed if Australia is to lose its ‘soft target’ status. In a recent series of meetings with nineteen organisations, all had been breached in some form. It is time to end the naivety and look for an intelligent networking alternative.

For more about Thought Leadership and Intelligent Networks, read more here or call for a chat with the Comlinx team.


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