ALE OmniSwitch may be the most secure switch on the market

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March 02, 2023

OmniSwitch is the switch of choice to deliver the zero trust network security governments demand.

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In today’s high-tech world cybersecurity has become one of the federal government’s most critical concerns — particularly in light of the recent incursions into U.S. infrastructure by both state and rogue actors. Whether it’s stealing subscriber, employee, customer, or taxpayer data, or holding entire company networks for ransom, the critical nature of cybersecurity is front and center and with it, the recognition that networks once thought secure — are probably no longer.

For U.S. government departments and agencies, using the most secure equipment available, has become not only critical, but is now a matter of survival. For agencies to continue to operate and to support the missions they are assigned, cyber-attacks must be addressed head-on.

In fact, cybersecurity has become so critical, an advanced micro-segmentation, zero trust network security architecture has become the “Gold Standard” for LAN networking.

The ALE approach

Fortunately, the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch® family of products are at the forefront of cybersecurity, delivering the capabilities required to ensure federal and critical networks have the security required to meet today’s challenges. The OmniSwitch family serves critical needs in civilian and defense networks supporting aircraft landing systems, nuclear power-plant operations, critical navigation systems and high-quality, real-time video surveillance for both security and new operational management models. Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitches have been embedded in federal networks for more than 20 years without a single security incident report. Combined with the OmniSwitch’s extreme durability (confirmed by multiple destructive barge tests), these performance characteristics are just part of the reason the OmniSwitch is JITC Certified, on the Department of Defense (DoD) Approved Product List (APL), and deployed throughout the U.S. Navy.

Simplicity is a security feature

This is true because simplicity reduces the potential for errors which can leave areas vulnerable. We believe the easier it is to operate and manage a network, the more automation has been built into it, and the fewer steps or systems needed to support the network, the more secure the network. The OmniSwitch also takes simplicity to the next level with:

Security by default

• No software packages to purchase and track

• JITC approved switches

• Protection of the OS and management module

IoT containment for unapproved devices

Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

• Single-management system

• Operation at wire-rate speeds

Shortest Path Bridging (SPB)

• Multicast capability with SPB and wire-rate speeds for top-tier video

Going beyond security standards

The OmniSwitch is designed with a number of capabilities embedded to assure network security. One of the most critical is the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise secure code. Secure code goes above and beyond the required standards with the goal to deliver what may be the most secure switch available today. ALE’s secure code provides independent verification and validation (IVV) with source code analysis, white box and black box testing, as well as searching for vulnerabilities in external interfaces by a company specialised in cybersecurity. Additionally, the company performing the validation testing retains the AOS code after validation testing and, over a secure connection, is able to provide the software directly to specific government customers.

Additional security is provided through software diversification. The ALE software implements address space layout randomisation (ASLR). Each switch boot dynamically generates a unique memory layout.

Products are also securely delivered through the ALE U.S. supply chain process, which designates OmniSwitch models as TAA Country of Origin (CoO) U.S. with all operational software loaded in a U.S. -based facility.

These steps — independent software verification, software diversification and secure delivery of software products — which are unique to ALE, bring a new level of security and confidence to network switch standards.

Bringing it all together

The Alcatel-Lucent OmniVista® Network Management single management system oversees the entire network including data center, edge, wireless and other vendor switches. All ALE switches can be updated with the latest code at the same time with a single action. The OmniVista Unified Policy Authentication Management module is a unified access management platform that includes both a customisable captive portal and a RADIUS server, and enables multiple authentication methods, critical in a Zero Trust Network Architecture.

Many real-time networks that operate in extreme environments, use the OmniSwitch  ‘the best hardened switch on the market’, and the only hardened switch supporting SPB. Today’s federal networks are likely to have multiple locations that require support in extreme environments. The OmniSwitch is a full-featured hardened switch — with all the capabilities of other switches in the network.

Keeping it simple for government agencies means one operating system, one management system, secure code and durability. OmniSwitches have combined these elements to support the U.S. Navy for more than two decades, delivering the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), with what we believe may be the most secure switch on the market.

Learn more about the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch family of products.

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Steven Kleinpeter

Director of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise US Federal Sales

Steven Kleinpeter has been the Director of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise US Federal Sales for 11 years, and has over 30 years’ of experience in Federal Communication networking.

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