Issue set to become critical in the light of Sarbanes-Oxley and BS7799 legislation
Companies that do not enforce network standardisation policies risk a widening gap between their infrastructure and the strategic goals of the business, according to intelligent networking provider, Intelliden. Unless the gap between policy and practice is closed, companies will be exposed to the dangers of an unsafe network; especially significant in the light of the recent Sarbanes-Oxley and BS7799 legislation.
In an internal survey of its customers and prospects, including over 50 telecommunications companies and large enterprises, Intelliden found that there was low visibility of the standardisation issue at board level, and even though it was a high priority for the majority of network managers, they experienced significant difficulties when trying to enforce configuration standards across the network. The primary reason cited for the failure of standardisation policy was the inability to control, monitor or account for the amount, location and manner of manual changes made to the network.
“Business demands for growth and flexibility have made the network massively complicated; it is continually called upon to support additional services – and the new technologies they require– and expectations for responsiveness have never been greater. This has ultimately led to the network becoming an unruly combination of countless hardware devices and software technologies from multiple vendors,” said Ravi Pather, Vice President, EMEA, Intelliden. “To meet the challenge of this complexity and to ensure compliance, it is crucial that companies enforce a standardisation policy. However, as long as manual configuration of the network continues, standardisation measures are doomed to failure: no network manager can hope to effectively control a complex network with thousands of different device configurations.”
“Recent compliance legislation is going to catapult this issue to the top of the business agenda, and many companies are going to realise that standardisation is crucial to preserving the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of the corporate network – and hence, the business,” concluded Pather.
Sarbanes-Oxley legislation dictates that companies implement internal controls or rules to govern the creation and documentation of financial statements. As IT systems are used to generate, change, house and transport that data, it will become mandatory for companies to implement effective, reliable controls that can guarantee the information stands up to audit scrutiny. Similarly, BS 7799 (ISO17799) is comprehensive in its coverage of security issues, and contains a significant number of control requirements. In both instances, standardisation is critical to ensuring that the infrastructure can support enforceable policies and best practices to ensure compliance.
With the Intelliden R-Series it is no longer necessary for the network engineer to have an understanding of different device types, manufacturers or IOS languages in order to enforce standardisation. Intelliden captures information about the unique features of every single device in the network – regardless of vendors or technologies – and imports the knowledge into a directory. This modelled approach enables visibility and granular control of the network through a single XML application. Therefore, Intelliden provides instant value by identifying issues in an automated way, and ensures conformance moving forward.
The visibility and control that Intelliden provides not only enables the network to meet
modern service, responsiveness and compliance demands, but also the three key imperatives of network administration: security, reliability and cost-effectiveness. The Intelliden software enables configurations to be implemented in an automatic, business-driven fashion and avoids the risk of faults that manual configuration entails: recent research indicates that one in every three network changes generates an error. Intelliden also notifies users, groups and other applications about device and network changes, while also identifying who did what to the network – where, when and why. Intelliden provides notification when a device becomes unstable and can roll back the network to its earlier state, directly from the management interface. This powerful problem resolution saves both time and money.
Through the integration of Intelliden and network management platforms, it is possible for businesses to enjoy a zero-touch network that will self detect, self analyse and self heal. By taking the guesswork out of network management, Intelliden frees network personnel to focus on planning and executing strategic business initiatives.
Intelliden has several industry-leading clients in key market segments including financial services, defense, telecommunications and government. Intelliden’s partner program includes companies such as Cisco Systems, HP and IBM, among others. Intelliden has more than 30 patents pending on its software solutions.
About Intelliden Corporation
With the Intelliden R-Series™ software suite, networks become more intelligent and efficient by dynamically responding to business priorities, which allows businesses and organisations to reduce costs, optimise network resources, increase network security and accelerate service activation. The Intelliden R-Series solution consists of four intelligent networking product pillars: Auditing and Reporting, Configuration and Control, Provisioning and Activation, and Security Management. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., Intelliden has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and London. For more information, visit www.intelliden.com.
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