Lumen and Versa Deliver AI-Powered SASE for Zero Trust

Lumen expands Versa partnership to combine network connectivity and security to create improved reliability and real-time threat detection for businesses

Leading connectivity company Lumen Technologies has expanded its partnership with Versa Networks. The goal is to deliver a sovereign Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution that integrates AI-powered in-line security for Zero Trust at the network edge.

Zero Trust refers to a cybersecurity strategy based on maintaining strict access controls and not trusting any system user by default.

Working together, the solution is designed to leverage Lumen’s global network, in addition to Versa’s secure SD-WAN and unified SASE capabilities. As a result, it should be able to provide real-time threat detection and remediation for customers.

During a time of increased data breaches impacting leading companies and essential services, such as the recent UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) cyberattack, increasing numbers of businesses are seeking new and improved solutions to protect their assets.

Offering customers greater defence control

Lumen is an American telecommunications company headquartered in Louisiana, United States. It offers communications, network services, security, cloud solutions and managed services, designed to ignite business growth by connecting people, data and apps securely.

Its extensive partnership with Versa seeks to harness the company’s knowledge of transformative technologies such as AI and machine learning to improve business cybersecurity.

“Lumen SASE powered by Versa technology leverages the best of both worlds: Lumen's global network and security expertise, and a dedicated, network-based SASE solution that gives customers more choices and customisation,” says Hemen Mehta, VP of Managed Service Providers, NA of Versa Networks “Versa SASE combines Versa Secure SD-WAN and Versa SSE to uniquely deliver a unified SASE architecture that can be consumed as a service from the cloud along with on-premises deployment.”

The solution will be deployed on dedicated SASE gateways in Lumen’s global points of presence (PoPs) or on customer premises, depending on customer preference. It will integrate Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), SD-WAN and other technologies into a hybrid network that connects users, devices and sites seamlessly and securely. 

Additionally, Lumen will deploy Versa SD-WAN at customer premises as part of the Versa Unified SASE offering.

As a result, the companies aim to deliver advanced security services such as Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Security Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) services for remote and hybrid workforces.

Thwarting cybercriminals with the power of machine learning

As AI is being increasingly used by threat actors to carry out more sophisticated attacks, the technology can be a vital tool to protect a company’s systems and improve threat prevention.

Lumen has a range of threat defence products designed to help businesses in their cybersecurity journey. This includes Lumen Defender, a product that proactively blocks evolving threats at the network edge before they can compromise a business network.

Black Lotus Labs, Lumen’s threat research team, leverages its unique visibility into Lumen’s global internet backbone using machine learning algorithms to generate threat intelligence that detects malicious infrastructure being used by cybercriminals.

Moving forward, the Versa partnership builds on its original collaboration last year to bolster network services and security solutions. 

The partnership came about as a result of increased hybrid and remote working patterns, as greater security systems were needed to accommodate this. Now, as businesses accelerate their digital transformation processes, cybersecurity and compliance has become more critical than ever - prompting the need for greater SASE solutions.

“The Lumen and Versa partnership just got stronger. Together, we are now offering a Sovereign SASE option that will provide customers with more control, flexibility, and security,” says Sharada Achanta, VP of Product, Cybersecurity and AI at Lumen. “With this solution, our customers can take advantage of Lumen's new AI-enabled threat defence product, Lumen Defender, for real-time threat detection and remediation.”

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