Programmability Delivers Greater Agility

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Jul 18, 2018 12:00 pm PST

How automation and orchestration optimise operations

Programmability is critical in modern data centres and the cloud to support automation, orchestration, and standardisation. Security is the vital component that ensures applications and data are robustly protected to deliver value to business operations.

Today, traditional network perimeters quickly dissolve when an organisation’s infrastructure begins to decentralise. Data now ‘live’ everywhere with multiple devices accessing applications located across data centres, private clouds and the public cloud. With an increase in surface area, cybercriminals can easily mount attacks. Across the world, CISOs, CTOs and their teams are struggling to keep up with an ever-changing threat landscape.

Defending the network alone is no longer enough. It is time to rethink traditional security architectures. With the rise of encrypted traffic and the digital economy growing, business intelligence relies on three crucial areas: visibility, context, and control. With the power of automation, it is possible to harness all of these, optimise operations and tackle emergent cyber threats better than ever before.

Addressing the weakest link

An app proxy sits between an app and a client. It does a solid job. Then there are full proxies. A full proxy has two independent networking stacks contained within a single device. An app proxy can provide the platform modern data centres need to address security and performance challenges. It can power automation and orchestration to achieve lower operating costs and to ensure optimal app experiences for consumer and corporate customers alike.

According to F5’s 2018 State of Application Delivery report (SOAD), 57 percent of surveyed businesses worldwide are employing IT automation and orchestration to optimise processes. Efficiency and time to market are important but protecting sensitive customer information must be the number one priority.

Businesses must also secure their critical applications to safeguard customer data and be compliant. The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a clear step to strengthening citizens’ fundamental rights in today’s digital age and will help unify rules into one single digital cyber market.

Companies must therefore prove that they have implemented sufficient measures to manage, process, store, and service customer information. This can be achieved by enhancing their total security portfolio with end-to-end protection across all applications, from the data centre to the cloud. It is also vital to have Flexible control over access and users and the ability to act on real-time intelligence.

With a rich security ecosystem of robust application and cloud architecture solutions, organisations can deliver integrated and comprehensive data protection that strengthens a company’s weakest link, as well as driving genuinely effective automation.

Pioneering programmes, such as the Super-NetOps initiative from F5, are helping to lead the way in this respect. The recently launched programme is explicitly designed to inspire a major industry shift and equip NetOps to better support automation, continuous delivery, and continuous improvement. The aim is to facilitate better work practices and collaboration between NetOps and DevOps ensuring unity of purpose, eliminating operational inefficiencies and driving better business value.

Achieving leaner IT

Across EMEA, IT departments are increasingly embracing programmability and standardisation within their automation and orchestration environments. According to SOAD 2018, three in four (75%) of businesses declare the use of automation in the operation of IT infrastructure to be “somewhat” or “very” important. The majority (72%) are using automation to realise leaner IT with the goal of reducing OpEx, while nearly half (48%) are looking to scale to meet demand.

The shift from manual task-based practices to optimum levels of automation drives continuous improvement and business return on investment. By developing skills to standardise critical application services, organisations can achieve greater agility, unlock new levels of performance, and scale to meet demand in an increasingly complex data driven world.