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The Growing Role of Network Teams in Security

It's time to break down the wall between network and security teams.

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Network and security are notoriously siloed. That’s understandable as network operations are primarily responsible for ensuring reliable service quality and compute capabilities to run the enterprise, while security is focused on setting up barriers against intruders and cleaning up systems that have been infected. But with the continuing rise in cybersecurity threats, it’s increasingly clear that it’s open season on corporate networks and breaking down the traditional wall separating network and security teams is essential to defending the enterprise.

Each team has evolved with different skill sets and different missions: one is expected to facilitate access from anywhere, the other is charged with blocking access to anybody who isn’t authorized. They utilize different tools and may work in separate network operations and security operations centers.

This bifurcation of responsibilities and missions is somewhat akin to the silos that often separate application development and operations teams. But, spurred on by the speed and scale of the web, many organizations have integrated these former silos into DevOps teams and processes that break down the barriers. “The boundary between development and operations was blurring,” writes Mike Loukides of O’Reilly Media. “To build sites that perform well, scale to millions of users, and are always up, you can't separate development from operations.”

Today’s Enterprise is Different

Today’s enterprise network is ever-expanding, moving far beyond data center hubs to encompass cloud services, branch offices and satellite locations, edge network devices, and the constantly changing locations and access modes of remote and mobile workers.

“Network infrastructure is the key business asset for organizations that depend on geographically dispersed data centers and cloud computing for their critical line-of-business applications,” according to a report by the SANS Institute based on a network security survey. However, according to the authors of that report, “Enterprises continue to struggle with having visibility into, and securing, their complex infrastructures, while still maintaining network performance and availability.”

While enterprises struggle, they’re constantly being probed and attacked by a diverse group of criminal syndicates, hacktivists, and state-sponsored adversaries. Unfortunately, information about potential vulnerabilities spreads quickly among different groups and they may be more able to attack quickly before the network and security teams can identify their systems at risk and issue the needed patches or updates. Or, outsiders can just get lucky and stumble across a mistake, such as a poorly configured DNS server or unprotected IP addresses.

DNS and DHCP are the essential elements in the growth and expansion of enterprise networks. It’s been estimated that 91% of malware utilize DNS in attacks. Network and security teams cannot afford to work at cross purposes.

These teams are inevitably moving toward more of an integrated process, much like DevOps evolved. DNS visibility is the commonality that can bridge the missions and goals of these teams. Centralizing and automating DNS services and then leveraging DNS data are the keys to improving network management and security compliance across entire networks. To learn how to put DNS to work for network operations and security, go to www.bluecatnetworks.com.

About BlueCat

BlueCat is the Enterprise DNS Company™. The largest global enterprises trust BlueCat to provide the foundation for digital transformation strategies such as cloud migration, virtualization and security. Our innovative Enterprise DNS solutions portfolio, comprised of BlueCat DNS Integrity™ and BlueCat DNS Edge™, enables the centralization and automation of DNS services and the ability to leverage valuable DNS data for significantly increased control, compliance and security. For more information, please visit www.bluecatnetworks.com.