White Paper | November 23, 2010

White Paper: The Future Of Borderless Network Security

Source: Cisco Systems, Inc.

By Jon Oltsik

This white paper provides a brief overview of borderless networks, discussing why this transition is an inevitable outgrowth of current business and technology trends. It also addresses a critical question: if borderless networks are already evolving, how can they be secured?

It's easy to be skeptical about the technology industry vision du jour, so it is no surprise that many IT managers don't know what to make of the new "borderless network" rhetoric coming from Silicon Valley. Does this term signifiy a new network architecture built for new cloud computing requirements or is it just a new label for today's LANs, WANs, and public network infrastructure? While market cynicism is certainly understandable, borderless networks isn't a Madison Avenue creation; rather, this trend is extremely important and already well underway. ESG offers this warning to IT and business executives: ignore the borderless network evolution at your own peril!

There is an old hypothesis in the IT industry, referred to as the "network effect," which states that the value of a communications network is proportional to the square of the number of users connected to the network. In more pedestrian terms, more users lead to more possible unique connections and thus more types of potential interactions.

The network effect assumes connections and basic communications, but today's Internet offers far more than the exchange of TCP/IP packets.

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