Taking the network gateway security to the cloud – Aruba Networks CSS


Can you imagine a UTM service based out of a cloud? That’s exactly what Aruba Networks has done for its remote access devices. Read on to find out more…

In a recent article, we introduced the Aruba Networks Virtual Branch Network concept. Just to extend it a bit more, or secure it a bit more,  they have  introduced the Aruba Networks Cloud based Content Security Service. This is essentially an add-on to the VBN architecture, so if you are not familiar with it, you could read about the VBN architecture by following this link.

There has always been an issue with remote access VPN clients – they do secure the corporate connection but the local Internet access was never fully secure. For a single device or a small branch, a full-fledged UTM appliance was not feasible. So, this Cloud based Content Security Service from Aruba Networks is actually a breather for the users who want enterprise grade network gateway security functions even as they are roaming around the world!

As a part of the Virtual Branch Architecture, there was a main wireless controller in the head office, a remote access point at the SOHO and VIA client for the roaming personnel. Both the remote access users and the SOHO users connect to the HO over a secure VPN terminating on the wireless controller. But they could also do a split tunneling to send the local Internet sessions to the local Internet connection and corporate network sessions to the corporate VPN network (over Internet). So, all the packets that are sent to the local Internet are now routed through a cloud based gateway where they are checked for various security threats (anti-virus, intrusion, data leakage etc) and then allowed to connect to the Internet. This cloud based gateway, which offers security scanning services to the remote users is referred to as Aruba Networks Cloud-based Content Security Service.

Aruba CSS ensures that all the remote access users get the same levels of network security (for both inbound and outbound Internet connections) without requiring a physical UTM appliance at all the locations. This is a subscription based model and hence is flexible enough to accommodate even a single user for this servcie, unlike UTM devices which have a minimum capacity of ‘n’ number of users and is required to be at a certain physical location.

Aruba Networks Cloud-based Content Security Service provides comprehensive gateway level network security that includes anti-virus, intrusion detection/ prevention, URL filtering, protection against Internet threats like mal-ware, spy-ware, botnets, phishing etc, limiting access / time based access to social networking websites, Instant Messaging/ Email protection, application based bandwidth limitation, data loss prevention etc. You could also refer to the official web-page of Aruba Networks on this topic for further information and resources.

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