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Nvidia jumps into Zero Trust

News Analysis
Nov 12, 20212 mins
Network SecuritySecurity

Nvidia is blending its BlueField data-processing units with its Morpheus AI security framework to contribute to a Zero Trust architecture.

zero trust security model secured network picture id1313494602
Credit: iStock

Nvidia has announced a Zero Trust platform built around its BlueField data-processing units and Nvidia software.

Zero Trust is an architecture that verifies every user and device that tries to access the network and enforces strict access control and identity management that limits authorized users to accessing only those resources they need to do their jobs.

“You cannot just rely on the firewall on the outside, you have to assume that any application or any user inside your data center is a bad actor,” said Manuvir Das, head of enterprise computing at Nvidia. “Zero Trust basically just refers to the fact that you can’t trust any application or user because there are bad actors.”

Nvidia announced a Zero Trust platform that combines its BlueField data processing units (DPU), which it inherited from the Mellanox acquisition, the DOCA software development kits for BlueField, and Nvidia’s Morpheus security AI framework.

The DPUs are designed to offload tasks from server CPUs, freeing up the CPUs to do processing work. The DPU can handle tasks such as validating users and isolating apps from infrastructure.

DOCA is the SDK to program DPUs to do all those things, while Morpheus is an open application framework for developing AI-optimized pipelines for filtering, processing, and classifying large volumes of data in real time. DOCA and Morpheus work in conjunction for Zero Trust networks.

Nvidia is updating DOCA to version 1.2 to support features such as software and hardware authentication, hardware-accelerated line-rate data cryptography, support for distributed firewalls, and policy enforcement.

DOCA monitors data to set a normal-traffic baseline in order to spot anomalies that might represent attempted attacks. “So it can learn and build the models of what is good behavior. And then anytime it sees a deviation from that, then it gets flagged as problematic,” Das said.

However, “It is not our intention to be a direct provider of cybersecurity solutions. That’s not what we do,” he said. “We have built the platform for cybersecurity companies to integrate into their solutions.”

Juniper Networks is the first cybersecurity vendor to announce it plans to adopt BlueField and DOCA.

Early access for NVIDIA DOCA 1.2 begins Nov. 30. Morpheus is available now.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.