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Category Archives: Security

The Future State of Security Starts with Virtualization: VMware at the 2016 RSA Conference

It’s no secret that by transforming networking into a software industry, network virtualization has accelerated innovation. But what does virtualization mean for security more broadly? Can virtualization be a key weapon in the arsenal for improving IT security? If so, how?

Tom Corn, & Guido Appenzeller, VMware Inc.

Tom Corn, & Guido Appenzeller, VMware Inc.

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Advanced VMware NSX Security Services with Check Point vSEC

VMware NSX provides an integrated Distributed Firewall (DFW), which offers L2-L4 security at the vNIC level and protects East-West traffic, and an Edge Firewall provided by the Edge Services Gateway (ESG), which offers L2-L4 security at the edge and protects North-South traffic in and out of the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). Continue reading

VMware NSX and Split and Smear Micro-Segmentation

While external perimeter protection requirements will most likely command hardware acceleration and support for the foreseeable future, the distributed nature of the services inside the data center calls for a totally different set of specifications.

Some vendors have recently claimed they can achieve micro-segmentation at data center scale while maintaining a hardware architecture. As I described in my recent article in Network Computing, this is unlikely because you have to factor in speed and capacity. Continue reading

Why It’s Time to Build a Zero Trust Network

Network security, for a long time, has worked off of the old Russian maxim, “trust but verify.” Trust a user, but verify it’s them. However, today’s network landscape — where the Internet of Things, the Cloud, and more are introducing new vulnerabilities — makes the “verify” part of “trust but verify” difficult and inefficient. We need a simpler security model. That model: Zero Trust. Continue reading

VMware NSX Secures Armor’s Customers with Micro-Segmentation

VMware NSX equips Armor with the ability to orchestrate each customer in a cloud-like Armor-Jeffenvironment while giving them a threat-tight security wrapper via micro-segmentation from day one. Continue reading

Security for the New Battlefield

What will be our security challenge in the coming decade? Running trusted services even on untrusted infrastructure. That means protecting the confidentiality and integrity of data as it moves through the network. One possible solution – distributed network encryption – a new approach made possible by network virtualization and the software-defined data center that addresses some of the current challenges of widespread encryption usage inside the data center. Continue reading

The Next Horizon for Cloud Networking & Security

VMware NSX has been around for more than two years now, and in that time software-defined networking and network virtualization have become VMware Networking Expert Guido Appenzellerinextricably integrated into modern data center architecture. It seems like an inconceivable amount of progress has been made. But the reality is that we’re only at the beginning of this journey.

The transformation of networking from a hardware industry into a software industry is having a profound impact on services, security, and IT organizations around the world, according to VMware’s Chief Technology Strategy Officer for Networking, Guido Appenzeller.

“I’ve never seen growth like what we’ve found with NSX,” he says. “Networking is going through a huge transition.” Continue reading

Distributed Firewall ALG

In the last post, VMware NSX™ Distributed Firewall installation and operation was verified. In this entry, the FTP (file transfer protocol) ALG (Application Level Gateway) is tested for associating data connections with originating control connections – something a stateless ACL (access control list) can’t do.

An added benefit over stateless ACLs – most compliance standards more easily recognize a stateful inspection-based firewall for access control requirements. Continue reading

Getting Started with VMware NSX Distributed Firewall – Part 2

In Part 1, I covered traditional segmentation options. Here, I introduce VMware NSX Distributed Firewall for micro-segmentation, showing step-by-step how it can be deployed in an existing vSphere environment.

Now, I have always wanted a distributed firewall. Never understood why I had to allow any more access to my servers than was absolutely necessary. Why have we accepted just network segmentation for so long? I want to narrow down allowed ports and protocols as close to the source/destination as I can.

Which brings me to my new favorite tool – VMware NSX Distributed Firewall. Continue reading

Getting Started with VMware NSX Distributed Firewall – Part 1

Who saw it coming that segmentation would be a popular term in 2015?!? Gartner analyst StartGreg Young was almost apologetic when he kicked off the Network Segmentation Best Practices session at the last Gartner Security Summit.

As a professional with a long history in the enterprise firewall space, I know I found it odd at first. Segmentation is such a basic concept, dovetailing with how we secure networks – historically on network boundaries. Network segmentation is the basis for how we write traditional firewall rules – somehow get the traffic TO the firewall, and policy can be executed. How much more can we say about network segmentation? Continue reading