New VMware networking, security offerings targeted at multi-cloud world

VMware Inc. yesterday announced a number of additions to its networking and security portfolio, all of which, the company said, are designed to allow organizations to embrace the cloud operating model.

Announced at VMware Explore 2022 in San Francisco were the following:

  • Project Northstar for multi-cloud networking, security and end-to-end visibility
  • Expansion of network detection and visibility to the Carbon Black Cloud endpoint protection platform, with early access available now
  • Project Trinidad, which extends and advances VMware’s API security and analytics
  • Project Watch, which VMware described as a new approach to multi-cloud networking and security that provides advanced app-to-app policy controls.

“Enterprises are facing an unprecedented level of threat and complexity as they operate in today’s multi-cloud world,” said Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s networking and advanced security business group.

Project Northstar

According to the company, Project Northstar, which was announced as a technology preview, and will run on NSX – its network virtualization and security platform – will “transform how enterprises consume networking and security in a multi-cloud world.”

The SaaS-based network and security offering will contain network and security management capabilities, network detection and response (NDR), network visibility and analytics (NSX Intelligence), advanced load balancing (ALB), and workload mobility (HCX) for private cloud environments and VMware Cloud deployments.

Network detection and visibility

VMware said the “growth in laterally moving threats requires security teams to pay closer attention to east-west network traffic. Examining traffic through network taps is no longer sufficient. Modern distributed cloud architectures can further exacerbate blind spots.”

The company said it is strengthening its lateral security capabilities by embedding network detection and visibility into Carbon Black Cloud’s endpoint protection platform, which is now available to select customers in early access.

Project Trinidad

Project Trinidad, which is in tech preview, extends VMware’s API security and analytics by deploying sensors on Kubernetes clusters. It also uses machine learning with business logic inference to detect anomalous behavior in east-west traffic between microservices.

“Findings from VMware’s recent Global Incident Response Threat Report reveal that ransomware actors continue to evolve their cyber extortion strategies. Ransomware will continue to be a business reality,” the company said.

Project Watch

VMware said Project Watch, which is also in technology preview, “will help network security and compliance teams to continuously observe, asses and dynamically mitigate risk and compliance problems in composite multi-cloud applications.”

In a blog posted yesterday, Jacob Rapp, director and lead technologist, networking and security at VMware, and Sergio Pozo-Hidalgo, a senior product line manager with the firm, wrote that “Project Watch aims to introduce a new set of security metrics that convey a well-understood and industry-agreed level of risk and compliance.

“For example: Only end to end (user to app, or app to app) transactions with a risk score less than 73 is acceptable. This manner of assessing a risk threshold allows for a customizable set of mitigations as the risk approaches, hits, and surpasses the acceptable level: the end goal is to allow more transactions by remediating risks, not to block as much as possible.”

VMware Cross-Cloud

The company also made an announcement that revolved around how best to secure the edge for the distributed workforce. VMware said that in the past two years, enterprise customers have fundamentally changed how they build and deploy networks and access to support distributed workers.

“The market for secure access service edge (SASE) solutions is expected to nearly triple by 2026, with security being a key driver of growth as enterprises strategically invest for the new age of distributed applications and hybrid work, according to the Dell’Oro Group,” it said.

To address this, it launched VMware Cross-Cloud, a portfolio of services designed to help organizations navigate the multi-cloud era that contains five key pillars: App Platform, Cloud Management, Cloud & Edge Infrastructure, Security & Networking, and Anywhere Workspace.

Combined, they “deliver a unified and simplified way to build, operate, access, and better secure any application on any cloud from any device,” the company said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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