Adaptive Network Security:
Moving from Implicit
to Explicit Permissions
A Vernier Networks White Paper
Vernier Networks, Inc.
465 National Avenue
Mountain View, California 94043
The explosion of fast, reliable network connectivity in the form of the Internet and the
enterprise LAN over the last 20 years has transformed the world of business, creating
new opportunities and making organizations fast, agile, and efficient. The challenge
for corporate IT departments is to meet the ever increasing demands of an “always
connected” user base that includes employees, partners, and customers, while keeping
networks and the intellectual assets they carry secure.
Unfortunately, the combination of powerful, portable end users computers and the
corporate dependency on networks for mission-critical operations is challenging
traditional models of security. Threats are no longer isolated to a few attacks launched
from outsiders, but may originate from our most trusted employees. Viruses, worms,
“Warhol worms,” Trojan horses, DoS attacks—the range and number of attacks that can
be launched from within the security perimeter are multiplying at a bewildering rate. While
staving these off hostile attacks, network managers are also responsible for enforcing
a host of other security policies, ensuring that users do not misuse network resources,
wrongly distribute intellectual assets, or violate industry regulations.
With the frequency and severity of attacks increasing, and organizations relying
increasingly on networked automation to gain a competitive edge, is it finally time to
reconsider the prevailing approach to network security? How can corporations ensure that
users get the network access they need, without jeopardizing the security of the network?
Connectivity versus Security
Optimizing network access in terms of connectivity and security is a cl