Cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a focus area for enterprises across sectors as the threat landscape continues to evolve and expand. In that backdrop, Juniper Networks has come out with a host of security and connectivity solutions for enterprises, which seek to provide end to end visibility of the entire network, thereby offering a more holistic security approach. Rohit Sawhney, Systems Engineering Manager, India, Juniper Networks, talks about key trends shaping the cybersecurity space, focus areas of the company and growth plans… 

What is Juniper’s key focus areas in the Indian telecom domain? How has been the journey so far?

Today, industries across sectors are preparing for the roll-out of the fifth generation of networking technology. 5G is expected to improve business application performance while enabling new user experiences and services in areas such as augmented, virtual reality, and mixed reality applications (AR, VR, and MR), videoconferencing, industrial automation, self-driving cars, and connected medical devices. And while the new era of 5G will go beyond the improved network performance and speed to deliver innovative and enhanced connected experience to the users, we at Juniper Networks believe 5G alone is not enough to drive service provider business transformation.

To truly leverage the opportunities offered by 5G, service providers must look beyond a single technology and consider cloud, 5G, and AI, collectively. And all these technologies together, is our focus area for the India market. Moreover, with the increasing demand for Open RAN, we are helping our customers build a robust and agile Open RAN infrastructure. Recently, we also announced our collaboration with Intel to accelerate advancement in the Open RAN (ORAN) ecosystem. This partnership is an exemplar for our continued efforts to bring openness and innovation to a traditionally closed-off part of the network, providing a faster route-to-market for service providers and enterprises to deliver 5G, edge computing and AI.

What are the key trends shaping the cybersecurity space as the concept of work from anywhere takes a more concrete form?

As many companies adopt work-from-home policies in response to the pandemic, cybersecurity has become a major issue. While embracing technology trends of anywhere, anytime connectivity is every organisation’s strategy, it also pushes organisations to think about unprecedented increase in the attack surface across the network.

To support the extensive requirements of secure connectivity, new technologies and business models have emerged like SASE, ZTNA, CASB, SWG to name a few. For scale, agility and resiliency, application workloads are shifting to cloud and enhanced security measures are adopted with technologies like Juniper’s Cloud Workload Protection.

Newly remote workforces are now the easy targets for adversaries, so classic antivirus solutions have been displaced by concepts of XDR and EDR for protection of endpoints from advanced and sophisticated threats. Traditional security analytics solutions like SIEM have evolved towards tools leveraging concepts of AI and ML for security automation and orchestration.

While organisations look at security in isolation, we at Juniper Networks believe that extending security to every point of connection, from client to cloud, across the entire network can build a safe and secure IT infrastructure organisation wide. Therefore, it is important to build security into the same network infrastructure that provides connectivity and extended across every point of connection.

How is Juniper Networks helping its customers build a threat-aware and threat-proof IT infrastructure?

Traditional response for any organisation to mitigate security threats is to layer on more security tools. Businesses are spending more than ever on security tools to protect their networks, applications, and data.

Networking and security are intertwined, and the classic approach to architect the networks using point solutions creates weaknesses that leave many vulnerable to attacks. Effective network security comes from interconnecting multiple layers of security, achieved by deploying multiple technologies, from multiple vendors.

Gaining visibility into the entire network operations, from endpoint to edge and every cloud in between is a key to build a threat-aware and threat-proof IT infrastructure. Juniper Connected Security offers exactly that. It secures everything from how users access data and applications to how network connections are built. Through this solution, we are helping organisations build threat-aware networks and keep the network clear for business-critical traffic. Moreover, the solution automatically identifies threats and alerts the team about any possible downtime.

What are some of the challenges in implementing security solutions for extensive IT infrastructure?

One of the major challenges faced by organisations while implementing security is deploying multi-vendor solutions and connecting them together. This results in security extended at different points at different times instead of a holistic threat-aware infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to use appropriate automated tools to evaluate security at each point of connection and then further integrate them together to ensure full-proof security across networks.

As organisations increase their distributed workloads, multicloud environments and connectivity-dependent trends such as the Internet of Things, SASE and more, the complexity of the network will substantially increase – this is the ultimate enemy of effective security.

What opportunities are you eyeing in the cybersecurity space? What will be your growth plan for the near term?

Juniper’s Connected Security Framework augmented by mature solutions and platforms is well positioned to help better secure the networks of organisations today, resulting in further growth for our business.

Whether it’s the Branch, Campus or Data Center Security or the Threat Intelligence leveraging AI/ML and mitigating APT for any organisation, Juniper’s portfolio of solutions covers the entire spectrum. Expanding the portfolio from network security towards a software-driven cloud security space supported by solutions like virtualised security platform, cloud workload protection and SASE, are potential growth charters.

Going forward, how is connected security as a trend expected to shape up? What will be some other trends that will drive the sector?

As organisations become more connected than ever before, it is imperative to look at security from the lens of connectivity. Talking specifically about Juniper Connected Security, it will benefit organisations in the following ways:

Centralised management and visibility: Gain visibility of North–South traffic and the ability to block (and view certain traffic when using the ATP Appliance) East–West traffic when a threat is detected originating from an internal source. The entire network infrastructure is operationalized and managed as a single enforcement domain.

Comprehensive security: Firewalls are right-sized for their application in the network, and their capabilities are consistent across different deployment models ranging from on-premises physical deployment or private clouds in a data centre, to public clouds, to software as a service (SaaS) application.

Multi-vendor integration: Juniper Connected Security adopts an open, multivendor ecosystem to detect and enforce security across Juniper products and solutions, as well as on third-party devices through Juniper’s ecosystem partners.

By 2027, Business Insider predicts that more than 41 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be online and connected. And this establishes the role IoT will play in the cybersecurity space as the world becomes connected than ever before. Moreover, with organisations embracing hybrid model as the way for working, CTOs and CISOs will focus on cloud security measures and securing home devices and networks.