Privacy Is a Human Right; do you understand your data obligations?

On Thursday we gathered together with clients at information security consultants Blackfoot UK’s head office in London to talk about a trending topic in the IT world today.

Data and Cyber Security Matters in a Post Brexit World.

David Silsby our Sales Director welcomed us on this very chilly morning reiterating the Network Utilities ethos of “Identity should be at the heart of everything we do; the identity of the individual and the device is key! Remembering Who is on your network, What they are trying to access and How is critical to ensuring your network remains secure, fast and compliant.”

Next up was Matthew Tyler, CEO of Blackfoot UK and our keynote speaker for the day. Giving us a time hop into the past where we learned some interesting facts. The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) came into effect in 1953 and is an international treaty to protect human rights. The definition of privacy as in Article 8 states “A right for one’s ‘private and family life, his home and correspondence’ to be free from unlawful searches”.  In the UK human rights are protected by the Human Rights Act 1998. Matthew went on to explain how the internet has changed the economics of data and contributed to the erosion of privacy, he also detailed current privacy laws and how Brexit will change the future. Below you can see the 8 principles of the Data Protection Act, governing the use of personal information which we must comply with, unless an exemption applies, the principles state that data must be:

  • Used fairly and lawfully
  • Used for limited, specifically stated purposes
  • Used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate
  • Kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary
  • Handled according to people’s data protection rights
  • Kept safe and secure
  • Not transferred outside the UK without adequate protection

Data is an extremely powerful tool in today’s business world. Knowing your customer well can create a tailor made customer experience. The future of business intelligence is evolving and we will soon start to see new services and businesses arise to help us harness the power of this business intelligence.

iot_of_ransomware

Protecting your customer’s data has never been more critical

The cost of a data breach can have a huge impact on you and your business including; bankruptcy, reputational damage, legal implications and of course loss of data. You need to have the appropriate security in place depending on the value of the data you hold i.e. credit card details or email addresses. Do you know the value of your data? Do your staff know what risky looks like? And are they fully trained and aware of the implications of clicking on a malicious links, for example? Research tells us you are only as strong as your weakest link, and that in most cases is your staff.

This brings me onto 5 key questions posed by Matthew around what you need to be asking yourself and your business to truly understand the type of data your business holds.

  1. Do we know what data we have?
  2. Do we understand its potential value and the associated risk?
  3. Do we know who could want our data (for good or bad)?
  4. Do we understand where our data is and who can access it?
  5. Do we know what protection our data needs?

The cost of a data breach

The Cost of a Data Breach

* IBM Security 2016 – Cost of a Data Breach Study

If you would like to know more about European regulations and what’s changing in the UK, how to keep your customers data safe and the implications of personal data being lost or misused then you can download Protecting Data and Privacy to get a full overview. Remember you are only as strong as your weakest link!

Will the defenders ever be faster than the attackers?

Our Principal Technology Strategist, Malcolm Orekoya shared his research on the current threat landscape. Did you know that 89% of breaches had a financial or espionage motive?

In order for us to understand cyber security we need to understand the cyber-crime world. These attackers have the same technology advancements that we do and they are always one step ahead. The resources are available for anyone online and you can even pay for “cyber-crime” support. Organised crime is evolving quickly due to underground criminal networks and the so called dark web. The tools are getting smarter and depending on what these criminals are after they will attack in different ways.

“Analysis of known bad malware found that the 91.3% of that malware uses the Domain Name Service (DNS) to carry out campaigns.” Cisco Annual Security Report 2016

There has been an explosion in ransomware and exploit kits are sophisticated. “The Angler exploit kit is one of the largest and most effective exploit kits on the market. It has been linked to several high-profile malvertising (malicious advertising) and ransomware campaigns. And it has been a major factor in the overall explosion of ransomware.” Cisco Annual Security Report 2016

“33% of the malware observed in 2016 research used encryption.” Trustwave Global Security Report 2016

Most legacy platforms cannot see encrypted traffic therefore there is a loss of visibility. Malicious users are aware of this vulnerability and that you don’t have visibility so exploit this lack of visibility to insert their malware into your network. It’s crucial for you to have network visibility in order to be able to effectively apply security policies.

Education

People are your best network defence, but only if they are educated to understand the risks. We advocate creating a data security awareness culture. The one constant factor that exists in all layers of security is the human element. The idea here is to educate people on common threats and their various guises, test their understanding and responses to this education over time, review the results of such tests and then repeat the entire cycle periodically over and over again. You can read Malcolm’s full blog Stop Phishing Attacks – Harness the Power of Your Human Sensor Network – Here.

It’s not if; it’s when!

You need to collaborate to stay ahead of the trends and the cyber security landscape. Think ahead to prevent future attacks. Think of the cost and rewards of investing in your network security vs the risk of not doing so. Ask yourself, can you afford to lose it all when you do get attacked?

SC Magazine recently ran a survey on 900 business and IT decision makers across the UK – EU GDPR – nine out of ten don’t understand it. A staggering 91% of respondents have concerns about their organisation’s ability to comply with GDPR. This regulation will come into effect in 2018 and the penalties will be high, that might seem like a long way away but it’s just around the corner, and you’ll need to be prepared.

Talk to specialists who are confident about compliance and threat prevention. Talk to Network Utilities.

Upcoming events:

We will be hosting another webinar on the 22nd February 2017. To find out more on your obligations and how GDPR will affect you and your organisation join our webinar with information risk, security and compliance specialists Blackfoot. You can register here.

t: 020 8783 3800 e: sales@netutils.com

About Network Utilities
Identity Centric Networks & Security

Network Utilities (Systems) Ltd have been providing identity centric network and security solutions to organisations ranging from Telecoms and ISPs to large corporates and SMEs for over twenty three years. Partnering closely with both industry leading and niche technology vendors to bring customers the best solutions the industry has to offer. Read more at www.netutils.com.

Palo Alto Networks Traps – Endpoint Protection

Traps prevents security breaches!

traps-hp-chiclet

Traditional antivirus (AV) is not the solution to endpoint security – it is the problem. AV is no longer effective at stopping today’s cyberthreats and to prevent security breaches in your organization, you must protect yourself not only from known and unknown cyberthreats but also from the failures of any traditional AV solutions deployed in your environment.

Traps replaces traditional antivirus with a proprietary combination of purpose-built malware and exploit prevention methods that protect users and endpoints from both known and unknown threats. With Traps, you prevent security breaches, in contrast to detecting and responding to incidents after critical assets have already been compromised.

The updated release of Traps eliminates the need for traditional AV by enabling you to:

  • Prevent cyber breaches by pre-emptively blocking known and unknown malware, exploits and zero-day threats.
  • Protect and enable your users to conduct their daily activities and use web-based technologies without concern for known or unknown cyberthreats.
  • Automate breach prevention by virtue of the autonomous reprogramming of Traps using threat intelligence gained from Palo Alto Networks WildFire threat intelligence service.

To learn more about Traps and its new updated capabilities download the latest resources from Palo Alto Networks:

  • Solution Brief: Traditional endpoint protection solutions use methods that cannot keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape. There’s a new way to approach endpoint security. Prevent breaches – without AV. Advanced Endpoint Protection – Technology Overview
  • Whitepaper: It’s time to replace your traditional antivirus with next-generation endpoint security. But how? Protect Yourself from Antivirus.
  • Datasheet: See how Palo Alto Networks Traps advanced endpoint protection prevents sophisticated vulnerability exploits and unknown malware-driven attacks. Traps Datasheet
  • Dummies Guide: Todays’ sophisticated cyberattacks are designed to inflict maximum damage to an organisations systems and networks, steal sensitive information and render an organisations systems and networks unusable. This guide shows you how to protect your assets. Advanced Endpoint Protection for Dummies.

If you would like to know more about Traps and how Network Utilities can educate and support you please get in touch with our specially trained team.

t: 020 8783 3800 e: sales@netutils.com
www.netutils.com

Credits:
You can read the full blog here written by Michael Moshiri (Director, Product Marketing, Palo Alto Networks).

Other pages of interest:
Palo Alto Networks Raises the Bar for Endpoint Security with Updates to Traps Advanced Endpoint Protection Offering. Read the full blog here.

Independent Authority Certifies that Palo Alto Networks Traps Helps Customers Meet PCI and HIPAA Cybersecurity Requirements. Read the full blog here.

About Network Utilities
Identity Centric Networks & Security

Network Utilities (Systems) Ltd have been providing identity centric network and security solutions to organisations ranging from Telecoms and ISPs to large corporates and SMEs for over twenty three years. Partnering closely with both industry leading and niche technology vendors to bring customers the best solutions the industry has to offer. Read more at www.netutils.com.

Network Utilities to launch Monitoring-as-a-Service at IP EXPO

ip-expo-linkedin-imageAs you may or may not know we have recently launched our Monitoring-as-a-Service offering over the summer to help you plan for your IT holiday cover, as we all know networks, application and storage just keep on running.

We are pleased to announce that our expert team will be at IP EXPO on the 5th and 6th October to talk to you about our new Monitoring-as-a-Service offering. The service, delivered by a 24/7 UK based operations centre and technical team monitors network, server and storage architectures for both security and availability with optional pay-as-you go incident packs for rapid remediation of any issues.

“In the past, SMEs have sometimes overlooked managed services due to the perceived high cost and limited flexibility,” explains David Silsby, Enterprise Sales Director for Network Utilities, “With our new monitoring as a service offering, we have looked at what SME’s really require and created a product that is extremely cost effective and allows the customer to pay for what they need and scale up as they grow – without skimping on crucial elements such as skilled support staff or customer service.”

The service includes flexible notification and escalation that can be setup for contact via phone or email, with a tailored dashboard to allow clients to view all monitored devices in real time, supported by monthly reports detailing the overall health of the network and attached IT infrastructure. Every client also gains a dedicated account manager that helps manage the service while providing guidance on wider networking and security challenges.

Come on down to stand A9 and you could be the winner of an Amazon voucher or an awesome Apple watch.

Register to attend IP EXPO here

We look forward to seeing you there.

Webinar Recording: Take Control of your Network & Manage BYOD

[vimeo vimeo.com/http://vimeo.com/66222337]

The more devices employees bring to work, the more difficult it becomes for network managers to ensure a good user experience. BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) complicates how you manage bandwidth consumption and assess and fix application performance issues. View our webinar and discover how to quickly restore order to your network. Exinda can help you address the challenges of BYOD and assure a reliable user experience by improving visibility, optimisation and control—allowing your users to be productive from anywhere, anytime and on any device.

Webinar Recording: SMS Passcode – Next Generation 2 Factor Authentication

[vimeo vimeo.com/http://vimeo.com/62704206]

Recently there has been an explosion in security breaches including attacks on high profile organisations like Sony & Citibank. Increasingly trusted 20+ year old token technology has been breached. View our 30 minute webinar and we will show you SMS Passcode a new generation of login security based on multi-factor authentication via the mobile phone SMS network, voice call or secure e-mail. SMS Passcode is a low cost solution to traditional tokens with maximum scalability, reliability, fast set up and installation.

Are unexpected bandwidth spikes causing issues on your network?

Did you experience bandwidth issues during the recent Olympic Games?

By Dean Goldhill, Network & Security Specialist, Netutils

This post contains original thoughts posted by Dean Goldhill, Network & Security Specialist, Network (Utilities) Systems Ltd. These views are his own.

Here we discuss a solution to a common network issue you may have experienced following an unexpected bandwidth spike. If you’ve been following our round ups you’ll see that recently we’ve been regularly blogging and video blogging on how both enterprise and service providers can take control and accelerate their WAN traffic. And recently we’ve had an increase in calls asking for advice and direction on some typical network issues experienced during the recent Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games whilst being a unique event, in some instances, had the effect of highlighting network problems that already existed. The result being that some company networks just simply couldn’t cope with the increase in network traffic as users tried to stream video of the games or use personal applications at work and business critical applications suffered as a result. But the issues highlighted by the games should not just be seen as isolated events there are many other reasons why your network may experience a bandwidth spike and downtime can be costly and time consuming.

In this blog post we’ll walk you through a typical example we’ve recently been presented with from a company with a site-to-site VPN between themselves and 2 other branch offices.

Background: The set up at this branch office allows employees to work from one branch and connect back to the servers in their own branch offices. So for all these users all traffic, mail server, Intranet, SharePoint etc. all has to go via the VPN/Internet.

When the Olympic Games started, users started complaining about slow, unreliable service for business critical applications.

And it wasn’t immediately as the games started, it was as the word spread around the building, and more and more people started watching the games online, the normal business service just got worse and worse until about the middle of the first week these users started saying they pretty much couldn’t work at all. The issue affected about 100 users in total and that’s quite a loss of productivity!

The challenge for this company was that they had a lack of network visibility, they couldn’t see what was causing the issue and they had no control over how to fix it.

Solution: Following our initial site inspection and investigation we discovered that the issue was that the internet bandwidth was being chewed up by people watching the Olympic Games online.

Another factor which made a solution trickier was that the broadcaster streaming service used for the games coverage does not use the video streaming protocol like most other services. Instead it transmits over the regular HTTP (port 80) so the affected company’s proxy server which is configured to stop regular users using video streaming services, was not stopping any users from streaming content like the games.

Furthermore, it was very difficult to block the streaming services because the broadcaster use a large number of IP addresses for load balancing, and we also did not want to be to block the service from the broadcaster altogether.

We successfully managed to find the actual URL for the video streaming servers and blocked it via their proxy servers. This effectively stopped the vast majority of users from streaming the games.

But the point here is that ideally, we don’t want to block these services by using URL’s, we want to block them by using a product that understands the traffic at the application layer (layer 7) and be able to block (or control) them irrespective of where the traffic is coming from or what protocol is being used to deliver it. Regardless of whether your company applications are network or cloud based your network is likely to face performance challenges often exacerbated by events like the Olympic Games or BYOD.

As a result more & more companies across a variety of industries are investing in online tools, resources and portals that deliver continued control, actionable performance insights & user driven application optimisation. Exinda Edge is an all-in-one WAN optimisation suite designed specifically to deliver a complete solution for branch networks.

Suggested further reading Exinda Edge White Paper – Assuring The Strategic Branch Office Network