Developing a Trusted Security Strategy for China

Organizations in the Americas are increasingly looking to expand into China and tap into its vast growth opportunities. Yet to take advantage of this dynamic, fast-expanding market, they need to manage data securely and efficiently. That’s why firms are looking to China Telecom Americas (CTA) as their trusted partner: a provider that can offer peace of mind with cutting-edge threat protection via a comprehensive set of network security solutions.

We live in a digital world. Data is the lifeblood of any organization, and that’s no different for those looking to grow their business in China. But the sheer volume, variety and sophistication of online threats, network resilience challenges and business risk can present a significant barrier to growth and impair essential services, affecting brand reputation and ramping up the cost of doing business in the region. Average breach costs for global organizations rose to $4 million in 2016. That’s why a trusted partner is so important to secure mission-critical data and networks.

Adding to the problem for organizations operating internationally is that data must be shared extensively, often across both on-premises and cloud systems, and pushed out to multiple fixed and mobile endpoints, creating a large possible attack surface for cybercriminals, nation states and hacktivists to target.

DDoS Threats

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are a constant source of pain for IT security managers, and the threat is growing globally. There was a 4 percent increase in the volume of attacks in Q4 2016 compared to the previous year, with the peak attack size up to 517Gbps and targets on average suffering not one but 30 attacks. DDoS is an ever-present threat. As one vector diminishes, another comes to the fore (as has happened recently with Network Time Protocol, or NTP).

The emergence of IoT-powered botnets such as Mirai has added a new level urgency to DDoS mitigation, with attacks of 300Gbps now not uncommon, according to Akamai. In our always-on digital world, even a few minutes of downtime can cost firms millions. Time, quite literally here, is money.

Record Threat Volumes

DDoS is far from the only security threat facing firms. One security vendor alone blocked over 81 billion unique threats last year, and recorded a spike in new ransomware families of 752 percent. The sheer range of threats, infection vectors and attack techniques is staggering. From relatively simple information-stealing Trojans to complex multi-staged zero-day threats, it requires security teams to constantly be on guard.

Organizations operating in China are exposed to exactly the same threats as anywhere else, and suffer the same financial and reputational fallout when one sneaks through. In fact, China was a top 10 global target for web app attacks in Q4, with SQLi, LFI and XSS the biggest threats.

The CTA Difference

Security teams have to manage all these myriad challenges while balancing the books and meeting sometimes rigorous regulatory and legislative compliance requirements. They must also ensure any security controls don’t interfere with data flows and employee productivity. Fortunately, China Telecom Americas has a number of managed security solutions designed to do all the heavy lifting for customers, providing maximum security while reducing cost and complexity.

Anti DDoS

CTA offers DDoS protection via two techniques: black hole filtering and “clean pipe.” Black holing drops unwanted traffic before it can enter a customer’s network. It does this by dynamically routing it to an empty “black hole” IP address. Clean pipe techniques work best on volumetric attacks and ensures traffic is scrubbed of any DDoS packets before entering the organization’s network by sending it to a CTA cleaning server first.

Threat Monitoring

At the heart of CTA’s threat-monitoring service is security information and event management (SIEM). This 24/7 platform monitors for threats around the clock, consolidating feeds from multiple sources around the customer’s IT environment for the most effective and comprehensive real-time monitoring and reporting possible. Threats are detected early, allowing for swift incident handling and remediation, which is vital to minimize the fallout of an attack. Hotline support and emergency threat advisories are also available around the clock where needed.

Secure Internet Access

Organizations operating in China, as elsewhere, need to enable secure remote and mobile working to drive productivity and business agility while keeping data and systems protected. The answer is CTA’s mobile VPN (virtual private network) offering, based on China Telecom’s MPLS VPN hybrid network, which reaches across the entire mainland of China. It offers a highly secure encrypted connection into your corporate network from wherever you are, supporting key use cases including VoIP, videoconferencing and use of resource-hungry enterprise apps like ERP software.

In fact, corporate data security is guaranteed because the MPLS network connects directly with cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure. We also offer our VPN customers real-time network monitoring, proactive fault handling, network management and a centralized portal for easy management.

The above offerings are all part of the China Telecom Americas managed security platform, which also features web content filtering, AV protection, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), cloud security and more. By outsourcing to a trusted global partner with a proven track record in China, organizations doing business in the region can be sure security is handled by the experts, freeing up their own IT teams to focus on more strategic tasks.

Contact Information 

For more information please contact:
Ryan Oklewicz
(703) 787-0088
press@ctamericas.com

China Telecom aims to make Shanghai a gigabit city

China Telecom’s Shanghai branch Shanghai Telecom plans to deploy the first commercial FTTH network in China using 10G PON technologies, and aims to provide full 1Gbps fiber coverage across Shanghai over the next three years.

Shanghai Telecom has contracted Huawei to help with the rollout, which marks an important step towards making Shanghai China’s first gigabit city, the vendor said.

Shanghai Telecom was providing 1Gbps access for 269 communities in the city, and through the deployment aims to increase the average access rate for its network from 50Mbps to 280Mbps by the end of 2018.

The operator is using its high-speed network to offer a range of home broadband services, such as multi-channel 4K video streaming, video calls and conferencing an video-based smart home services.

Under the latest rollout, the company is adopting Huawei optical line terminals (OLT) and optical network terminals (ONT) capable of providing gigabit convergence, 4K video streaming to 16,000 concurrent households over a single subrack, 8K video streaming, VR applications and smart home services.

To view the full article, please visit Retail News Asia

The NFV/SDN Trends in China You Need to Know

Chinese communication service providers (CSPs) are using network functions virtualization (NFV) technology to deliver expanded internet services to customers, and are hoping for a strengthened economy as a result.

NFV is the next stage in evolution for CSPs. As part of its Internet Plus initiative, China is embracing this technology, which offers flexibility, speed and cost-effectiveness.

While the technology is still new, and there is much to be learned, Chinese companies are moving ahead to expand China’s internet coverage, and strengthen its economy as a result.

This newest development in networking technology is expanding and improving services for companies doing business in the Chinese market. As part of a software-defined networking (SDN) framework, NFV enables CSPs to quickly and easily deliver innovations to customers.

The NFV Advantage

NFV replaces traditional telecommunications network appliances — like routers and firewalls — with software running on off-the-shelf servers, significantly increasing the flexibility and speed for new service delivery.

Operators can deploy cutting-edge functions at certain network locations without the need for new equipment. This more dynamic operation enables network administrators to rapidly respond to evolving customer requirements. Because less equipment is needed, costs decrease and efficiencies are gained.

Chinese CSPs have been quick to adopt this technology to improve services to their customers, and deliver the best networks in China.

In an effort to strengthen enterprise internet, China has begun to embrace NFV. One organization helping to plan NFV implementations is the Network Function Virtualization Lab, which is a joint effort between Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and the China Telecom Beijing Research Institute. The lab helps China Telecom accelerate new offerings for its customers, and test and verify the benefits of transitioning to NFV technology from legacy networks.

Quoted in a press release from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Li Zhigang, President, China Telecom Beijing Research Institute said, “We believe that the integration of NFV within SDN-enabled infrastructure will be the next stage of evolution for the strategic development of the China Telecom network.”

He Jianbo, Manager, Network Function Virtualization, China, Hewlett Packard Enterprise added, “NFV will deliver carrier-grade solutions that offer available and reliable network performance. This will help Chinese and global CSPs compete more effectively and deliver new services more quickly to its customers at a lower cost.”

China’s Internet Plan

With its quickly expanding economy — and accompanying enterprise internet — China has the opportunity to benefit greatly from NFV technology, as it helps strengthen the country’s broadband infrastructure, enabling it to attract businesses from other countries.

The Chinese Government recognizes this potential impact and has developed a strategy for advancing NFV technology, contributing to the development of the best networks in China.

Following the country’s lowest growth in 24 years, Beijing instituted the Internet Plus policy in 2015 to push the country ahead in terms of technology. The policy seeks to add internet services, such as mobile, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) to other fields, initiating a springboard for new industries and business development.

For example, internet technology combined with manufacturing could produce new production methods; internet combined with medicine could optimize medical treatment; and internet combined with agriculture would give farmers better climate, land and demand data.

Digital Trends says that Internet Plus depends heavily on the web. It states, “As part of Internet Plus, China plans to bolster its research and development spending to a total of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product through 2020. This represents an increase of 0.4 percent.”

It’s important to note that, while telecommunications networks represent a mature technology, NFV is still in its early stages.

According to Linux.com, at the China SDN/NFV Conference 2016, held in Beijing in April, Wei Leping, President of the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance commented, “Internet application companies, cloud service providers and a small number of large carriers are currently leading the way in SDN/NFV development.”

Overcoming Challenges

The challenges that accompany a shift to NFV are strategic, architectural and operational, according to Network Testing Product Manager Trinh Vu of Amdocs Inc.

Strategic challenges include change management and determining what to virtualize, where to begin and how to measure success. Architectural challenges include managing performance, reliability and security risks. And operational challenges include managing complex NFV deployments and dealing with the operational complexity of virtualized/hybrid carrier networks.

CSPs transitioning to NFV must learn to think differently about service innovations, and must go through an initial learning curve to gain the necessary skills and experience to make the best use of this technology. Linux.com reported Mr. Wei’s recommendations for future development in this area:

  •  Choose an advantageous strategy to deepen transformation.
  • Settle on practical tactics, followed by productive actions.
  • Dare to make breakthroughs in thought processes.
  • Collaborate with others in the industry to avoid fragmentation.

Despite these challenges to enterprise internet, Chinese CSPs are using NFV to deliver the best networks in China and bring customers innovative, responsive features.

As NFV technology and telecommunications progresses, businesses looking to expand in China will need to find a trusted Chinese partner to provide the internet backbone for their operations.

The Growth of Personal Clouds in China

In the Chinese IT industry, cloud storage seems to have taken center stage. Read more about their cloud market and the changes they face.

Despite the current economic and political challenges facing China, there is still some optimism in its IT sector. Over the last few years, cloud storage seems to have taken center stage in the Chinese IT industry. What started with pervasive and rapid internet growth has exploded as more people gain access to mobile devices. Personal cloud has sprung up to serve an insatiable need for sufficient storage and data sharing points for mobile users. Behind the boom lies a growing level of attention from both China and the international players.

The size of the cloud market

In 2014, the cloud computing products raised about $4 billion, contributing to approximately 5% of its IT industry, and hence lower than the global spending of about 11%. iiMedia Research group expected the number of active personal cloud users to hit 450 million, from 380 million in 2014. Based on CTA estimation, the Chinese spending on private cloud is expected to hit $2.57 billion in 2017 and enjoy a 30.7% growth in the next five years. While the rates manifest the public willingness to embrace the new storage platform, most popular platforms are yet to reach mainland China.

The key drivers of personal cloud market

While the topic seems to have missed the media headlines, it is driving force behind the Chinese dwindling economy and widening political issues. Private cloud users are keen on some features that come with the platform such as 10 TB storage capacity, fast sharing, high-security measures, and accessibility to all devices. Nonetheless, the service providers are keen to further innovations to win the ever-growing market.

The challenges

By the virtue of its size, every technology vendor hopes to grasp a share of the coveted market. They will have to deal with several hurdles if they are going to make significant progress in the market. For instance, they will have to deal with low internet speeds that stand at about 4MBS compared to the US average of about 11MBPS. In addition, a 14% access to fixed line broadband and 21% mobile broadband means the country is largely unexploited.

Unlike other international players, the Chinese personal cloud services allow users to share information raising concerns among the regulators. In a bid to clean the sector, the national authorities embarked on a drive to purge illegal content from the internet, which saw the exit of six primary services. The absence of a clear business model to drive the firms into prosperity stands the way between companies and profitability.

White Paper: Access China with Next Generation Networks

China Telecom is one of only a handful of elite carriers that has built entirely new IP networks in order to satisfy the complexities of globally distributed, Internet-based, mission-critical applications. China Telecom’s next generation network initiative, China Telecom Next Generation Carrying Network, or CN2, began its acclaimed commercial roll-out in mid-2005. Corporate entities, public sector organizations, carriers and managed service providers now have access to a broad range of highly reliable, high performance network services through the region’s best-connected and entrenched information provider – China Telecom.

Partnering for Success
Penetration of Internet subscribers, like the distribution of China’s nearly four million websites, is concentrated in more developed regions of China. It parallels the investments that have been made in all sorts of infrastructure such as the thousands of industrial parks that have been created to nurture upstart Chinese business, attract multi-nationals doing business in the region and retain them. What many foreign companies have discovered over the years is that in order to have long-term success in China, finding a strong local partner is crucial. China Telecom Americas and its parent company, China Telecom, helps multi-national companies and carriers develop and execute their market penetration strategies in China.

The Century’s Greatest Innovation

It has been suggested by some pundits that the Internet is the greatest innovation of the last 100 years, having shaped the global political landscape, fundamentally shifted the way economies develop and changed how people live, work, learn and play. The world is getting comfortable in a digital skin. Most of us would agree that the Internet has had a profound effect on our lives. According to Nielsen’s 2010 Global Online Survey, 40 percent of online consumers in Asia Pacific claim that the Internet has helped them make big decisions. Today global ecommerce is booming, e-mail and instant messaging communications have become ubiquitous and vital industries such as financial services rely on the Internet for mission-critical applications.

There’s a common global theme. Driven by consumer and business demand, Europe and Asia are now becoming Internet transit centers, a role that had once been dominated by North America. Data published by China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) in August 2016 show that Internet adoption and use in China remains strong. The number of Internet users grew by 6.1% in 2015 and currently accounts for over 50 percent of China’s population (CINIC). Consider all of this testament to China’s potential: the country has 721 million Internet subscribers, more than double the population of the United States, and the number of mobile Internet users has reached at least 630 million.

So What’s Wrong with the Internet?
If so many people are using the Internet with positive results, what could be wrong? The Internet on which we depend today is wrought with weaknesses stemming from the fact that it was originally developed as a means for research universities to share information among their computers. As it evolved to be used by consumers, government, businesses, educators and researchers, it remained fundamentally a one-size-fits-all infrastructure.

The Internet’s founders could not have foreseen the level of dependency the global business community now has on the Internet as the foundation for the Information Technology (IT) stack, becoming the network of choice for all kinds of applications and communication methods – from voice to video. Who could have anticipated the many changes to the business environment that now affect all areas of IT, especially the network? Today’s IT executives must now make network architecture and operations decisions in consideration of these trends, which make up the new IT paradigm:

  • Globalization. Whether the company’s increasingly global view is driven by a global client base and/or global sourcing of services or materials, IT – from the network layer up to the business application layer – is supplying the enabling infrastructure to sustain the expansion.
  • A growing reliance on distributed, composite applications. The nature of distributed, composite applications is that resources are spread out among many physical and logical locations and they are comprised of IT assets that were not originally built and rolled out together. These applications are ever changing and leverage both old and new technologies. They are dependent upon underlying network performance to keep application resources on-line, performing at required service levels and synchronized worldwide.
  • A move from batch to real-time transaction processing. Industries like manufacturing, financial services and even retail that used to wait 24 hours to analyze the day’s operations data or complete clients’ transactions are now processing transactions in real time and expect to view performance data in real time through their Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) applications and Executive Dashboards. Real-time transaction processing smoothes network loads, yet also means that unless the network supports classes of service, mission critical financial trading transactions or important updates to the ERP system may experience performance bottlenecks due to a burst of e-mail traffic. Customer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and IT’s operations performance targets are now higher than ever, and rely on real-time transactions, which in turn require network reliability, accessibility and performance.
  • Intense competition and consolidation in many vital industries. There is extreme pressure in nearly every industry to reduce the cost of operations. Information technology, from the business layer down to the network layer, has delivered cost savings by rolling out systems and processes that automate and control business operations. As new network protocols and services are commercialized by industry-leading communications companies, the cost of IT operations has been further reduced and the new IT paradigm has been enabled.
  • Government regulations. Although many regulations are process-oriented, others dictate stringent IT performance, new reporting capabilities and auditable levels of security in the IT infrastructure.
  • Greater availability and acceptability of digital content and web applications. Integrated Software Vendors (ISVs) and content owners have made billions of dollars of investments in web-enabling applications and creating digital content. The growth of digital content market is spurred by the commercialization of services that enable it to be consumed in a variety of ways; through a television, computer or mobile device. The convergence between mobile and fixed line services; between voice, data and video; and between devices all requires supporting network infrastructure to meet rising consumer demands.

Most consumers and business users of Internet services are incognizant of the new paradigm, but IT executives and network communications providers certainly are. The fact is that the Internet we use today (the majority of it running IPv4 technology) has had millions of patches applied to it in order to help it address this new IT paradigm. And in spite of its shortcomings, the Internet continues to be a strategic part of our lives and the global economy.

China Telecom’s CN2: The Business Class Internet
While many global users may be satisfied with the current Internet, some IT executives, industry analysts and innovators like publicly-traded China Telecom Corporation (NYSE: CHA) have seen both cause for concern and untapped opportunity. China Telecom has the majority market share of Internet users in China and 53% of the country’s Internet backbone. The company controls 70% of China’s local access and has led the country’s telecommunications evolution with service offerings like China VNet (Internet portal) and ChinaNet (IP and broadband network) and was the first Chinese carrier to establish a US operation to serve global clients, China Telecom Americas.

Forward-thinking and resourceful, China Telecom evaluated a constellation of emerging technologies, market conditions and trends and concluded that ChinaNet would meet much of the market’s needs for a long time, yet the company understood that there would remain an underserved market segment. The growing importance of IT to global competitiveness, the increasing dependence on networked applications, the booming economy and the influx of Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) investing in China would require an entirely new global Next Generation Network to meet both the staggering volume of demand for Internet services and the new IT paradigm – one that rests on the power of global, distributed, real-time and regulated networked operations. China Telecom laid plans for China Telecom Next Generation Carrying Network, or “CN2.” CN2 provides the global coverage, network technology infrastructure and management capabilities required for MNCs to successfully leverage China in their growth strategy. It’s an advanced communication and information network for the future.

Technology for the Next Generation
NOCs in Shanghai and Beijing equipped with service-aware management tools provide automated provisioning, proactive problem identification and resolution, network and application performance management, service level management and real-time reporting.

CN2 moves China Telecom from a traditional network carrier to a comprehensive integrated information service provider and reinforces its position as an ally to multinational businesses doing business throughout Asia.

A multi-billion dollar investment, CN2 was built from the ground up. It is an IPv6-capable backbone network leveraging new softswitches (the control layer) and protocols like DiffServ and MPLS, which boosts performance of its bearer layer. With five classes of service and QoS, CN2 guarantees reliability and performance of mission-critical and high-priority applications. The MPLS-optimized architecture also enables Frame Relay and ATM traffic to be transported over a Layer 2 VPN, ensuring support for both legacy traffic and new IP services over a single IP/MPLS network. This promotes network efficiency and scalability in order to satisfy the growing demand for IP services.

CN2 enables China Telecom and its subsidiaries to continue to support its legacy services while moving forward with cost effective new offering such as:

  • high-performing global VPNs such as IP/VPNs or Ethernet VPN;
  • converged services offering communications from anywhere to any device (combined voice, data and video services);
  • high-quality IP voice;
  • video streaming and other advanced broadband applications;
  • 3G mobile applications.

Pervasive Network Coverage
After nearly three years of tests and trials, the network began its commercial roll-out in mid-2005, beginning in China with core nodes in seven cities, aggregate nodes in 22 cities, edge nodes in 165 cities with direct coverage to 194 cities with the ability to extend further through ChinaNet. CN2’s Global Points of Presence (POPs) are located in New York, Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington DC, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Singapore, London, Seoul and Tokyo. Connecting to ChinaNet’s over 35 million registered customers, CN2 reaches more subscribers in Asia than any other network, and provides direct connections to all major global ISPs for direct traffic routing. As an ultra long-haul Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) network, CN2 provides better transit and minimizes signal delays.

Smart Operations Support System
Many global carriers struggle with the fact that their Network Operations Centers (NOCs) were built before the entire IT paradigm shifted – before real-time, distributed, mission-critical applications were running over the Internet and certainly before classes of service needed to be managed like applications. How can a company offer industry leading Service Level Agreements for multiple services without the tools to assure that they can be met?

China Telecom’s network investment has been matched by an equally powerful Operations Support Systems (OSS) infrastructure called China Telecom Global Support Center. NOCs in Shanghai and Beijing equipped with service-aware management tools provide automated provisioning, proactive problem identification and resolution, network and application performance management, service level management and real-time reporting. These OSS tools provide China Telecom’s global clients and carrier partners visibility into CN2’s performance. When distributed, composite applications experience performance problems, quickly identifying and isolating the root cause of the problem to the network, ERP system, middleware, database, J2EE application or even the mainframe becomes essential. CN2’s management tools empower Operations Support experts to rapidly rule out whether or not the problem is caused by the network.

CN2’s Benefits to Clients and Affiliates
While leveraging the assets that already exist on ChinaNet, CN2 offers a business class alternative that enables applications and communication services in Asia and beyond to perform at unprecedented levels. CN2 takes into account:

  • The need for immense scalability (of users, network capacity, thousands of interconnections, domains and IP addresses, etc.);
  • The need for application specific SLAs;
  • The growing global dependence on Internet based distributed, composite, mission critical applications;
  • Security as required by government regulations and today’s security best practices;
  • Support for alternate devices and converged media such as voice, data and video;
  • The need to find and fix performance bottlenecks quickly.

Corporate and Public Sector Organizations
Corporations and Public Sector Organizations will realize many benefits from CN2, including:

  • Improved performance of all networked applications;
  • Broader range of services available;
  • Greater flexibility in service choices;
  • Cost effectiveness – more services available through one investment;
  • Ability to store information centrally on the network, which means that they can obtain it from many points, rather than have to transfer data among devices;
  • Reliable management capabilities.

Communications Providers and Managed Services Providers
Communication and Managed Service Providers which have had a long history of collaboration with China Telecom are offered the following with CN2:

  • Best of breed services to offer to their clients either under the China Telecom brand or privately labeled;
  • Ability to generate new revenue streams from innovative, customizable service offerings;
  • Opportunity for easier and cheaper entry into the Asian market by working with China Telecom and its subsidiaries;
  • Availability of carrier-class multi-service IP networks and service driven switching;
  • Superior customer support by leveraging CT’s investment in OSS, making service fulfillment and service support available in real-time.

Summary
China Telecom’s CN2 initiative set out to leapfrog current technology and Internet service offerings in order to enable the growth of the Chinese economy and to remain the Internet service provider of choice serving China and the rest of the world. CN2 is not merely an enhancement or network upgrade. It represents a network and corporate transformation and one that will benefit the region, MNCs and carriers doing business in China for years to come.