Three Ways Fabric Connect Can Enhance Security

April 30, 2018 Camille Campbell

Transcending the Age of the Network Perimeter with Extreme Networks Fabric Connect

In the past, the hard edges of the traditional firewall were enough to protect an organization against outside access. Today, supporting the Internet of Things, visitors and remote workers, personal devices and more have fragmented the traditional network perimeter. These advancements in technology make it nearly impossible to determine where a given organization’s perimeter lies, with connections spanning the campus edge, user devices, IoT devices and external and internal clouds. Ultimately, there’s no longer a rigid perimeter, but rather, an “everywhere perimeter.”

Adequately defending an everywhere perimeter calls for fundamentally new capabilities within today’s security model. Organizations must identify methods of automating the increasingly tedious task of securely onboarding thousands of devices, servers, users and applications to the network while ensuring safe transport of data, protection of customer data and compliance to regulations

Here’s where Extreme Networks Fabric Connect comes in. Fabric Connect provides inherent network security to enhance the security layers already present. This foundational layer is comprised of three synergistic capabilities which are inherent within its Fabric Connect network virtualization technology:

  1. Hypersegmentation
  1. Stealth
  1. Elasticity

Hypersegmentation

  • Hypersegmentation is a significant improvement upon traditional network segmentation. The Extreme method for hypersegmentation offers massive scalability and enables the network to be segmented end-to-end from the application server to the end device in order to completely isolate different traffic types, applications or types of users. When hypersegments are created, organizations reduce the attack surface, gain a quarantine function if a segment is breached, simplify anomaly scanning and achieve greater firewall efficiency.

Stealth Networking Capabilities

  • Hypersegmentation is combined with another capability called native stealth, which limits the visibility of the network to reduce attack opportunities.
  • With Fabric Connect, forwarding is based on ethernet-switched paths, so network topology is invisible from an IP perspective. Since there are no inherent hop-by-hop IP paths, the network topology can’t be traced using common IP scanning tools. 
  • The other important aspect to stealth networking is that in a Fabric Connect network, aggregation and core nodes don’t have visibility to the service layer. Instead, services are encapsulated at the network edge. What hackers can’t see, they can’t attack.

Elasticity

  • Finally, there’s network elasticity as an enabler for securing the everywhere-perimeter. An elastic hypersegment automatically stretches services to the edge, only as required, and only for the duration of a specific application session. As applications terminate, or end-point devices close down or disconnect, the redundant networking services retract from the edge. In deleting a network configuration that isn’t required anymore, back door entry points to the network are eliminated.

Interested in learning more about these 3 attributes and how to design your network to conquer cybersecurity threats? If so, watch our free on-demand webinar: “Secure!...Are you sure? Practical tips to securing your network,” featuring Principle Engineer and Cybersecurity expert at Extreme Networks, Ed Koehler, specialized in best-in-class technical design practices that can help protect against the growing threat of cyber-attacks.

About the Author

Camille Campbell

Camille is a Product Marketing Manager at Extreme Networks. She is responsible for Extreme’s Secure Automated Campus architecture – with a specific focus on Fabric Networking and IoT. Camille has over 15 years of experience, working at a number of different organizations with focuses on both enterprise as well as service provider, and has held a variety of sales and marketing roles throughout her career.

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