Multi-cloud services provider VMware recently announced new innovations across its expanding networking and security portfolio that will help customers embrace the cloud operating model.
These new innovations include 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 that extends and advances VMware’s API security and analytics; and Project Watch, a new approach to multi-cloud networking and security that provides advanced app to app policy controls.
In Project Northstar, VMware announces a major advancement of its NSX platform. Project Northstar will deliver multi-cloud networking, security, workload mobility, and end-to-end threat detection and response with a centralized cloud console for consistent and simplified software-as-a-service (SaaS) consumption. This family of services includes network & security policy management, 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.
With the latest update to VMware NSX 4.0 and VMware vSphere 8, NSX networking and security functions can now be implemented on Data Processing Units (DPUs, also known as SmartNICs) connected to the host hypervisor. Offloading NSX services to the DPU can accelerate networking and security functions without impacting the host CPUs, addressing the needs of modern applications and other network-intensive and latency-sensitive applications.
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. VMware’s architecture allows customers see processes running in an endpoint, packets crossing the network, access points, and the inner workings of both traditional and modern apps to identify and stop threats others can’t. As part of today’s announcements, VMware 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. This extended detection and response (XDR) telemetry adds network detection and visibility to endpoints with no changes to infrastructure or endpoints, providing customers with extended visibility into their environment across endpoints and networks leaving attackers nowhere to hide.
Limited visibility into the east-west traffic between microservices also puts modern applications at greater risk. Project Trinidad, which is in tech preview, extends VMware’s API security and analytics by deploying sensors on Kubernetes clusters and 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, and VMware uniquely makes recovery from an attack faster, more predictable, and less prone to error with VMware Ransomware Recovery for VMware Cloud DR, a new offering unveiled at VMware Explore. This new, purpose-built ransomware recovery-as-a-service solution enables safe recovery that prevents the re-infection of IT and line-of-business production workloads through its innovative use of an on-demand isolated recovery environment on VMware Cloud on AWS. Guided recovery workflows allow customers to quickly identify recovery point candidates, validate restore points using embedded behavioral analysis, and recover data with minimal loss.
Expanding security for data center and cloud edge
Last year, VMware announced the industry-first elastic application security edge (EASE) which enables the networking and security infrastructure at the data center or cloud edge to flex and adjust as app needs change. To help customers preserve their investments in expensive hardware appliances that are incapable of adapting to changing app environments, VMware is introducing VMware NSX Gateway Firewall, VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer, and Project Watch
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 in the new age of distributed applications and hybrid work, according to the Dell’Oro Group. A leader in SD-WAN, VMware is now offering additional deployment flexibility to customers who want a multi-phase journey from their current network and endpoint management solutions to a next-generation SASE offering by adding new web proxy-based connectivity to VMware Cloud Web Security.