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Software Defined Networking (SDN) has become the rage in the last few years. It has been seen as a revolution of the way to deliver multiple services without having multiple servers and huge datacentres. Whilst it is a great thing for ICT to be able to do more with less, many organisations don’t necessarily know about the inherent dangers related to virtualising some of the networking structures.

In traditional networking, we are taught to separate the layers and define access requirements for various network functions. This is especially the case when it comes to external services and external access. This has typically only been done on the infrastructure layer as there has always been separation of applications via infrastructure in the past.

In an SDN world, there is no infrastructure separation. There are multiple applications on the same infrastructure within the business, yet each application may have its own requirements for both internal and external access.

The key to securing the SDN is both a comprehensive understanding of the applications and their related services. There are 3 defined layers that need to be encapsulated in your SDN approach:

1) Application Layer – Identifying all the applications, services and dependencies

2) Infrastructure Layer – The core servers, switches and routing that allows communication

3) Controlling Layer – This is the intermediary between the Application Layer and Infrastructure Layer

The key to SDN success is having a comprehensive understanding of the Application and Infrastructure layers and then placing controls both ingress and egress in place at the controlling layer to enable secure and separated communication. The below diagram gives you a bit of an idea.

If you would like us to run a healthcheck to see if your SDN is secure or want to find out more about how to build a SDN environment, feel free to contact us.

Applications are the core interface where our staff and users interact within our business. They allow us to store manage and access related information to allow us to get our jobs done. Most large businesses in Australia have numerous applications that are used each day to perform relevant tasks.

Whilst we all have an appreciation of application developers’ design and innovative skills, application security is typically not high on an app. developer’s mind when he/she is coding their world changing application.

Businesses today typically wait for the application to be at a release level and then perform a penetration test to see if there are any flaws. This is a great first step! It allows you to identify some flaws, open ports of access and allows you to see if the product is ready for release; although does it mean that it is still the same way tomorrow?

Penetration testing is fundamentally flawed in its logic from a Security Operations perspective. An ethical hacker who attempts to find the point of easiest access against a set of known vulnerabilities and concerns does so at a point in time. Yet, time moves on… new vulnerabilities are identified; new threat vectors and actors are created… So what do we do?

Regular application scanning is the key to ensuring that your application is constantly secure from these new threats and vulnerabilities. There have been many cases where applications have been pen tested and seen as secure, yet a flaw has been found 6 months later and caused a significant security concern.

Application scanning has become a lot easier in the past few years. Now all you need to do is upload your application (in dev or prod level) press a few buttons and we can then let you know the vulnerabilities in place. You can even get code checking, cert issues, and API check points at the same time!

If you want to know more, please contact us for more information.