Nile, created by two former Cisco executives, aims to reinvent the network and eliminate human dependence by providing “new age” network-as-a-service (NaaS) and adopting “out-of-the-box” automatic zero-trust security. The manufacturer believes that the paradigm is similar to what the cloud did for computers and storage.
Pankaj Patel, co-founder, and CEO of Nile, retired from Cisco in 2016 as EVP and chief development officer. For more than two decades, John Chambers served as CEO and executive chairman of the networking behemoth. This week, the leadership team revealed their networking startup.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me personally… to genuinely transform the paradigm of a networking sector, not only for the purpose of disruption but for removing ridiculous complexity from networking,” Patel told SDxCentral. “Our daring ambition has been realized.”
This principle also applies to how Nile approaches network security. The company claims it takes a holistic security approach and designs a zero-trust network that requires no network operations.
Patel said Nile takes a broad look across network, cloud, and data security areas, such as adopting zero-trust strategies, applying end-to-end traffic encryption; providing identity and access management; keeping the data in the cloud, and complying with data privacy policies following Apple and Google’s models.
Nile co-founder and CEO Pankaj Patel
According to Patel, Nile incorporates zero-trust concepts by verifying and authorizing every person and device while delivering continual verifications.
“What we do is compel that traffic to travel up to the firewall and then back down so that we can now authenticate and authorize the flow going up and then let the firewall do its thing before it comes back down,” he explained.
Nile also isolates traffic in order to prevent lateral movement. “We established micro-segmentation down to a user and device level… to ensure that there is no mechanism for malware or DDoS attacks to proliferate horizontally throughout the company,” Patel explained.
The vendor removes humans from the security configuration to remove errors and also puts trusted platform module (TPM) and media access control security (MACsec) devices into the hardware for verification and network traffic encryption. “This is the blackbox design gives us the power where we take out the men in the middle that they cannot impact anything, they can change anything,” Patel explained.
He calls Nile’s service “the very first new-age enterprise network-as-a-service. It is really based on what number of users that enterprises have on a given day, every single day, and be true up to the number of users.”