Network security requires professional partners | Pentest7

top cybersecurity companies

Covid has caused upheaval in many areas. In the last 18 months, the work for network experts and IT security managers has changed drastically. Setting up, managing and securing remote access for the home office became the main task, often without the IT employees themselves having unrestricted physical access to the IT infrastructure of their company. The increase in cyber attacks associated with the pandemic did not make their job any easier and often even endangered the very survival of companies. According to a study by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), around a quarter of the companies affected by cyber attacks suffered life-threatening or very serious damage in the past year.

New times, new challenges

But the wave of home office work is by no means the only challenge that network experts and IT security officers are currently facing. Trends such as the cloud, IoT and edge computing require new ways of working and cause additional effort. According to the Cloud Monitor 2020 from KPMG and Bitkom Research, three quarters of German companies are already using infrastructures, applications or services from a cloud, and another 19 percent are planning to use them. Only six percent still count themselves among the “cloud objectors”. Around a third also use several clouds in parallel. Such multi-cloud scenarios are particularly common in companies with more than 2,000 employees. In this target group, 99 percent of those surveyed say that they use or plan to use multi-cloud. A mixture of locally operated applications, servers and storage in different clouds and software-as-a-service solutions (SaaS) such as Office 365 or Salesforce are therefore becoming more and more the norm.

Different tools are usually used to manage these heterogeneous environments, which not only increases the administrative effort and complexity, but can also lead to gaps in visibility. To make matters worse, these tools often only measure the performance and availability of individual components. However, what really matters to the user in terms of performance is decisive for user satisfaction and productivity.

NetOps and SecOps merge

Network management in hybrid and multi-cloud environments can no longer be viewed in isolation from security management. Just as software development and operation grow together in the DevOps concept, the management pillars NetOps and SecOps, which were once considered separately, should merge today. Only when network and security teams work together and have access to the same data and tools can they make infrastructure design, security policy and problem management decisions that are appropriate to current and future requirements and threats.

For this task, network and security managers need tools like Progress | Kemp with its Flowmon range of products. The products enable seamless integration and control of network performance and network security. The Progress | The Kemp Flowmon system provides a comprehensive view of all data traffic, detects potential problems and anomalies, shows bottlenecks and threats and thus provides the basis for transparent and secure network and security management.

Defense alone is no longer enough

Security solutions such as firewalls and IDS / IPS (Intrusion Detection / Prevention System) traditionally protect resources by repelling threats before they can enter the internal company network. Cloud, home office and IoT, however, are blurring the boundaries between “inside” and “outside”: Increasingly complex threats and zero-day exploits make it almost impossible to completely prevent infections. However, if security measures focus only on perimeter and endpoint protection, it will be easy for intruders after a successful attack.

Modern IT security therefore also includes solutions that can quickly detect infections and effectively contain their consequences. IT security officers should therefore definitely familiarize themselves with the MITER ATT & CK framework. It offers a comprehensive database of attack methods and techniques and therefore forms an excellent basis for testing systems for their attack surfaces and developing models for effective cyber defense.

Increasing regulation of IT security

States and international bodies are increasingly issuing regulations and rules to improve the IT security of companies and to ensure the protection of customers and data. In Germany, for example, the IT security laws stipulate minimum standards in IT security, primarily for companies with critical infrastructure (KRITIS). US states such as California and Oregon, but also European countries have also passed security laws for IoT environments. Many other nations are very likely to follow suit.

In the healthcare sector, it is regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) or the German E-Health Act that oblige hospitals, doctors and IT service providers in the healthcare sector to handle digital patient data securely. In order to comply with these legal requirements and to minimize legal risks, companies not only have to take the necessary IT security measures, they also have to be able to document their correct implementation at any time. This is only possible if all processes in the network can be recorded and evaluated seamlessly and transparently.

Medium-sized companies discover SASE

Employees usually access from the home office VPN (Virtual Private Network) towards the company network. A VPN architecture is not only difficult to administer, it is also prone to security loopholes. If attackers can take over legitimate accounts or compromise users’ devices, they have free access to internal resources.

The analyst firm Gartner therefore suggests organizing access controls differently and no longer making them solely dependent on the legitimacy of an account. This concept called SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) combines network and security functions in a cloud service that serves as a secure access point to all resources. Employees can access cloud and on-premises resources from anywhere, and authentication and authorization can be adjusted depending on the context.

Gartner predicts that around 40 percent of companies will develop strategies to implement SASE by 2024. In 2018 it was less than one percent. The pandemic could even increase the adoption rate significantly.

Together into the future

For medium-sized companies without a large IT department, however, it is not enough to have the right tools; they have to be used correctly. Together with the value added distributor ADN, Progress | Kemp therefore relies on an ecosystem of professional partners who are able to take network and security management to a new level for their customers. Progress | Kemp Flowmon products are multi-tenant and can be seamlessly integrated into existing management and security tools. The solutions ideally expand the range and scope of services offered by managed service providers (MSP). With ease of deployment and configuration, MSPs are able to quickly turn their investments into new revenue. Since the system is scalable and expandable at any time, MSPs can also start small and gradually expand their offering in a cost-efficient and uncomplicated manner.

Conclusion: Strong partnership to increase productivity and user satisfaction

Home office, cloud and IoT have significantly increased the surface area for cyber attacks. At the same time, the increasing complexity of IT environments makes it more difficult to manage and secure networks and infrastructures. Network and security teams must therefore work more closely together and have access to the same data and tools. In addition, they should be able to measure performance and security consistently to ensure user satisfaction and productivity. This is only possible with analysis tools such as those from Progress | Kemp offers that enable a continuous and transparent view of all processes in the network, identify problems at an early stage and can be seamlessly integrated into existing administration and security environments. Since medium-sized companies in particular are essentially dependent on the support of partners, these tools for MSPs should have important features such as multi-tenancy, scalability and easy integration

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *