Barracuda Networks has equipped its CloudGen Firewall to establish secure, high-speed connections to Microsoft’s Azure Virtual WAN (vWAN) service.
Introduced in conjunction with this year’s Microsoft Inspire partner conference, now underway in Las Vegas, the new system reaches market days after the introduction of a cloud security optimization and remediation solution for Microsoft Azure. Both offerings are designed to help Microsoft partners and the customers they serve maximize the speed, safety, and efficiency of their Office 365 and Azure deployments.
The new CloudGen Firewall is designed to help branch offices and other remote sites improve the performance of Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud workloads. “What a lot of companies do is they’ll route the traffic back to a headquarters, and then the headquarters will send it out to Office 365 through the internet,” says Tim Jefferson, Barracuda’s senior vice president for data protection, network, and application security. †Those that use CloudGen Firewalls, however, can now define and enforce local breakout policies that stream cloud traffic directly from the user location to the nearest Microsoft network location via Azure vWAN.
“That assures that each branch office’s Office 365 traffic is handled in the best possible manner and sent to the best possible endpoints to ensure the best possible customer experience,” Jefferson says.
By reducing the need for pricey high-speed MPLS circuits, the solution helps end users reduce branch connectivity costs as well. “It’s an order of magnitude less expensive than traditional wide-area networking fixed costs,” says Jefferson of the CloudGen Firewalls and Azure vWAN combination. “Certainly, for small enterprise—mid-market and down—this is a highly, highly attractive offering.”
Partners can provision the service centrally, as well, rather than send technicians to multiple customer offices. “What we’ve done is try to make it as easy to deploy as possible by creating a zero-touch deploy model,” says Jefferson. “Literally, the IT guy can ship the boxes out to the 20 or 30 branch offices and then the local staff there just has to plug it in.”
The new functionality is available immediately to all CloudGen Firewall users at no additional cost.†
The addition of Azure vWAN support to CloudGen Firewall responds directly to input from partners rolling out both Office 365 seats and SD-WAN services in rising volumes. “A lot of partners have been telling us that some of the biggest challenges their customers are having migrating to Office 365, especially at remote offices, is just the additional load on the WAN and making sure that the wide-area network configuration, routing, and networking is prepared to support those new services,” Jefferson says.
Microsoft partners can use the new functionality to increase the value, and hence price, of their Office 365 services, or to expand beyond Office 365 deployments into more demanding projects relocating workloads into Microsoft Azure.
“Provisioning in Azure vWAN can reduce a lot of the infrastructure costs and improve the performance of Azure application migration,” Jefferson says. “It’s a great opportunity for partners to expand their service offering and add more value.”
Barracuda plans to add similar capabilities for Amazon Web Services to CloudGen Firewall in the future.
The solution Barracuda launched last week, named Cloud Security Guardian, is designed to help organizations discover and secure their public cloud assets more quickly and efficiently.
“We can provide an instantaneous assessment of the security posture of every single resource deployed in their public cloud accounts,” Jefferson says. “Then we can compare that configuration state against security best practices and compliance frameworks.”
Cloud Security Guardian comes pre-loaded with security policies based on standards defined by the Center for Internet Security, and supports PCI, HIPAA, and NIST guidelines as well.
80 percent of cloud breaches will result from misconfigurations, mismanaged credentials, or insider theft by 2020, according to Gartner. Drawing on input from multiple sources via API connections, including Microsoft’s Azure Hub Security Center and Security Graph API, Cloud Security Guard can address such flaws as well as detect them.
“There are plenty of products now that can kick out alerts,” Jefferson says. “What customers need is really automated remediation.”
Businesses that use CloudGen Firewall or Barracuda’s Web Application Firewall alongside Cloud Security Guardian enjoy additional automation in cases when the system spots a PCI-compliant workload, for example.†
“If we see port 80 or 443 open, we can deploy the Web Application Firewall, we can operationalize it, and then we can configure it to solve the compliance requirement,” Jefferson says. “Then we monitor all the events coming out of it. So we try to automate the whole process.”
That automation is designed to help newcomers to clouds security launch managed security practices quickly. Large numbers of channel pros, Jefferson notes, fit that profile at present.
“They’re all kind of struggling to figure out how to pivot and grow their practices to take advantage of all this public cloud consumption and figure out where they can add the most value to their customers,” he says. “We’ve tried to build a solution that gives partners a vehicle to start delivering really meaningful, high-value services to their customers.”
By focusing those services on policy setting and risk management rather than generic security system administration, Jefferson continues, partners can earn healthy margins as well.†
“A channel partner can build a practice, sit down with the customer, and have much more strategic conversations,” Jefferson says. “They can have a conversation around security policy and risk management appetite, and what type of controls each workload needs to have, and the product takes care of the rest.”
Pricing for Cloud Security Guardian is consumption-based. “We just charge a certain rate per resource protected,” Jefferson explains. “You only pay for the security value it provides.”
BitTitan introduced a solution designed to help channel pros launch security assessment practices at Inspire this week as well.