Juniper Networks head of META on driving security transformation

Yarob Sakhnini, Head of Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Juniper Networks, discusses how multicloud environments can enable organisations to address the ever-growing demands in the digital age, and highlights how the company’s new mantra can help drive security transformation.

Can you please share some of the key highlights at the company over the last 12 months?

In support of helping enterprises navigate through multicloud-ready infrastructure in order to meet the demands of today’s customers, Juniper Networks has continued to provide the building blocks for our unified cybersecurity platform that is powered by Software-Defined Secure Networks (SDSN). This solution integrates, centralises and automates defence for today’s sophisticated threat landscape.

We have also continued to strengthen our security portfolio that extends threat prevention deeper into the network – down to the switch level. These new and upgraded solutions include Policy Enforcer, which automates the enforcement of security policies across the network and quarantines infected endpoints to prevent threats across firewalls and switches through Junos Space Security Director and Contrail Security, a solution specifically designed to allow enterprises and cloud providers to protect applications running in multiple cloud environments.

We also introduced the Juniper Advanced Threat Prevention Appliance, an on-premises solution that absorbs threat data from multiple devices and then uses analytics to identify malicious traits which could be advanced or even zero-day attacks. The solution continually monitors web, email and lateral spread traffic to protect against the ever-changing threat landscape.

Juniper has also been working with our partners in driving 5G in the region. Commercial 5G is expected to represent close to a quarter of all network traffic in the next five years and we have an immense market opportunity to help our customers simplify their journey to fully operational 5G networks. We have recently extended and strengthened our long-standing partnership with Ericsson to deliver a comprehensive end-to-end 5G solution leveraging both companies’ complementary portfolios. This will enable us to offer service providers a complete 5G transport network solution with single pane of glass visibility to manage the new requirements of next-generation mobile service delivery.

Enterprises are adopting more than just cloud – they are moving to multicloud. Multicloud is the operation of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single infrastructure. The defining characteristic is managing the distributed resources as a single cohesive infrastructure. This requires a seamless operating environment that extends across the private and public clouds all the way out to the cloud that exist in the campus and branch. Juniper has announced its multicloud solutions offering customers a simplified journey to the secure and automated environments.

As cloud environments become more ubiquitous, what are the key concerns organisations have when it comes to implementing cloud technologies?

The promise of multicloud is to deliver a secure, ubiquitous, reliable, fungible infrastructure where the migration of workloads are straightforward. In my mind, for IT to succeed in becoming multicloud-ready, it is critical that organisations think about every aspect of their networks, from HQ to branch and campus, as well as the data centre and public cloud. Otherwise, enterprises could face fractured security and operations as network boundaries can get in the way of seamless, end-to-end visibility and control.

Eliminating these roadblocks that might detract from multicloud’s potential means that end-to-end security and automation must be integrated throughout the network. Many enterprises are already at different stages in their path toward a secure and automated multicloud architecture. Juniper’s extended offerings across its cloud portfolio are designed to enable customers to migrate to a multicloud architecture on their own terms, when it suits them but without ‘missing the multicloud boat’.

Can you tell us about Juniper Networks’ “Engineering Simplicity” vision? What was the driver behind this vision?

Juniper Networks is getting back to basics with a focus on Engineering Simplicity. This is more than a marketing tagline – it’s an acknowledgement that in today’s complex world, the thing that most impedes our collective progress is complexity.

As the technology industry’s challenges become more complex, so have the solutions. While we’re no longer physically tripping over ethernet cables, we are now caught between rigid network infrastructure and complicated programming interfaces. Engineering Simplicity is a move towards more user-friendly, intuitive networking. Juniper Networks has always been about innovation that stems from a focus on engineering and we believe that creating simplicity through engineering is the highest form of innovation.

How can technologies around automation help accelerate network security?

IT security is integral to the network, as much as the network is to business transformation. The biggest data security challenges faced by enterprises are the evolving nature of attacks, the threat surface expanding exponentially and lastly, the struggle to keep up.

In a recent study launched by Juniper Networks and Ponemon Institute, it is reported that fighting cybercrime will cost businesses globally more than $6 trillion annually and that there will be 3.5 million unfilled security jobs by 2021. Therefore, building automated security into the network fabric provides enterprises with a way to overcome the skills shortage but still maintain exceptional performance, reliability and intelligence to thwart attacks, minimise the disruption of services and maintain positive reputations amongst customers.

Juniper’s unified cybersecurity platform is powered by virtualised routing and security elements, automated remediation and real-time intelligence shared across organisations via cloud and machine learning. With this approach, enterprise networks will know how to defend valuable data and infrastructure. This gives organisations an edge when defending assets from unknown or hard-to-detect malware such as ransomware that often leverages the attacker’s own automation to proliferate rapidly.

What is the company’s primary objective for taking part at GITEX this year?

Juniper’s primary objective at GITEX this year is to showcase to our customers the simple path to a secure and automated multicloud, which paves way to a successful digital transformation.

We will share our insights into how simplicity in engineering can reduce operational complexity, secure network infrastructure effectively and innovate revenue-generating services as companies migrate to a 5G/IoT Distributed Mobile Cloud. Juniper will demonstrate how operators  and enterprises alike can build an extensive, secure and robust infrastructure capable of meeting the performance, latency and massive scale demands of 5G and IoT services. In addition to showcasing our latest portfolio of end-to-end secure network infrastructure solutions, we will also be developing a multi-touch interactive story board that will lay out the enterprise cloud transformation journey in a few clear steps for visitors to our booth.

What can we expect from Juniper Networks in the coming months?

As we work through the year and shape up for 2019, Juniper Networks will continue to add value to our solutions and product sets.

We will continue to drive digital transformation with our partners by equipping them with the tools they need to deploy network infrastructure solutions successfully for our customers. Partner-focused marketing campaigns have enabled Juniper’s partners to tap into new business opportunities around data centre and network security. These campaigns arm partners with the tools they need to sell our entire, secure infrastructure solutions as well as understand the needs of specific environments like campus and data centre architecture. Juniper fundamentally believes in interoperability and choice, which helps our customers build and operate the exact secure network for their business needs.

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