Guard Yourself in the Cloud

Before you dive in to the cloud, make sure your network is secure and managed!  We are seeing enterprises and SMBs everyday adopting new cloud computing models to help further business opportunities, raise profit margins, etc., however, neglecting to take into consideration security and policy measures.  Now IT managers are quickly looking for ways to secure their company’s internal data, particularly for remote employees who have free access to the cloud and services, while still enjoying the benefits of the cloud. Remote employees are a concern for IT managers because stored information is at high risk for data loss and leakage via online activity.  One way to enforce security measures is through a VPN.  This ensures that sessions are secured both in and out of the office, while giving staff the adequate access they need and the opportunity to share important data securely within the cloud and across the network.  This also maintains productivity levels for mobile workers as well as businesses that need to comply with specific regulatory requirements. IT managers can also guard their business from data loss and leakage by implementing a personal firewall that controls network traffic to and from a computer, permitting or denying communications based on a security policy.  Furthermore, remote workers accessing the cloud remotely or from hotspots can fend off Internet attacks with personal firewalls. In terms of the cloud, business managers and entrepreneurs need to continuously look further than advised guidelines. Those who do will experience the true benefits of using the cloud including improved corporate social responsibility and dramatically reduced IT...

What We're Reading, Week of 3/22

Gartner Blog… Cloud Security and VPNs Neil McDonald remembers the debate over whether or not the Internet could be securely used for remote access. He says nowadays, we take VPNs for granted. We’ve given up control of the pipe (the Internet), but it doesn’t mean we have to give up control of the data in the pipe. Neil believes the same will be true of cloud-based computing services if we do it right. We can give up control of the pipes, the servers, the data centers, the applications, etc. – as long as we keep control of the data. Insecure about Security… Health Care Bill, Networking and Security John Oltsik discusses that with 2009’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and the recent major health reform bill that was passed in the U.S., a lot of money is currently going into health care. The health care industry is going to be increasing IT spending and will need help with security. John believes that IT vendors need to embrace a focused sales and marketing effort in the health care field. Network World… WiFi Poised to Supplement 3G Joanie Wexler looks at how WiFi is spreading fast among phones and the security concern about business users moving on and off of public WiFi hotspots. Users typically running client devices without IPSec VPN software are “in the clear” with their credentials when they first connect to a public WiFi access point. While many laptops run the software, most handsets do not support IPSec VPNs. It is not yet clear how an IPSec VPN would kick in as the...

What We’re Reading, Week of 3/22

Gartner Blog… Cloud Security and VPNs Neil McDonald remembers the debate over whether or not the Internet could be securely used for remote access. He says nowadays, we take VPNs for granted. We’ve given up control of the pipe (the Internet), but it doesn’t mean we have to give up control of the data in the pipe. Neil believes the same will be true of cloud-based computing services if we do it right. We can give up control of the pipes, the servers, the data centers, the applications, etc. – as long as we keep control of the data. Insecure about Security… Health Care Bill, Networking and Security John Oltsik discusses that with 2009’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and the recent major health reform bill that was passed in the U.S., a lot of money is currently going into health care. The health care industry is going to be increasing IT spending and will need help with security. John believes that IT vendors need to embrace a focused sales and marketing effort in the health care field. Network World… WiFi Poised to Supplement 3G Joanie Wexler looks at how WiFi is spreading fast among phones and the security concern about business users moving on and off of public WiFi hotspots. Users typically running client devices without IPSec VPN software are “in the clear” with their credentials when they first connect to a public WiFi access point. While many laptops run the software, most handsets do not support IPSec VPNs. It is not yet clear how an IPSec VPN would kick in as the...

VPN's Can Prevent Data Breaches

Stumbled upon an interesting article last week in the Wall Street Journal, titled Data Breaches Are Heaviest at Hotels.  The underlying news isn’t anything new, but there are some alarming statistics and details that struck me as a surprise. Sarah Nassaur references a SpiderLabs report in her article that examines data breach investigations across various industries—with hotel and hospitality, 38% and financial services, 19% leading.  The most common weakness found at hotels is the security surrounding point-of-sale software (the software hotels use to process credit card transactions).  Often times, systems are maintained remotely by an outsourced IT company, and to maintain the system employees must sign in remotely.  When remote user names and passwords are left blank or not changed from their default setting, hackers can identify these credentials, and gain access to the system to steal credit card numbers and other personally indefinable information (PII). This article just goes to show how important it is to use VPN and have NAC features in place, particularly when logging in remotely.  Without these anyone can access data available on the network and potentially cause a lot of harm. Check out our Rethink Remote Access series with featured guest...

VPN’s Can Prevent Data Breaches

Stumbled upon an interesting article last week in the Wall Street Journal, titled Data Breaches Are Heaviest at Hotels.  The underlying news isn’t anything new, but there are some alarming statistics and details that struck me as a surprise. Sarah Nassaur references a SpiderLabs report in her article that examines data breach investigations across various industries—with hotel and hospitality, 38% and financial services, 19% leading.  The most common weakness found at hotels is the security surrounding point-of-sale software (the software hotels use to process credit card transactions).  Often times, systems are maintained remotely by an outsourced IT company, and to maintain the system employees must sign in remotely.  When remote user names and passwords are left blank or not changed from their default setting, hackers can identify these credentials, and gain access to the system to steal credit card numbers and other personally indefinable information (PII). This article just goes to show how important it is to use VPN and have NAC features in place, particularly when logging in remotely.  Without these anyone can access data available on the network and potentially cause a lot of harm. Check out our Rethink Remote Access series with featured guest...