Open Haus: Seamless Roaming [VIDEO]

Imagine this: You’re sitting on the train, trying to get your work done, when your Wi-Fi connection – not always the most reliable on trains – drops out. Maybe you manage to re-connect in a few minutes. Maybe you switch to your data plan to get back online. Or, maybe when the train gets close enough to a station, you can switch to their hotspot, and save some data in the process. Over the course of that trip, you had to cycle through different networks to maintain an internet connection, constantly losing any sessions you had running and forcing any apps you were using to restart. Not only that, but when end users have to switch that often between connections, it can make re-connecting to a VPN slow or frustrating, and they may opt to forgo the VPN altogether if those issues persist. It’s an understandable concern of inconvenience – after all, frequent network disruptions can make working remotely virtually impossible. But indulging in that concern can also dredge up even more problematic security issues. Users shouldn’t have to choose between network convenience and VPN security.   How It Works With NCP engineering’s Secure Enterprise Solution they don’t have to. The on-the-go demands of today’s mobile workers, who need reliable internet connections wherever they may be and also require the secure remote access provided by a VPN, make seamless roaming a prerequisite for how to stay both online and secure nowadays – and it’s a prerequisite built into NCP’s VPN solutions. While users may shift from one connection or IP address to the next, depending on where they are...

Endpoint Security: The Cornerstone of the Cybersecurity Puzzle

Some enterprises occasionally fail to realize that many of the differing cybersecurity services available today aren’t optional add-ons but necessary, oftentimes critical, pieces of a complete security strategy. There are a suite of unique security protocols and services that all work together to protect a network and safeguard valuable business data from intrusion. Cybersecurity is a holistic process that requires multiple moving parts working in tandem; failure to do so could leave networks with painful vulnerabilities, not to mention wasted resources. Endpoint security is one such critical piece of the cybersecurity puzzle. While it’s difficult to rank security systems in order of importance, it’s hard to imagine any of the other measures used to secure a network being functional without this one in place. It works like this: Endpoint security is installed on a client/server and may be managed by a central server, or gateway, that runs a security program to verify a network device. VPN and anti-virus software installed on an approved system requires the user to comply with policies before accessing the network. Without the permissions, a user can’t get into the shared network. Without this safeguard in place at the outset of network access, it’s hard to imagine many of the other potential security systems being fully capable of doing their job. Endpoint security is a proactive prevention method, while almost all other security systems are reactive, after-the fact measures. Incident response, for instance, functions as damage control. If endpoint security isn’t in place, the likelihood of a data breach happening is higher all around. An incident response strategy can’t predict a security failure ahead of...

Open Haus: Multi-Factor Authentication [VIDEO]

NCP has been present at a number of industry events throughout the year, from it-sa in Nuremberg to SC Congress in New York to INTERFACE in Denver. While these gatherings offer great opportunities for reconnecting with our friends and partners, as well as reaching out to new clients, they also provide an invaluable time for taking the industry’s temperature, so to speak. And if there was one thing we found that was on nearly everyone’s minds this year, it was the growing need for two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication. As data breaches caused by spear-phishing and social engineering tactics have become both increasingly more frequent and more damaging, multi-factor authentication emerges as a common sense solution for reducing the success rate of these cyberattacks. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as flicking a switch. Cybersecurity budgets may be increasing, but IT professionals are still struggling with the amount of resources they have, and are unsure about where to shift their priorities. How to implement multi-factor user authentication, or how to determine which VPN or defense-in-depth solution offers the best multi-layer fit for your organization, are all pain points for enterprises. How It Works That’s what gives NCP Secure Enterprise Management (SEM) such a leg up on the competition. Unlike other secure remote access VPN providers, NCP’s solution provides integrated multi-factor authentication safeguards to help give your organization greater peace of mind. Protecting login information with just a username and password isn’t safe anymore; it’s all too easy for hackers to guess around these, especially when so many users have simple passwords to begin with. Two-factor or multi-factor authentication setups, instead, require...

Does Bringing an ’Ethical Hacker’ In House Pay Off?

A study last year estimated that the global losses from cybercrime ranged from $375 to $575 billion – for just 2014 alone. This figure is only expected to get higher with each passing year as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, and their ranks grow with more opportunistic hackers looking to cash in on an increasingly lucrative trend. Given that, it’s easy to see how and why panic among both enterprises and SMBs might start to set in. What’s most troubling about the cybercrime phenomenon is not only the amount of money or information that could be stolen, but how much businesses need to spend just to protect themselves. Adequate cybersecurity protocols aren’t free, and even when a company has put expensive measures into place, there is no guarantee that they will catch every single potential threat – all it takes is just one malicious email, or one spear-phishing attempt, to make it through, after all. One innovative method that businesses have explored is employing an in-house “ethical hacker” to identify potential security risks and patch them ahead of time. Essentially, these personnel are former hackers who may have used their skill sets for illicit means – stealing bank account information, breaking into corporate databases, committing identity fraud – but are now being turned legitimate by companies looking to take advantage of their skills for more beneficial purposes. Instead of hacking into the enterprise’s systems to steal something, these ethical hackers instead hack into the company’s systems to exploit certain cybersecurity vulnerabilities, essentially attempting to beat the bad guys to the punch. Once they have identified a company’s major security flaws,...

‘Tis the Season: Why Cyberattackers Set their Sights on the Holidays

The holiday shopping season is back again and now in full gear. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday kicking off the annual frenzy, shoppers are already rummaging through department stores or scouring online marketplaces like Amazon to find that perfect gift – and ideally, at the perfect price too. The ecommerce side of the season is expected to be especially successful this year, with online sales predicted to jump 14 percent over the last holiday season, accounting for over $70 billion and approximately 9 percent of all U.S. retail sales. It’s great news for shoppers, great news for businesses and, unfortunately, great news for hackers too. The busy season makes December a more opportune time for cyberattackers to strike than the rest of the year. Remember Target’s data breach? Over 70 million customer records were compromised, including 30 to 40 million credit and debit cards, all at the peak of the 2013 holiday shopping season – ensuring there were plenty of potential victims and transactions for hackers to leech off of. Much like tax season, the holiday shopping season involves so much exchanging of personal and financial information while buying products and attempting to land deals that this time of year becomes a gold mine for cyberattackers. But it’s not just the shopping side of things that makes people vulnerable to cyberattacks; it’s all the vacation time too. Because as much as the holidays should mean taking some time off from work, not all of us can disconnect from it completely – especially with the option to view work emails on our phone, anywhere and at any time. But...