SonicWall today announced plans to add a software-defined perimeter (SDP) offering to its cloud service after investing in Perimeter 81.
Company president and CEO Bill Conner said partnering with Perimeter 81 will enable SonicWall to make available a zero trust network that can extend to any endpoint within the context of an existing Capture Security Services offering SonicWall currently provides. Based in Tel Aviv, Perimeter 81 was founded by CEO Amit Bareket and CPO Sagi Gidali, two former members of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
Conner said the decision to partner with Perimeter 81 will accelerate a transition to relying on cloud services to automate the management of cybersecurity at scale at a time when most organizations are struggling to find and retain cybersecurity expertise. Small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) especially will increasingly rely on managed security services providers (MSSPs).
Perimeter 81 provides an alternative to relying on virtual private networks (VPNs) to secure endpoints in favor of an SDP that segments networks to limit what resources an end user can access based on the least privileged controls defined by the SDP platform, said Conner. Demand for that approach to cybersecurity not only stems from increased reliance on mobile computing devices to access applications but also the forthcoming rise of the internet of things (IoT), he added.
In general, Conner said cybersecurity is moving to the cloud to not only make it easier to apply policies at scale, but also to thwart threats that are becoming more sophisticated. For example, Conner noted malware is increasingly being delivered via encrypted packets or hidden within code in containers. SonicWall employs deep packet inspection as part of its core platform to see what’s in those encrypted packets, while at the same time running containers in a dedicated environment to discover any malware hidden inside the code.
SonicWall rewrote its core operating system for its firewall to run natively in the cloud several years ago, shortly after spinning out of Dell Technologies. Since then, SonicWall has been inviting a select group of providers of complementary security offerings to make their products available via the same cloud platform SonicWall employs, said Conner.
In addition, as machine and deep learning algorithms continue to advance, SonicWall is moving to aggregate enough data to make it possible to construct artificial intelligence (AI) models that will be needed to further automate cybersecurity.
It’s not clear to what degree IT organizations will move to replace VPNs with SDPs based on zero-trust architectures.
However, with each new data breach, it’s becoming apparent that relying on VPNs, firewalls and other existing security tools to ensure cybersecurity will no longer suffice. Organizations clearly need to embrace a zero trust architecture to ensure that access to applications and data is limited to known and verified end users. The challenge now is finding the easiest way to achieve that goal at a time when most other IT resources are also being consumed as a service.