Cloud, Workforce Mobility & IoT Turn the Internet into the New Corporate Network
The “Interprise” network is the enterprise architecture of today. It leverages the Internet and virtual technologies to extend the traditional enterprise network.
To fully understand the “Interprise” movement, though, we must first take a look at what it is and how it came about.
For the past 25 years, corporate network administration and IT have more or less operated within the same basic structure. Companies had their central locations, regional networks, branch networks, and remote workers — all of which were connected via a private network back to a private data center that was owned and operated by the company. That data center held all of the applications that ran the business, including payroll, ERP systems, accounting, CRM, and even Point-of-Sale (POS).
Security and management functions such as firewall policies, ACLs, VPN configuration, and more were conducted on hardware at each branch location or back at headquarters. This system has been called the “enterprise network,” and it has been around for as long as many of us can remember.
Today the Internet is becoming the new corporate network — the Internet enterprise, or the “Interprise.” This new paradigm is gaining traction because of three major technology shifts: cloud, workforce mobility, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
How We Arrived at the ‘Interprise’
Instead of buying their own servers and running their own private data centers, businesses are now utilizing the cloud, such as Amazon AWS, Office 365, Azure, Google, Rackspace, and more. They are leasing servers rather than buying them; this gives them the flexibility to match business cycles.
IDC predicts that, by 2020, mobile workers will compose more than 72 percent of the total U.S. workforce. They will work from home, while traveling, or at Starbucks. In other words, work today is something you do, not a place where you go.
These mobile employees and contractors require infrastructure that supports their particular technology needs as they connect back to applications in the data center, in the cloud, and through SaaS.
In the past, new employees would receive a company-issued computer and a phone on their first day of work. Today, they take those computers outside the office — along with their own personal devices, such as cell phones and tablets. This enormous security challenge is mitigated in the office, where on-premises routers, firewalls, and IDS/IPS are doing their job. However, when employees work from home or from their favorite coffee locale, they access corporate materials via guest WiFi, the public Internet, tablets, and smartphones — and the risk level skyrockets.
The migration of security policies from headquarters to the cloud enables those policies to follow employees everywhere they go.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT’s increasingly large presence in critical business functions has companies looking to adjust their business models. It may no longer make financial sense to expect customers to come to a physical location. Instead, with IoT technologies, companies can bring their services directly to customers.
A company that offers mobile dialysis can send its machines out to locations such as elder care facilities, minimizing long trips to the hospital for people who live in rural areas. From a security and electronic healthcare record (EHR) perspective, these IoT dialysis machines are all connecting to SaaS applications in the cloud, where records are securely held and updated.
Historically, all of this traffic — people, things, applications — has been connected via a private network: an enterprise network. Now, however, everything and everyone can be connected via the Internet, forming an “Interprise” network.
Why the ‘Interprise’ is Secure & Trustworthy
The challenge with using the public Internet as your company’s backbone is the attack surface — it’s the heightened risk that someone can find and exploit your virtual data center.
Cradlepoint NetCloud is a cloud-based Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) that allows you to leverage the Internet in a completely private environment, with private IP addresses and traffic that is always bank-level encrypted end to end. For the first time, you can apply consistent security services to traffic in the office and flowing over the Internet — giving your network admin team unprecedented control.
Traditional VPNs take all network traffic back to the data center before sending it to the Internet, which is highly inefficient. With NetCloud’s virtual cloud overlay networks, you can quickly and easily create a secure private network that streamlines the process, moving security to the public Internet instead of the data center.
When you’re in the office, NetCloud intelligently steps aside in favor of on-premises security hardware and services. Outside the office, NetCloud takes over, ensuring end-to-end security and always-on connectivity.
The Future of the ‘Interprise’
Whether your company is looking to partially or even fully put its network architecture in the cloud, one thing is certain: the less complex you can make the move, the better. The “Interprise” is now essential for network administrators, IT professionals, corporate employees, and the entire economy — and Cradlepoint NetCloud will help you join the revolution.