& cplSiteName &

Security & Virtualization: 'We Are All Screwed'

Elizabeth Miller Coyne
9/16/2016
50%
50%

DENVER -- NFV & Carrier SDN -- It's really as bad as you think it is when it comes to security in the world of NFV and SDN -- and the problem could get worse as more network functions are virtualized, according to the "Security in the Virtualization Era" panelists at the NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver this week. In fact, according to Ray Watson, vice president, global technology, Masergy Communications Inc. , "We are all screwed."

After kicking off the panel with that bombshell, he went on to remind the packed house that today there is less time to respond to threats, because the bad guys are much faster to share known exploits and hacking discoveries. "We are tracking attacks in hours, and the day or two service providers used to have to patch breaches are long gone."

Panelist Ron Renwick, senior director of product marketing at Netronome , then threw himself on the identity theft sword and said, "I'm just going to tell you my social security number and get it over with."

In addition to hackers getting smarter by the second, Renwick noted, "It all comes back to a server or switch in a data center, they have to be contained and secure. If anything we are exacerbating the problem with distributed VNFs; we are solving one problem and creating more problems at the same time. How can you secure everything when you don't know where everything is?"

Security Shock Jocks
From left: Ron Renwick, senior director of product marketing, Netronome; Rob Sherwood, CTO, Big Switch Networks; Mike O'Malley, vice president strategy and business development, Radware; Ray Watson, vice president, Global Technology, Masergy; and Gary Sockrider, principal security technologist, Arbor Networks
From left: Ron Renwick, senior director of product marketing, Netronome; Rob Sherwood, CTO, Big Switch Networks; Mike O'Malley, vice president strategy and business development, Radware; Ray Watson, vice president, Global Technology, Masergy; and Gary Sockrider, principal security technologist, Arbor Networks

Indeed, the usual perimeter-based approach to securing service provider networks won't really work when virtual network functions (VNFs) and applications can be anywhere. And in an enterprise environment today, there are on-premise applications and private cloud applications which makes sandbagging the perimeter into the building impossible, said Mike O'Malley, vice president strategy and business development, for Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR). "The applications are no longer in the building," said O'Malley.

But wait, there's more. It's now possible that the threats to one VNF are coming from another, housed in the same server, according to Watson.

One of the ongoing problems both network operators and enterprises face, however, is in finding cybersecurity experts: There are 250,000 vacant jobs today and that's expected to grow to 1 million by 2020, says Watson. "There is no indication that it's going to drop off."

The security experts didn't just dwell on the doom and gloom, however, but also discussed solutions to the crisis.

"Advancements being made in machine-to-machine and AI [artificial intelligence] are absolutely essential in fighting bad guys that are getting better," O'Malley said. "Solutions that can get better on the fly -- machine learning, AI -- and agility to deploy counter measures against a thinking enemy is required."

Arbor Networks' Gary Sockrider pointed to the ability to virtualize security as VNFs are created, delivering the right amount of security to fit a given application. And as Rob Sherwood, CTO of Big Switch Networks , said, small security teams with the right tools can be mighty. It's a "fallacy that if you hire more security professionals, you'll be more secure," he noted, adding that Google and Facebook have relatively small security teams.

Renwick added that the gap in skills and job market openings actually allows SDN to prove its worth. "This is where the opportunity of SDN applications with security come to bear," he said. "Having an SDN app that can look at all the probes, and detect and mitigate threats, takes the labor burden off the SOC. The business case around automation makes the service more profitable and solves labor issues."

— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
VPEngine46792
50%
50%
VPEngine46792,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/16/2016 | 7:44:13 PM
Re: Quelle surprise
Security with regards to SDN/NFV it just doesn't mean spinning up a FW or some other security instance. Security appliances obviously do lot of deep packet lookups and are  way complex than just configuring a security policy. If physicall appliances struggle to keep up with functional interactions then I doubt how well the virtual instances can cope up to. Btw, guess how many default usernames and passwords need to be changed to bringup the openstack controllers/neutron servers :-)

 
Kelsey Ziser
50%
50%
Kelsey Ziser,
User Rank: Blogger
9/16/2016 | 3:27:53 PM
Re: Quelle surprise
Ray delivered an Upskill U course on the changing face of security threats - see Big Data Analytics & Network Security. As you mentioned @Carol, Ray explained that hackers have easy access to very cheap tools but it's very expensive to combat their threats. He noted that "In addition to the challenges around data volume, the level of complexity around attacks has also increased exponentially."
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/16/2016 | 1:55:18 PM
Re: Quelle surprise
We'll continue to have problems as long as we use 20th-century ID procedures. We'll still have problems even when we move those procedures into this century, but maybe a little less common.
cnwedit
50%
50%
cnwedit,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/16/2016 | 12:31:41 PM
Re: Quelle surprise
I moderated this panel and the first 15 minutes was pretty scary stuff. It used to be you needed skills to do hacking but now the tools are readily available for the amateur cyber criminal - or you can just outsource the dirty work to someone who is easily hired on the Internet, just like any other outsourcer. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/16/2016 | 9:56:12 AM
Quelle surprise
In 1880, the number of fatalities worldwide that could be directly attributed to automobiles was exactly zero. But no one wants to go back to those days -- well, almost no one.
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.