CenturyLink now secures public WiFi with its network security product.
CenturyLink acquired Level 3’s Adaptive Network Security platform when it bought the Internet service provider for $34 billion last year. The cloud-based service works by routing customers through gateways distributed across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and North America. These 31 gateways serve as a secure link between the customer’s network and the Internet, and they are all interconnected via CenturyLink’s global VPN backbone.
“It’s a big firewall in the sky with a lot more bells and whistles that make it next-gen security,” said Chris Richter, vice president of global security services for CenturyLink. “The thing that was missing was mobility access.”
With its new Adaptive Network Security Mobility product, CenturyLink added that missing, well, link. The network security platform now allows users to securely connect to the Internet and private networks without introducing cyber risks associated with using personal devices and unsecured WiFi.
“Organizations have mobile workforces using laptops, tablets, and mobile phones,” Richter said. “Maybe the office is in Chicago, but we need to access the Internet at Starbucks in L.A. This allows the mobile workforce to carry that same security policy around with them by connecting to the Internet through a regional gateway.”
The service provides secure, remote VPN access to corporate networks via IPSec or SSL-based Internet connections and a standard Web browser, providing end-to-end encryption and tunneling. Enterprises can purchase concurrent use sessions based on the expected number of users at any given time, rather than purchasing individual licenses for each mobile user.
Additionally, companies maintain centralized authentication, user role-mapping, resource policies, and sign-in policies while their employees are connecting with mobile devices.
Richter won’t say how many CenturyLink customers are currently using the new mobile security product. He did, however, say about 8,000 mobile users participated in a beta test over several months before it was rolled out.
CenturyLink also plans to add three new gateways in Latin America before the end of the year, bringing its global total to 34.