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NEWS UPDATE: The impact of COVID-19 on public networks and security

As the coronavirus spreads, public and private companies as well as government entities are requiring employees to work from home, putting unforeseen strain on all manner of networking technologies and causing bandwidth and security concerns.  What follows is a round-up of news and traffic updates that Network World will update as needed to help keep up with the ever-changing situation.  Check back frequently!UPDATE: 3.26 Week over week (ending March 23) Ookla says it has started to see a degradation of mobile and fixed-broadband performance worldwide. More detail on specific locations is available below. Comparing the week of March 16 to the week of March 9, mean download speed over mobile and fixed broadband decreased in Canada and the U.S. while both remained relatively flat in Mexico. What is the impact of the coronavirus on corporate network planning? Depends on how long the work-from-home mandate goes on really. Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corp. takes an interesting look at the situation saying the shutdown “could eventually produce a major uptick for SD-WAN services, particularly in [managed service provider]    Businesses would be much more likely to embark on an SD-WAN VPN adventure that didn’t involve purchase/licensing, Continue reading

ROLLING UPDATE: The impact of COVID-19 on public networks and security

As the coronavirus spreads, public and private companies as well as government entities are requiring employees to work from home, putting unforeseen strain on all manner of networking technologies and causing bandwidth and security concerns.  What follows is a round-up of news and traffic updates that Network World will update as needed to help keep up with the ever-changing situation.  Check back frequently!UPDATE 3.27Broadband watchers at BroadbandNow say users in most of the cities it analyzed are experiencing normal network conditions, suggesting that ISP’s (and their networks) are holding up to the shifting demand. In a March 25 post the firm wrote: “Encouragingly, many of the areas hit hardest by the spread of the coronavirus are holding up to increased network demand. Cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn, and San Francisco have all experienced little or no disruption. New York City,  now the epicenter of the virus in the U.S., has seen a 24% dip out of its previous ten-week range. However, with a new median speed of nearly 52 Mbps, home connections still appear to be holding up overall.”To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco warns of five SD-WAN security weaknesses

Cisco has issued five  warnings about security weaknesses in its SD-WAN offerings, three of them on the high-end of the vulnerability scale.The worst problem is with the command-line interface (CLI) of its SD-WAN Solution software where a weakness could let a local attacker inject arbitrary commands that are executed with root privileges, Cisco wrote.To read this article in full, please click here

Coronavirus challenges remote networking

As the coronavirus spreads, many companies are requiring employees to work from home, putting unanticipated stress on remote networking technologies and causing bandwidth and security concerns.Businesses have facilitated brisk growth of teleworkers over the past decades to an estimated 4 million-plus. The meteoric rise in new remote users expected to come online as a result of the novel coronavirus calls for stepped-up capacity.Research by VPN vendor Atlas shows that VPN usage in the U.S. grew by 53% between March 9 and 15, and it could grow faster. VPN usage in Italy, where the virus outbreak is about two weeks ahead of the U.S., increased by 112% during the last week. "We estimate that VPN usage in the U.S. could increase over 150% by the end of the month," said Rachel Welch, chief operating officer of Atlas VPN, in a statement.To read this article in full, please click here

As the networks evolve enterprises need to rethink network security

Digital innovation is disrupting businesses. Data and applications are at the hub of new business models, and data needs to travel across the extended network at increasingly high speeds without interruption. To make this possible, organizations are radically redesigning their networks by adopting multi-cloud environments, building hyperscale data centers, retooling their campuses, and designing new connectivity systems for their next-gen branch offices. Networks are faster than ever before, more agile and software-driven. They're also increasingly difficult to secure. To understand the challenges and how security needs to change, I recently talked with John Maddison, executive vice president of products for network security vendor Fortinet.To read this article in full, please click here

As networks evolve enterprises need to rethink security

Digital innovation is disrupting businesses. Data and applications are at the hub of new business models, and data needs to travel across the extended network at increasingly high speeds without interruption. To make this possible, organizations are radically redesigning their networks by adopting multi-cloud environments, building hyperscale data centers, retooling their campuses, and designing new connectivity systems for their next-gen branch offices. Networks are faster than ever before, more agile and software-driven. They're also increasingly difficult to secure. To understand the challenges and how security needs to change, I recently talked with John Maddison, executive vice president of products for network security vendor Fortinet.To read this article in full, please click here

Essential things to know about container networking

Containers have emerged over the past several years to provide an efficient method of storing and delivering applications reliably across different computing environments. By containerizing an application platform and its dependencies, differences in OS distributions and underlying infrastructures are abstracted away. Networking has emerged as a critical element within the container ecosystem, providing connectivity between containers running on the same host as well as on different hosts, says Michael Letourneau, an IT architect at Liberty Mutual Insurance. "Putting an application into a container automatically drives the need for network connectivity for that container," says Letourneau, whose primary focus is on building and operating Liberty Mutual's container platform. To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco security warnings include firewall holes, Nexus software weaknesses

Cisco has issued another batch of security warnings that include problems in its Firepower firewall (FXOS),  Unified Computing System (UCS) software and Nexus switch operating system (NX-OS) .Network pros react to new Cisco certification curriculum The firewall and UCS vulnerabilities all have a severity level of “high” on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System and include:To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco goes to the cloud with broad enterprise security service

Cisco has unveiled a cloud-based security platform it says will go a long way in helping customers protect their far-flung networked resources.Cisco describes the new SecureX service as offering  an open, cloud-native system that will let customers detect and remediate threats across Cisco and third-party products from a single interface. IT security teams can then automate and orchestrate security management across enterprise cloud, network and applications and end points.Network pros react to new Cisco certification curriculum “Until now, security has largely been piecemeal with companies introducing new point products into their environments to address every new threat category that arises,” wrote Gee Rittenhouse senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Security Business Group in a blog about SecureX.To read this article in full, please click here

Juniper bolsters wireless security; fights against encrypted malicious threats

Juniper is filling out its enterprise security portfolio this week by integrating support for its Mist wireless customers and adding the capability for customers to gain better visibility and control over encrypted traffic threats.With the new additions, Juniper is looking to buttress its ability to let users secure all traffic traversing the enterprise network via campus, WAN or data center. The moves are part of Juniper's grand Connected Security platform that includes a variety of security products including its next-generation firewalls that promise to protect networked resources across infrastructure and endpoints.To read this article in full, please click here

5 Hot network-automation startups to watch

With the combined challenges of tight IT budgets and scarcer technical talent, it’s becoming imperative for enterprise network pros to embrace automation of processes and the way infrastructure responds to changing network traffic.Not only can automation help address these problems, they can also improve overall application-response time by anticipating and addressing looming congestion. Modern applications, such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and architectures that incorporate IoT and hybrid cloud have yet to reach their true potential because network capacity seems to always lag behind demand.  A common problem is that too much networking infrastructure is still manually maintained and managed, but major vendors are starting to addressing these  issues, as are startups that seek to break bottlenecks through automation.To read this article in full, please click here

5 hot network-automation startups to watch

With the combined challenges of tight IT budgets and scarcer technical talent, it’s becoming imperative for enterprise network pros to embrace automation of processes and the way infrastructure responds to changing network traffic.Not only can automation help address these problems, they can also improve overall application-response time by anticipating and addressing looming congestion. Modern applications, such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and architectures that incorporate IoT and hybrid cloud have yet to reach their true potential because network capacity seems to always lag behind demand.  A common problem is that too much networking infrastructure is still manually maintained and managed, but major vendors are starting to addressing these  issues, as are startups that seek to break bottlenecks through automation.To read this article in full, please click here

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