Originally posted to dotmagazine

Dr. Thomas King from DE-CIX explains how an IX platform can shield networks from a range of malicious and accidental security incidents.

As enterprises exchange more and more data along their digital value chains, they need to take a closer look at how to protect their connections to trusted partners and to their digital resources in the cloud. Dr. Thomas King, CTO at DE-CIX, the world’s leading Internet Exchange (IX) operator, explains how an IX platform can shield networks from a range of malicious and accidental security incidents.

As operators of the Internet infrastructure, we are tasked with making sure that we provide a service which our customers are happy to trust. Although operating Internet Exchanges is clearly a B2B business activity, in the end what is important is the trust of the end user sitting in front of his or her laptop or cell phone. For Internet infrastructure operators, it is vital to our own business and to the business of our customers to strengthen and maintain trust in the Internet. For an Internet Exchange (IX), continual research and development, security audits and certifications, and developing and maintaining best practices are as central to the process of ensuring network security as the provision of additional security services to shield against willful and accidental damage.

Increasingly, we see that interconnection customers today look not only at the kind of on-top security features an IX provides, but also how the interconnection platform is operated. There is a growing interest, especially from customers in the enterprise sector, in topics like ISO 27001 or the German Office for Information Security’s BSI IT-Grundschutz certification. They want to see evidence that operations follow certain criteria and best practices, to know that an IX is operating in a secure and reliable way. Enterprises are used to vetting their business partners on security and policy-related topics. Large enterprises rely heavily on their infrastructure partners to provide services and ensure low risk levels for their own operations. Some of the largest customers connect not only at one location to the IX offering of DE-CIX, but connect to most, if not all, of the 29 locations DE-CIX is operating globally.

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