Why Outsourcing Remote Access Management Isn’t the Answer for SMBs

“How do you keep your data secure when you’re a data anchovy in a sea of hacker sharks?” When the Wall Street Journal’s John Bussey posed this question in 2011, the corporate network security landscape was drastically different. Employees weren’t using company-managed smartphones at a rate of 64 percent. Nine out of every 10 employees weren’t keeping sensitive business information on devices they use for both work and personal matters. Yet, even then, SMB network administrators were concerned about their security, and feeling like vulnerable little fish with bigger, more aggressive fish circling. So concerned, in fact, that according to Bussey, many were reluctant to outsource network security services to a managed service provider (MSP), even though these companies would have both the expertise and resources required to keep their networks safe. At the time, many SMBs thought that the “hard disk under the receptionist’s desk” strategy was more effective than handing over control to a third party, even though these MSPs could provide data encryption, threat mitigation and other critical security services. SMBs thought to themselves: “Yes, but what if the host isn’t entirely well-protected? Or what if a peer company within the shared environment was attacked? Or what if hackers prioritized these target-rich environments?” These were real concerns then, and they still are now. So, should network administrators consider tapping into MSPs for network security in our current environment? The core issue is a common one in network security – convenience vs. security. The Debate The convenience vs. security debate comes to how SMBs go about securing communications. On one hand, SMBs could opt for convenience and...

Open Haus: VPN Path Finder

Whenever Katelyn O’Shaughnessy checks into a hotel, room size isn’t anywhere near her top concern. As she told the Los Angeles Times in a story about the hotel preferences of Millennials, “You can put me in a closet; as long as there is Wi-Fi, I’ll be happy.” If you were to survey hotel users, you’d probably find many of them share O’Shaughnessy’s perspective. These days, if you’re traveling, whether for work or for business, Wi-Fi is a necessity. And it can’t just be any Wi-Fi. It needs to be high-speed, reliable Wi-Fi that facilitates secure remote access through any mobile device. Unfortunately for travelers, the reality is that many hotels – and other public places that provide network access through hotspots – restrict user access settings by blocking IPsec ports and only allowing Internet access to web browsers. This is a major constraint for road warriors trying to access their corporate networks remotely via a VPN, as they could find themselves unable to establish a connection. To overcome this obstacle, NCP engineering developed VPN Path Finder – a proprietary remote access technology that automatically establishes a connection wherever Internet access is possible, providing the user with anywhere, anytime connectivity. How It Works Path Finder – recently recognized with a patent – is a central feature of the NCP Secure Client Suite. With Path Finder, users achieve highly secure mobile computing in every remote access environment, even across unknown networks like those you might find in a hotel, café, or on a plane or train. Whenever a public network has a firewall setting that blocks native IPsec traffic, Path Finder...

NCP engineering and Tech Data Expand Secure Remote Access to SMB Market

In what’s being described by the president of the National Small Business Association (NSBA) as “a step in the right direction,” the U.S. Congress decided to take up legislation that would help the small business community better protect itself from network security threats. During a hearing by the House Small Business Committee last Wednesday, NSBA President Todd McCracken went on to say, “Any legislation should provide clear, simple steps for companies to follow when their data is breached.” This support is imperative, McCracken said, because more than half of U.S. small businesses now say they have been victims of a cyberattack. Given this rocky landscape, small businesses – which often have less sophisticated network defenses – need help. And now, NCP engineering is better able to meet North American SMB demand for secure remote access through a new distribution agreement with Tech Data, one of the world’s largest wholesale distributors of technology products. The agreement expands NCP’s North American partner network and offers Tech Data’s SMB solution providers NCP’s Secure Entry Clients through its Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) division. Tech Data’s ecosystem also includes major VPN gateway vendors, including Cisco, Check Point and WatchGuard, which complement NCP’s solutions well. For now, the go-to-market strategy initially targets SMBs through Tech Data’s network of resellers, and will evolve to include the enterprise market, as NCP engineering CEO Patrick Oliver Graf told ChannelBuzz. He said, “[Going] SMB would let Tech Data see revenue success very quickly, which is an important objective.” The agreement will help SMBs be more proactive in protecting their networks – an important step, given that the average cyberattack...