CenturyLink said that the public and private sector need to make sure that cybersecurity can keep the nation safe from the ever-emerging group of so-called bad actors whose attacks are growing in sophistication.
As cybersecurity threats become more advanced in nature, the concern has risen to focus on how attacks could potentially put critical infrastructure at risk like defense systems or the power grid.
Glen Post, CEO of CenturyLink, told attendees at this week’s NATO Communications and Information Agency’s Annual Industry Conference and AFCEA TechNet International event that cybersecurity is a mission for which the private and public sector need co-develop solutions.
“At the end of the day, cybersecurity is not just a job. It’s an obligation,” Post said during the event’s keynote speech. “Cybersecurity is about protecting our families, our friends, our businesses, our economies and our countries around the world.”
Driving public, private partnerships
Working with the defense and broader public sector segment on cybersecurity issues makes sense for CenturyLink.
The service provider maintains a 24/7 presence within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, where members jointly respond to all national disasters and emergencies, including cyber-related events.
It is also a premier provider of secure transport backbone services to the U.S. Department of Defense and the warfighter through the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
To help achieve a broader cybersecurity goal for the government and consumers, Post said that CenturyLink has to develop partnerships with what he calls “trusted peers.”
“We have found that our trusted partnerships play a critical role in combating the cyberthreat, since we all bring different assets, approaches and specialized knowledge to the table,” Post said.
Ramping software-based investment
The service provider has continued to invest in a series of technologies, services and partnerships that it said can help customers stay ahead of growing cyberthreats and fulfill their missions.
Specifically, the service provider is leveraging emerging SDN and NFV virtualization technologies as well as big data analytics, to more effectively predict, detect and respond to malicious cyberattacks.
CenturyLink plans to have full global virtualization coverage in its IP core network and data centers by 2018. As of the end of 2016, CenturyLink virtualized 60% of its major points of presence (POPs).
In tandem with virtualizing its network functions, the service provider has ways to incorporate more security functions in the cloud.
“We’re also committed to providing built-in interoperability and ways IT systems can talk to each other via the cloud,” Post said.
One example of how its software-based investments are gaining momentum with the defense industry emerged in January when CenturyLink has added SDN and NFV to its Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) III contract service lineup, for example.
This deployment is being carried out with the U.S. Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (DoD HPCMP).