While most IT organizations are pretty focused on securing data within a particular data center, once data begins to move to another data center the assumption is that the security of that data becomes someone else’s problem.
As a general rule, that’s true. But the time during which data is in flight over a wide area network (WAN) connection can easily fall between the security cracks.
To address this specific issue Riverbed Technology this week rolled out version 7.0 of the RiOS operating system it uses to manage its Steelhead WAN optimization appliances. Among the new features included in this release is support for Kerberos encryption used in Windows applications, encrypted Lotus Notes, Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) over a secure sockets layer (SSL) in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments and full support for IPv6.
Naveen Prabhu, senior product marketing manager for Steelhead appliances at Riverbed, notes the ability to optimize the performance of encrypted WAN traffic has become a major requirement for providing end-to-end security. Riverbed doesn’t see its security capabilities as a replacement for existing security investments, he says, but rather as a complement that provides a high degree of security on the WAN.
There is no doubt hackers are targeting data in transit more as IT organization get more savvy about encrypting data at rest within their own data centers. The challenge is making sure the WAN optimization infrastructure in use can process all that encrypted data at speeds that don’t materially impact the performance of the overall environment.
As IT organizations become more distributed, it’s clear there is more data than ever travelling across the WAN. Unfortunately, it’s also true that as more data moves across the WAN, the more tempting a target the WAN becomes.