[Webinar On-Demand] Never Trust. Always Verify.

Gartner predicts that 21 billion mobile devices, wearables, medical devices and other IoT things will connect to the internet by 2020.

So, how can you be sure who or what is on your network?

Watch our on-demand webinar ‘Never Trust. Always Verify’ with Malcolm, Network Utilities’ Technical Director and Paul, Channel SE from Pulse Secure to learn how a Zero Trust model gives you the visibility needed to mitigate risk.

During the webinar you’ll discover:

  • What’s driving the interest in Zero Trust
  • The principles of a Zero Trust model
  • Trends shaping the delivery of Secure Access
  • How the Software Defined Perimeter works
  • The critical elements of any successful Zero Trust Secure Access solution
  • How Pulse Secure delivers Zero Trust Secure Access for hybrid IT

Secure Access for Today and Tomorrow: Part 3

The Requirements of a Secure Access Solution – Balance Security and Productivity

With a Secure Access solution in place, organisations can enforce policy compliance by employees, guests and contractors regardless of location, device type, or device ownership. Users enjoy greater productivity and the freedom to work anywhere without sacrificing access to authorised network resources and applications. IT can mitigate malware, data loss and IoT risks. And IT is empowered to optimise their resources and enable digital transformation across the organisation.

Integrated mobile security

First, a Zero Trust Secure Access solution must enable enterprise mobility to boost workforce productivity. This requires enabling visibility and compliance controls in a transparent way across different devices and operating systems. It involves simplifying the secure use of mobile devices by offering automated, self- service on-boarding of devices – whether they are laptops, smartphones, or tablets – regardless of user location and device ownership. Mobility enablement also requires the ability to ensure compliance by isolating work applications and data from private applications in BYOD scenarios. Lastly, a Secure Access solution must support always.

Simple and easy-to-use UX

A Zero Trust Secure Access solution must also take into consideration users’ consumer-based expectations for a simple, integrated user experience (UX). For example, end users want the convenience of Single Sign On (SSO) to applications across devices, operating systems and application infrastructures. IT administrators demand an intuitive and flexible way to orchestrate all elements of access security – freeing them from the need to correlate data and actions across multiple security systems and consoles. Additionally, a best-in-class solution will optimise the user experience by leveraging an integrated Application Delivery Control (ADC) solution, guaranteeing timely response to meet any demand, regardless of whether users access applications on site or remotely.

End-to-end hybrid IT security and visibility

The increase in cyberattacks coupled with the move to hybrid IT environments means that a Zero Trust Secure Access solution must offer end-to-end hybrid IT security and visibility. The solution should provide user, device and access operational intelligence to allow for informed policy development, threat response and reporting. Such a solution should combine multi-factor authentication with role-based and device-compliant authorised access to applications, whether the applications are hosted in enterprise data centres, private clouds, or public clouds. An integrated platform, incorporating both perimeter-based (VPN) and Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) architectures provides versatility to address a broad number of business needs while offering deployment flexibility and management economies.

Unified and scalable platform

The difficulties associated with multiple security silos can be mitigated by adopting a unified Zero Trust Secure Access platform. A unified platform provides appropriate application access that supports physical and virtual IT resources across on-premise and cloud environments. It must also provide endpoint coverage across classic PCs, mobile and even IoT devices, requiring the application of agent and agentless Client technology. Given the growth in users and devices, a unified platform must be sufficiently scalable to handle the steady

Unified policy engine for users, devices, and applications

Policy unification is another way to combat the gaps that can be created by multiple security silos. Unlike siloed solutions, policy unification enables rules to be written once and automatically applied enterprise-wide. SDP architectures offer a unified and centralized policy engine that is context-aware, enabling enforcement of granular policies based on user, role, device, location, time, network and application, as well as endpoint security state. To minimize IT administrative workloads and ensure interoperability with third-party solutions, policy enforcement should be standards-based.

Seamless integration across multiple vendor solutions

Establishing a unified platform and policy engine is made easier and effective by partnering with a single vendor who can orchestrate Zero Trust Secure Access controls across multiple vendor solutions. To minimise IT administrative workloads, bi-directional interoperability should be standards-based and support a variety of third-party solutions. Applying this approach allows a single vendor to incorporate new technologies as they become available and enable greater enterprise availability, resiliency, elasticity and scalability.

Extensibility to new endpoints, services, and applications

Finally, as demonstrated by the growing need for IoT and multi-cloud security, a Zero Trust Secure Access solution must be intelligent and adaptable. The solution must be able to discover, segment and monitor sanctioned and unsanctioned IoT devices on the network and private cloud employing advanced device profiling, classification, analytics and threat response. Furthermore, as IOT devices interface with corporate application including IT and OT (Operational Technology) convergence, Secure Access functionality must be sufficiently flexible to accommodate future use cases without compromising availability, performance, compliance, or security.

Original source: Zero Trust Secure Access Checklist via https://www.pulsesecure.net

Read Secure Access for Today and Tomorrow: Part 1 here

Read Secure Access for Today and Tomorrow: Part 2 here

Secure Access for Today and Tomorrow: Part 2

IT teams are on a constant treadmill of change, which is driven by five major trends shaping the delivery of Secure Access.

1. The consumerisation of IT is revolutionising.

It has completely changed the nature of today’s workplace and contributing to digital business transformation. Enterprises are confronted with proliferation of smart devices and online apps. Millennials, who will represent almost fifty percent of the workforce by 2020, are tech savvy and accustomed to a rich, on-the-go personal digital experience – and they expect a similar digital experience at work using their own mobile devices. Enterprises are challenged to support workforce dynamics and deliver this consumer-like user experience for their employees without compromising key compliance and security requirements.

2. Networks are increasingly under attack.

With new cyberthreats and data leakage in the headlines, security breaches have reached crisis proportions. Reducing the Mean-Time-to-Detect (MTTD) and Mean-Time-To-Respond (MTTR) to vulnerabilities and incidents has never been more important for organisations. Visibility, real-time prevention and automated response are critical for IT to combat threats that are the result of insider activity, privilege misuse, non-compliant and unsanctioned devices and device loss.

3. Cloud computing and hybrid IT environments are the norm.

The traditional data centre environment has morphed into a blended enterprise, cloud and cloud service environment. In this new world, IT resources are typically deployed in an enterprise’s own private cloud or leverage third-party public clouds, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. Even though multi-cloud has become the new normal, cloud security still may not be as trusted as traditional data centre protection. After all, the primary product offering of cloud providers such as Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is space, processing power and bandwidth – not security. To ensure appropriate and protected connectivity to applications and information, businesses need Secure Access solutions that can extend proven data centre security to the cloud.

4. Use of multiple security silos for enterprise access.

Hybrid IT environments contribute heavily to this trend as IT extends existing data centre security policies to cover IaaS and SaaS situations. Unfortunately, the use of point solutions to address access security within different computing environments frequently leaves gaps, limits visibility and yields inconsistent policies. This also often results in a complex and frustrating user experience. In a 2017 report by ESG, 66% of cybersecurity and IT professionals agreed or strongly agreed that security analytics and operations effectiveness is limited because it is based upon multiple independent point tools.

5. The Internet of Things (IoT) is exploding.

Printers, smart TVs, personal WiFi, security cameras, sensors, and other peripheral devices are becoming commonplace. These devices are all connected via laptops, desktops, smartphones, or directly on enterprise networks and often further connected through IP networks to other corporate and third-party resources. The security of these systems, from changing default passwords to installing patches, is often an afterthought at best – frequently leaving IoT devices vulnerable to attack and misuse. Typically, organisations are unaware of these devices, and the myriad of ways they are connecting to their internal systems and data. With the rise of Industry 4.0, which uses IoT and cloud to boost manufacturing output, cybersecurity concerns are now bleeding over from IT into the operational technology (OT) domain. Hackers now view IoT as a new opportunity for targeted attacks, taking advantage of security weaknesses and employee ignorance alike. To gain control of the risks posed by IoT, organisations need to redesign their security architecture for IT and OT end-to-end visibility, contextual awareness, and real-time action.

Secure Access ensures that in a Zero Trust world only authenticated users with compliant devices can connect to authorised applications and information at any time, from any location, over any network.

Original source: Zero Trust Secure Access Checklist via https://www.pulsesecure.net

Read Secure Access for Today and Tomorrow: Part 1 here

Read Secure Access for Today and Tomorrow: Part 3 here

Network Utilities acquires Metropolitan Networks to create the UK’s leading specialist integrator

London, 28th March 2019:  Network Utilities Ltd, a leading integrator of network and security solutions, has announced the successful acquisition of Metropolitan Networks, a provider of customer-centered network support and security managed services, that will create the UK’s leading specialist integrator of identity-centric network, security and data solutions and services to enterprises, telcos, MSPs and ISPs.

The newly enlarged Network Utilities will also gain its own on-premise data centre and 24/7 Network Operations Centre in the UK and new offices and staff in the Middle East, Caribbean and West Africa to support an expanded roster of international clients including Cable & Wireless, Judiciary of Trinidad & Tobago and Nutrien. 

The combined company has over 400 enterprise and service provider clients including many listed within the FTSE 100 along with household names in financial services, education, healthcare and manufacturing.

“This acquisition marks a great day in our 25 year history and brings together two companies that have a highly regarded and trusted reputation with clients and partners,” said David Bundock, Chief Operating Officer. “As one of the oldest serving specialist solution providers with customer relationships that span over a decade, Network Utilities has focused on excellence over growth. However, with this deal, we now have the depth and breadth of people, technologies and services to expand our customer footprint without sacrificing the values that have made us so successful.”

Michele Lewington, one of the original founders and Managing Director of Network Utilities for 25 years commented: “I am delighted to hear this news. The two companies have worked together on various projects over many years and both bear the hallmark of ethics and service that customers have come to expect. My heartfelt thanks go to those Network Utilities employees who are amongst some of the most talented, hardworking and loyal of all in the industry. It is their commitment to the business over many years that has enabled me now to leave the company in safe hands to enjoy semi-retirement and the pursuit of other interests.”

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, will see Network Utilities take over all staff, premises and ongoing maintenance contracts from Metropolitan Networks with a full equivalency of agreed service level agreements. All staff will consolidate at new headquarters in Orpington which will also maintain the new Network Utilities NOC and data centre.

“Metropolitan Networks has grown rapidly, and the last 15 years has been a fantastic journey,” explains Ashok Thomas, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Metropolitan Networks. ” However, to keep on meeting the expectations of our clients while expanding the business proved challenging through organic growth alone. This investment by Network Utilities and the merging of expert technical and sales teams into a new entity offers our existing clients more benefits, including access to some of the best security focused people in the UK plus a management team that have vast experience in successfully growing a business over the last two decades.”

The new company hold top tier accreditations from key vendors including Juniper Networks, Pulse Secure and Fortinet as well as in-house CISSP experts and Security Clearance for its ongoing work with several UK governmental and security agencies. Network Utilities also holds ISO 9001 and 27001 certifications.

“At a time of uncertainty around the UK’s place in Europe, the deal also expands our footprint into new regions around the world such as the Middle East, the Americas and Africa where, although initially small, we have long established, international clients that offer us growth potential,” says Paul Rowe, Sales Director, “Our enlarged size and new areas of the business such as training, private cloud  and Cyber Essentials certifications also provide us with a more rounded portfolio that allows us to offer additional value added services that are  beneficial to both existing and new customers.”

Commenting on the announcement, Mike Catlin, CTO for Polar Capital Holdings Plc; a long-standing client of Network Utilities said, “Network Utilities have been a trusted service provider for over 10 years. Finding a supplier that consistently offers insightful expertise to help us deliver stable IT while meeting complex cybersecurity requirements is always a challenge and knowing that we will be able to retain this relationship over the longer term is good news for us.”

Ashok Thomas, CEO, Paul Rowe, Sales Director and David Bundock, COO are all available for interview or additional written Q&A.

Protecting the Datacenter With Juniper Networks

[vimeo vimeo.com/http://vimeo.com/76119046]

A great little video which really nicely explains the Juniper Networks security story. Well worth a view if you have a spare few minutes. (You’ll need a password to view, no prizes for guessing , it’s ‘juniper‘)

Take Control of Your Virtual Infrastructure Security & Compliance – Virtual Gateway

Here we take a look at the ever increasing security and compliance concerns of your virtualised environment. Juniper’s Virtual Gateway, allows data centres and cloud providers to take back control of their virtual infrastructure security and compliance.