Security takes pride of place at Citrix Synergy 2017

‘Software-defined perimeter’ will help organisations ensure the security of their networks

Citrix CEO Kirill Tataranov debuted the idea of the 'software-defined perimeter' at the company's annual Synergy conference, hosted in its home state of Florida.

During his opening keynote which laid out the vision of the firm Tatarinov claimed that we're already in the midst of World War III, but that as it's happening in cyberspace we can't see it. Humans, he said, are very bad at understanding the gravity of things that we can't see.

Alluding to the global ransomware attack that happened in early May, and the many attacks that preceded it, Tatarinov said: "There's a real, dire need for all of us to mobilise all our resources and get beyond cyber security.

"Let us not have another attack be another wake-up call."

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Continuing on this theme, Tatarinov introduced the concept of the 'secure digital workspace' and the 'software-defined perimeter'.

At the heart of both ideas is the new Citrix Workspace, which now brings all the apps a user may want together in a single location and also makes provisioning of the apps easier for IT.

For the Workspace to be a 'secure digital workspace', though, requires the real-time behavioural and contextual analytics tools available now in NetScaler MAS 12. This can open or restrict access to apps, data and services automatically based on the type of device in use, the type of network the device is connected to, and the location of the individual.

Additionally, if a user starts behaving erratically, whether that's downloading massive amounts of data, accessing information they have never previously touched, or seemingly rapidly moving between geographies, NetScaler MAS 12 can detect this. It can then intervene to automatically quarantine the user, for example, or at the other end of the scale, flag their behaviour as inappropriate to the IT team.

The 'software-defined perimeter', meanwhile, describes the idea that a person can be working from anywhere on any device at any time, so it's therefore most important that the software they're using to access corporate data is as secure as can be.

Both these concepts are emblematic of Citrix's desire to pivot towards becoming what Tatarinov described in a press conference as a "new breed of security company".

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"It's not an accident, we're all seeing what's going on around the world. As a responsible company, it's our responsibility to do more [and] to do more for our customers too."

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