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SDN Technology

Verizon Tightens VNS Security With Check Point

On the heels of adding its new SD-Secure Branch managed service, Verizon is tightening security offerings in its Virtual Network Services platform for enterprise customers with the addition of Check Point.

Shawn Hakl, vice president of business networking and security solutions for Verizon, says Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has had a long history working with Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) and has a large installed base. Verizon integrated Check Point's security solution for its Virtual Network Services platform in response to both customer demand and Check Point's ability to scale the software to meet enterprise needs.

Hakl says the addition of Check Point fits in with Verizon's strategy to provide customers with an expanding software catalog that works over a broad spectrum of hardware as customers are demanding more software choices. (See Verizon Virtual Network Services Expands Security With Check Point.)

"Although we have each of those as virtual appliances, it's a library of software functions where we're able to start building -- with the complex orchestration engine that we built -- the ability to service-chain not just appliances together, but individual algorithms or functions within those software appliances into creating customized service chains for people," says Hakl.

In addition to Check Point, existing enterprise security companies with imbedded security offerings within Verizon Virtual Network Services include Palo Alto Networks Inc. , Fortinet Inc. , Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Verizon is expanding its software-defined technology ecosystem in an effort to support global enterprises that have new security concerns resulting from the management of network reliant applications in on-premise, public or hybrid cloud environments.


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In an effort to protect enterprises from current or future cyberattacks, Check Point Infinity is delivered as "a fully consolidated cybersecurity architecture that provides the high-level, pre-emptive threat prevention across networks, cloud and mobile devices," says Pierre-Paul Allard, head of worldwide sales at Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., in the release. Virtual Network Services with Check Point secures traffic, assets, data and workloads hosted in corporate data centers, on-premise or virtually in the cloud, and secures customers' physical network and cloud with the same policies.

Verizon launched its Universal CPE Virtual Network Services (VNS) platform last June to provide customers with a large software catalogue available on generic servers at the enterprise edge. Hakl says one of the differentiators in Verizon's VNS platform is an open network approach which allows customers to choose the network connectivity method based on the service or application in use. Verizon's services can work across any type of access media.

"What we're seeing right now is a dramatic increase in the number of people incorporating wireless as a physical resiliency mechanism, those types of connections are up 50% year-over-year," says Hakl. "The number of customers increasing multi-mode connections -- having more than one transport type at any given site is also increasing roughly 50% year-over-year. So being able to create solutions that work across any network anywhere is important because it's the use cases that customers are responding to so we built the solutions organized around that."

VNS services, including the new Check Point offering, are available as network functions in an "as-a-service" model with pay-as-you-go, consumption or usage-based billing that doesn't require multi-year managed service contracts. Verizon launched new Hosted Network Services -- "as-a-service" virtualized network functions -- in June. The Check Point release is available as a software package delivered on both the uCPE and Hosted Network Services connected in via SD-WAN or hosted out of the network. (See Verizon Adds Cloud-Based VNFs.)

As one of the early adopters of SD-WAN in the service provider space, Verizon began its partnership with Cisco for SD-WAN in October 2015 and Viptela in February 2016. This week Verizon announced an additional partnership with Versa to utilize its Cloud IP Platform for Verizon's new SD-Branch service, which is available on the VNS platform. (See Verizon Expands SDN Strategy for Enterprises and Verizon's Next With VNFs.)

"Software-defined control of your network is kind of a baseline requirement for the most part to enjoy the benefit of virtual services overall," says Hakl. "You can do it without that software, but it's a lot easier when you have SD-WAN."

Just last Monday, Verizon also announced the addition of VNS service on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud which Hakl says is a natural extension of SD-WAN in giving customers the same control in the mobile to cloud environment as they have in the more traditional private networking space. (See Verizon Extends Virtual Networking Link to AWS.) 

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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