Traditional computing architecture comprised a physical location where all resources for computation, storage, communication, and security were housed. This physical location may be a data center or a company’s headquarter building.
Over the past two decades, in-house applications, storage spaces declined. This pattern shift is due to an increase in mobility and cloud migration. It increased the robustness and accessibility. But these advantages were a trade-off with increased pressure on the network and security system. A user connecting to a cloud application must get authorized and recognized by an in-house networking hub.
Although this procedure had been operated for few years, it doesn’t suit enterprises today. Now, enterprises use multiple cloud platforms for their private application or consuming services available in the cloud.
Because of the pandemic, working from remote locations becomes the new normal. Enterprises need to ensure secure access to their applications and resources. The typical solution of incorporating a VPN can be cumbersome and expensive to deploy. Increasing cloud migration also adds extra pressure on the traditional network resulting in a delay in the request-response model. As malicious threats become more damaging and pervasive, the need for network security is stronger than ever.
Network-as-a-Service (NaaS): One solution to all network-related problems
Network-as-a-service is introduced to tackle above mentioned challenges. It uses a global overlay network that acts as a private WAN for each enterprise. Users, as well as enterprise resources, connect to NaaS through a local point of presence (POP) located around the globe. It is a software-defined perimeter (SDP) network delivered as a service that is secure & user-centric. It allows users to connect to other users, applications, clouds within SDP. The network functions just like a large distributed identity-based router. Even LAN, WAN, & Internet flow through it.
How does a user connect to NaaS?
Each individual has a fixed, unique identity that remains the same with varying geography and devices. Users can connect to PoP in two ways: using IPsec or browser-based solutions. SDP provides dynamically created network connections between the user and user-required resources. These connections are built on demand. In this manner, resources are invisible to the user. No access to resources is possible unless granted. Access granted is verified continuously at the packet level. In this manner dynamic secure network works.
Anything trying to join the network is authenticated and authorized before providing the access and throughout the session. It reduces the attack surface as resources are hidden for everyone.
Security can be further improved by adding traditional security services such as web gateway and cloud access security broker. An enterprise can establish a route with security services so that traffic passes through appropriate security points placed successively.
NaaS clubs all enterprise’s cloud assets into one network, even if hosted on different cloud service providers. It helps in connecting multiple cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google cloud platform. It also enables hybrid cloud computing between on-premise servers and the public cloud.
As the name suggests, it’s a service. It’s easy to bring data and applications to the network. NaaS also provides configurable security policies. Every enterprise uses SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS. NaaS provides scalability and agility by delivering network connectivity and security as a service.
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