With the proliferation of Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices, more and more employees want to be able to login to the networks of the companies they work for from remote locations. This presents significant challenges to IT managers, who want to ensure that the network security measures they have implemented don't go by the wayside because a worker wants to use their iPad, smartphone or laptop computer to access the network.
With this in mind, enterprise network solutions provider Aruba Networks has launched a new solution called Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture, which allows organizations to maintain enterprise network security across wireless, wired and cloud-based platforms.
Until recently, Keerti Melkote, Aruba's chief technology officer, said that organizations built their networks around wired computer users sitting at their desks, but that type of network is quickly changing.
"Wireless, until now, has always been an overlay to the wired network," he explained. "What is happening today with the advent of mobile devices, the demand for wireless is far greater and therefore mobility is far greater within the enterprise in various contexts. The moment you embrace mobility, the notion of a LAN (local area network) is not that important anymore because your expectation as a mobile user is that you have access to your information wherever you go."
With the debut of its MOVE architecture, Aruba is rolling out eight new products including four mobility network services and four network on-ramps. The new mobility network services consist of ArubaOS 6.1, Amigopod, AirWave, and Via for Mac OS X. The new network on-ramps include the Aruba S3500 Mobility Access Switch, AP-134 and AP-135 indoor access points, Aruba Instant virtual controller, and the AP-175 outdoor access point.
"From a security standpoint, the big win here is in this architecture we have combined into one system and at one point, authentication, encryption and access control," said Jon Green, senior product manager at Aruba Networks. "And that is pretty key because typically, security systems split those functions up. For example, a firewall doesn't have any sort of visibility into who the user is or if someone is doing a 'man-in-the-middle' attack where someone jumped into that (network user's) session."
Green added that the MOVE architecture allows enterprises to identify users, handle their mobility and enforce their security policies universally.
"We look at wireless, wired, remote VPN (virtual private network) access and a teleworker coming in all as the same thing," he said. "It's fundamentally the access layer of the network where the end user first connects to the enterprise network and people have built those with different silos over time because they say 'well VPN is different and branch office networking is different and your corporate campus is different,' but they are really not different. They are just different on-ramps to get into the enterprise network."