IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Exclusive: How self-driving networks help shift IT strategy

FYI, this story is more than a year old

Recently IT Brief had the opportunity to talk to Juniper Networks CTO, Kireeti Kompella, about self-driving networks, digital transformation and enterprise security.

1. To start off with can you tell me a bit more about Juniper Networks? 

Juniper Networks is an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks. We believe that creating simplicity through engineering is innovation’s highest form, so our products, solutions and services are all purposefully designed to simplify the complexities of networking for enterprises, service providers, and cloud providers.

As the industry’s problems became more complex, so did the solutions. While complexity cannot be rid of, we can control where it shows up; and that’s our job here at Juniper – to shift that burden away from our customers.

2. In this era of digital transformation and digitalisation in your opinion what are the keys to success? 

In this digitised world, enterprises must remain flexible. It is nearly impossible to predict what will happen next, so you need to be able to adapt quickly to whatever comes.

The era of digitisation came to us twenty years ago, but it has accelerated exponentially over the past five. Technologies such as the Internet of Things and cloud are now being widely adopted and the world is more connected and integrated than ever before. In this world, enterprises that aren’t quick and willing to adapt risk falling behind.

The other key is to understand that the network has never played a more critical role in an enterprise’s success than now. Today, everything is digitised and information transfer has become much quicker and simpler. But with this near-instant exchange of information has come a near-instant transfer of security threats to the network.

Traditionally, network security was about locking down the perimeter by choosing the endpoints and monitoring them for security threats. But with the rise of bring-your-own-devices in the workplace and cloud adoption becoming the norm, many sophisticated threats now come from within the network. Security has to move away from just detecting known malware to being baked-in across the entire network – from switches and routers to the network operating system itself.

3. Security is often a concern for many companies entering the digital realm, is this concern valid? 

Security is absolutely a valid concern for companies operating in a digital world. In fact, enterprises cannot be concerned enough. Prior to digitalisation, you had to physically be somewhere to cause damage. If I wanted to break into a business, I had to physically travel to the business to cause damage. But the onset of digitalisation has made these attacks much easier to conduct – incredibly quickly and from anywhere in the world.

In the digital realm, the scale of these attacks has also hugely increased. Pre-digitalisation, the information bad actors could steal was limited to business information or funds. Now, hackers can install malware and access any data they need to steal your identity, almost in an instant.

Scale becomes an even greater concern when you consider that the Internet of Things is only getting bigger and more connected. Your smartphone today is an entry point to personal information such as text messages, financial data and health records. When this smartphone enters the workplace, it can very quickly infiltrate your company’s network if left unsecured.

4. Can you tell me a bit more about security automation and how it applies to A/NZ?

Bad actors are nimble, tech-savvy and many have already added automation to their artillery. Unless your business deploys a security approach that matches or exceeds those used by hackers, you will lose.

Businesses in Australia and New Zealand are typically smaller in size than their North American and European counterparts. While large enterprises have the resources to employ dedicated cyber security teams, this isn’t a luxury often afforded to small-to-medium sized businesses. With A/NZ businesses being among the most connected in the world, they are prime targets for hackers.

For these smaller, already-stretched IT teams, the sheer volume of security alerts that come through every hour mean that IT managers are not just drowning in alerts but manually responding to threats that can put the entire network at risk.

Combined with machine learning, automation promises to more quickly and accurately identify potential threats to an organisation’s network by analysing ones that have come before it. Rather than taking several hours for IT teams to manually locate the source of a threat and devise a plan to contain it, automation allows threats to be identified, located and resolved in a matter of seconds.

5. Moving away from security, as networks grow they become more complex bringing with them a lot of challenges. Can you tell me a bit more about self-driving networks and how they tackle those challenges?

The idea behind self-driving networks is training technology to get to a point where the network can completely run itself, helping IT managers anticipate attacks and failures before they happen. It is about moving beyond reactive management of the network while freeing up valuable IT teams to focus on higher value work such as refining network architecture and security.

“I’ll get to it later” is a common trap among IT managers. While many hold well-intentioned plans to simplify, speed-up and rearchitect the tech that keeps their organisations running, it often falls down the priority list after repetitive maintenance and monitoring work. With autonomy, self-driving networks will self-configure, monitor, manage, correct, defend, and analyze, all with very little human intervention. 

Along with freeing up IT teams to perform the high-value, nuanced human tasks, self-driving networks and the automation technology that powers it can help IT teams improve response times as human intervention is no longer needed before actioning repetitive and prescribed tasks. This is particularly important when it comes to security. If someone is hacking into your network and stealing passwords, the quicker your response, the less impact on your business’ security and operations.

6. In closing what would you say to embolden companies hesitant about digital transformation? 

Businesses need to realise that the competition is already embracing digital transformation. The bottom line is, if you’re not gearing your network up to keep pace with the speed of change and threats that are coming, you risk losing the confidence of your customers and relevance in the market. That’s the profit conversation.

Beyond that, digitisation promises to simplify and improve the workplace, boosting employee morale, engagement and satisfaction, while enabling your business to be more responsive to customers.

During my short time in New Zealand, it’s been exciting to see firsthand the openness of New Zealand businesses to digital transformation. I have no reservations in saying that New Zealand businesses are braver than those in the US and some parts of Europe, and more willing to take the plunge – particularly those at the small-to-medium end of town. I’ve seen more walk than talk in this market, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the most forward-thinking organisations are born out of New Zealand.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
New Relic integrates offering with Atlassian’s Jira Software
New Relic has integrated errors inbox with Jira Software to allow developers to easily access and set up complete stack error tracking and software performance monitoring from within the tool.
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro NZ sees $74 million revenue growth in 2021
Ingram Micro New Zealand's latest financial report reveals that its revenue from contracts with customers increased by almost $74 million in 2021.
Story image
Cloud and data protection big challenges for NZ businesses
"This surge towards a cloud-first approach meant security and safety became afterthoughts - there's no point being the fastest car on the racetrack if you crash.”
Story image
Data Protection
VMware introduces advanced workload protection for AWS
VMware Carbon Black Workload for AWS delivers comprehensive visibility and security across on-premises and cloud environments for AWS customers.
Story image
AvePoint rebrands SaaS learning product to MaivenPoint
"Our mission with MaivenPoint is to make your learning experience limitless and inspire everyone to achieve their aspirations."
Story image
DCI Data Centers breaks ground on AKL02 center
DCI Data Centers has commenced construction on Auckland's largest data center.
Story image
Exclusive: Inde provides innovative solutions across the tech sector
Inde likes to call its approach the 'power of the collective', which essentially means that if a client approaches the company with a problem, they'll get the team's collective insight to help drive the best outcome.
Story image
LG Electronics
LG Electronics’ revenue in NZ grows by 57% in FY 2021
The New Zealand branch of LG Electronics Australia's total revenue shot up by nearly NZD $45 million reaching a total of $123.7 million for FY 2021.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Adobe and FC Bayern collaborate on a multi-year partnership
Adobe is embarking on a multi-year partnership with FC Bayern, using its enterprise solutions to carry out the club’s digital transformation.
Story image
Workplace design a crucial factor for better employee experience - report
The key to a successful workplace could be its design, according to research from Ecosystm and Neat.
Story image
Financial results
Jade Software’s plan to get back to surplus in 2022
Jade Software has released its latest financial report, revealing that the company has kept its loss low from $567,000 in FY 2020 to just $153,000 in FY 2021.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
Open source
Flashpoint acquires Echosec Systems, elevates OSINT capabilities
Flashpoint has acquired Echosec Systems, a provider of open-source intelligence and publicly available information.
Story image
Claroty launches new cloud-based industrial cybersecurity platform
The company says Claroty xDome is the industry's first solution to deliver the ease and scalability of SaaS without compromising on visibility, protection, and monitoring controls.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Why the right ERP (and partner) is crucial to an innovative and successful business
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a foundational step to ensuring a robust business model; here's why choosing the right one could be vital to ensuring long-term success and innovative results.
Story image
Keysight Technologies and Nokia’s public test of 800GE success
Keysight and Nokia have successfully demonstrated the first public 800GE test, validating the readiness of next-generation optics for service providers and network operators.
Story image
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?
Story image
Why enhancing bot protection for web and API endpoints matters
The trouble with bots is that they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to detect malicious bots that find their way into your system and threaten your business.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Spectralink DECT devices now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway
Spectralink DECT devices are now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway to help create better results for business-critical frontline workers.
Story image
Document Management
TrustRadius gives M-Files two document management awards
TrustRadius has recognised M-Files with both a 2022 Best Feature Set and a 2022 Best Relationship award in document management.
Story image
Automation to take over 63 million jobs in APAC by 2040 - report
Forrester forecasts that working populations in the five largest economies in APAC are more at risk of physical robot automation than in Europe and North America.
Story image
SnapLogic teams up with meetmagic for charity and children
SnapLogic has announced its partnership with meetmagic, an online Australian platform that combines business and philanthropy.
Story image
Palo Alto Networks responds to rise in threats with MDR service
Unit 42 Managed Detection and Response is a new service that can offer continuous 24/7 threat detection, investigation and response.
AWS Marketplace
See how managed security services (MSS) have evolved to Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR). Learn how these new holistic solutions can simplify security management and improve your threat detection and response.
Link image
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner positions Commvault as Leader in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has named Commvault a Leader in its 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions report.
Story image
New Zealand
2degrees announces appointments to newly established board
2degrees has announced Liz Coutts as the board chair, while Russell Stanners and Kathy Meads join her as directors.
Story image
Exclusive: UKG brings a people focused approach to workforce management
Managing an effective and efficient workforce is the crux of any business operation, and in today's climate, it's more than just work employers need to be aware of.
Story image
Google Cloud
Google Cloud to open first cloud region in NZ - among others
Google Cloud has announced plans to bring three new cloud regions, one each in New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
Story image
NZ program recovers and recycles more than 177 tonnes of e-waste
The TechCollect NZ pilot program says its milestone of recovering and recycling more than 177 tonnes of ICT e-waste recognises the efforts of many.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Exclusive: NZ-based DEFEND offers global cyber protection
DEFEND supports customers in 66 countries across the globe with a relentless focus on ensuring that every dollar spent on security provides a meaningful return on investment and reduces cyber risk.
Story image
Why the Metaverse could be the key to enhancing the healthcare sector
The experts at Accenture understand that the programmable world is about building the next version of the physical world in healthcare, understanding complex layers in order to fully utilise technology to its maximum effect.
Story image
Avast One extends protection with Online Safety Score
Avast One has extended its cross-platform support by adding its Online Safety Score feature to both the Mac and iOS platforms of Avast One.
Story image
Red Hat
Red Hat announces 2022 awards winners for A/NZ region
Red Hat recently acknowledged Australia and New Zealand partners with its annual awards, highlighting partners across various categories.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Cohesity, Equinix, IDC, Proofpoint & Xero
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 5, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Pure Storage
Pure Storage named leader in GigaOm report for Kubernetes storage
Pure Storage named the leader for the third consecutive year by GigaOm Radar Report for enterprise Kubernetes storage.
Story image
Datacom research explores reality of zero trust in A/NZ
Zero trust is fast emerging as global best practice in cybersecurity and local leaders are on board, with 83% considering it essential to security.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Heidrick & Struggles
Graham Kittle joins us today to discuss how the company is helping organisations bring about change within their business.
Story image
Data analytics
Data analytics a struggle for A/NZ healthcare organisations
A study by InterSystems has found that most Australian and New Zealand healthcare organisations struggle to use data analytics to support their business objectives.
Story image
Talend announces support for Amazon Redshift Serverless
Talend has announced its support for Amazon Redshift Serverless, with the company saying the integration reinforces its commitment and leadership in supporting businesses.