The Riverbed Blog (testing)

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WAN Optimization, Security, and the Federal Market

Posted by bobegilbert on March 5, 2010


For the typical enterprise customer, selecting a WAN optimization vendor usually starts with identifying solutions that do a good job accelerating the applications they care about, are scalable, and can be seamlessly deployed within their IT infrastructure.  For the government customer, there is arguably an even more important consideration that goes above and beyond speed, scalability, and simplicity and that is security.  There are 3 key security considerations for government organizations selecting a WAN optimization vendor.

1.  The existing secure infrastructure must not be weakened

Features need to be in place that ensure that as WAN optimization devices and/or software is deployed, additional security risks are not introduced. 

For example, Riverbed offers the ability to SSL encrypt the traffic between Steelhead appliances.  In addition to encrypting the traffic in flight over the WAN, Riverbed also offers the ability to encrypt the chunked data that is stored on the Steelhead appliance for optimization.  Up to 256 bit AES is supported.  The result is that with Riverbed, you get an end-to-end WAN optimization solution that is secure.

2.  You must be able to accelerate secure applications

Federal organizations that have deployed web-based applications that are SSL-encrypted, have encrypted Exchange email, or have applied SMB-signing to their file sharing environment to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks are often forced to make the trade-off between application acceleration for security.  For many WAN optimization vendors, they will simply pass this traffic through unoptimized or worse, will ask the customer to turn off security so they can achieve acceleration.

Riverbed has done a tremendous amount of engineering work to optimize and accelerate these encrypted environments.  With Riverbed, Federal organizations don't have to turn off SSL encryption, Exchange encryption, or SMB signing.  You get to have your cake and eat it too.  Accelerate your applications, while maintaining a secure environment.

3.  Must comply with federal security standards

Large government organizations, civilian agencies, and militaries deploy IT equipment that runs on networks, in data centers, in office buildings, and even in tents or vehicles to support a military endeavors.  This equipment must not only be secure, but it must comply with federal security standards including FIPS, Common Criteria, and JITC.  These federal security standard requirements are often extended to WAN optimization devices as well.

Riverbed has invested a large amount of resources to ensure that our products meet these Federal security standards.

If you are interested in finding out more about how Riverbed has been selected by government agencies around the world to accelerate applications, optimize bandwidth, consolidate IT infrastructure, and optimize disaster recovery, while doing it securely, please drop me an email.

Bob Gilbert

6 Responses to “WAN Optimization, Security, and the Federal Market”

  1. Neha said

    hi Bob, do we have a whitepaper/brochure of sorts specifically for govt organisations?

  2. Neha said

    hi Bob, do we have a whitepaper/brochure of sorts specifically for govt organisations?

  3. This is true, the infrastructure must not be weakened. If it is so, the company, maybe, in a dead-rear end.

  4. I appreciate three key security considerations for government’s organizations selecting a WAN optimization vender. A perfect WAN optimization will allocate us to prioritize traffic, and secure a definite quantity of available bandwidth for work critical applications. They are able to block unwanted traffic, give priority to certain hosts, and enforce many other related policies. They will optimize the real traffic as well, providing minor latency and advanced throughput for the most critical applications.

  5. Optimising and securing the WAN is also a major concern these days. Nexus Director v8.1 is an open source tool available for doing the job in most effective and economical way possible.

  6. I only wanted to admit, that the illustration to this post is really funny! Nice article!

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