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...

How a Remote Access VPN Extends the Reach of Your IT Staff

What do the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Ashley Madison and Target have in common? They may seem entirely unrelated on the surface, but each organization has been a target of a high-profile data breach within the last year. Each new cyberattack is more proof that the threat landscape has diversified, leaving no industry, system or organization immune to vulnerabilities. The landscape would suggest that, now more than ever, organizations need nimble network security systems, supported by a disciplined IT staff that can keep up with the shifting state of cybersecurity. Unfortunately, while the threat landscape has clearly expanded in recent years, the IT security industry has yet to catch up and adapt to the quick rate of change. Across the board, there is a clear security skills shortage that has left IT professionals and their organizations without the necessary talent that they now require. In fact, 44 percent of organizations say that they have an inadequate number of networking and security staff with strong knowledge of both security and networking technology. Looking beyond these numbers, the problem is not necessarily a lack of skills, but rather, many organizations do not have ample personnel to field growing IT requests and security needs within their companies. To overcome this shortage, many organizations are seeking technologies that can augment their IT departments, without requiring extensive management by IT staff. Companies need easy-to-use solutions that largely run on their own and can be managed seamlessly – whether they are preventing a network hack or data breach, or merely enabling a company to function on a daily basis. Let’s take a...

NCP Channel Alliance Partner Program Takes Center Stage at Channel Link 2015

Given that three in four executives now say Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiatives pose the greatest security risk to their companies, it shouldn’t be surprising that companies have tasked their IT departments with finding effective ways to guarantee secure remote access for users. Often, this means network administrators have to identify partner vendors that can provide secure remote access solutions, including VPNs. Here at NCP engineering, we’ve heard enough customer success stories to know that our NCP Secure Entry Clients are the centerpiece around which any remote access infrastructure should be built. That’s why we’re proud to be attending Tech Data’s Channel Link 2015, June 17-20, in Dallas, where we’ll be sharing information about our Channel Alliance Partner Program. The program, which has been in place since 2009, now includes 42 North American partners – 14 of which are new – that are able to access services from NCP, including business transformation training, advice on how to better incorporate cloud solutions into their current offerings, and training to simplify hosting and managed services concepts. NCP’s appearance at Channel Link comes just a few months after we reached a distribution agreement with Tech Data, one of the world’s largest wholesale distributors of technology products. Through the agreement, NCP is better able to meet demand from North American service providers in the channel for secure remote access. Specifically, end users are able to tap into our market-leading remote access VPN client, equipped with one-click logon, a fast connection, and always-on reliability. Together, the Channel Alliance Partner Program that we’ll be featuring at Channel Link, along with the Tech Data agreement, showcase NCP’s ability...

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...

How to Resolve the BYOD Stand-Off between Employees and IT

“Try to please everyone, and you’ll end up pleasing no one.” This is one of those classic, ubiquitous statements that can apply to any number of situations. Take the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend. To the employees whose jobs are made easier and more convenient by BYOD, the appeal of these initiatives is obvious. That’s why demand for BYOD is expected to increase by 25 percent between 2014 and 2019, driven by the consumerization of IT and increased mobile data speeds that meet enterprise-acceptable levels. Yet, on the other side of the spectrum, are the IT departments tasked with enforcing BYOD security frameworks. The same things that employees see as beneficial about BYOD – convenience and freedom of choice – are exactly what make IT departments so fearful. The two groups are fundamentally at odds. Users want, and demand, access to a broad range of personal mobile devices in the workplace. They want to be able to safely access work files on their phones while on-the-go and work from their homes on their personal laptops. Meanwhile, IT departments are tasked with protecting network security at all costs, and that means they are the ones who have to say “no,” and who have to restrict the technology employees are permitted to use in the workplace. That’s how BYOD “pleases no one” – users are frustrated by what they perceive to be restrictions on free use, while IT feels like it’s constantly engaged in an uphill fight against employees who frequently, both purposely and unwittingly, violate best practices around secure remote access VPN and BYOD. It’s the classic case of unstoppable force (in...