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Nilly Assia

Portnox’s Security Solutions Reviewed in 451 Research Report

By | Our Technology | No Comments

The leading information technology research and analyst firm 451 Research Group recently published an impact report that reviewed and commended Portnox’s Network Access Control (NAC) solutions, CORE & CLEAR, entitled “Portnox connects enterprise reality to its risk-based perimeter”. You can read the full report here.

The “451 Take” on Portnox’s solution for on-premise NAC, CORE, and cloud-based NAC, CLEAR, was that, “Portnox is helping redefine the value proposition of NAC, focusing on visibility, access control and flexibility. The company’s sensible risk orientation and the lightweight architecture of its CORE on-prem and CLEAR cloud services appear to be well aligned to help meet enterprise demand for a better NAC experience.”

Download the full report here.

Compliance is a Strategy for Success

Compliance is a Strategy for Success

By | Network Security | No Comments

As the nature of compliance grows increasingly complex, it becomes more difficult for companies to understand what applies to their business and how to build and implement protocols. Furthermore, as cyber threats grow exponentially, companies are facing problems like potential governmental fines and financial theft, breach of sensitive data and loss of clientele. Author of the bestseller “Security Risk Assessment Handbook” and cybersecurity expert, Douglas Landoll, recently stated that, “Non-compliance with information security regulations remains one of the top mistakes made by companies in their current data security approach.” Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

We have mapped out the four steps that you should follow for your business to become compliant and ready to counter growing cyber instability.

 Step 1 – The tight relationship between compliance and cyber security

Once upon a time, organizing cyber defense fell under the domain of the IT guys, but over time, the cybersecurity tent has broadened to encompass CCOs and CISOs. According to a recent survey conducted by BAE Systems, the majority of IT staff want C-Suites at the front and center of cybersecurity decision making. One can have the best technology on the market, but without a clear process and defined roles, it will be exceedingly difficult to prevent attacks.

The New England Chief Audit Executives group conducted a roundtable discussion, which concluded that without a comprehensive strategy of processes in place, your tools are more or less useless. Simply put, having great technology without a compliance program will likely result in failure. We saw this very clearly in the Yahoo hacks between 2013-2015, which compromised one billion accounts and caused the company tremendous damage both financially and to its reputation.

The creation of an efficient cybersecurity compliance program involves many factors like auditing, understanding all relevant stakeholders, understanding country specific regulatory laws and the adoption of the right security technology to meet these needs.

Step 2 – Know your country

Cybersecurity regulations can vary from country to country or region to region. For instance, the EU is 12 months away from implementing its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which covers a wide range of security issues like data security, management, and transparency. It is worth noting that fines can reach up to 20 million euros. This past October at the UK CISO Summit, participants discussed the implications of the new regulations, in that companies will be forced to devise new approaches to storing, protecting, monitoring data, and staff and resources involved in order to be in compliance with GDPR.

In fact, in March, Democrats in the United States Congress began demanding that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) create new regulations for cybersecurity for cellular networks. However, the FCC claims that cybersecurity is not under its purview and thus they will not act on the issue. This comes on the heels of an executive order by President Trump calling for an extensive review of US cyber vulnerabilities and capabilities. Considering that the United States is a gigantic bureaucratic web, and executive orders are usually short lived, it will take time for the US to get its act together. Other countries like Japan and Brazil are also in the process of developing their own regulations for transparency, consistent access and authentication for various types of data. Countries around the world are recognizing the importance of digital compliance and standards and are making steps toward ensuring the safety of their citizens’ and businesses’ data.

Step 3 – Timelines and shareholders

When first building your compliance structure, start with timelines. Governmental agencies often put time constraints on companies to come into compliance. For example, the new standards for the NY State Department of Financial Services. The agency is giving companies until March 1, 2018 to provide a risk assessment report, but an additional six months to implement the programs that result from the report’s findings. Business and organizations should push lawmakers to prevent a situation where the global marketplace becomes fragmented by regulations, due to rapidly changing technologies and threats. This would lead to the crippling of competition and innovation and subsequent the strengthening of cybercrime.

It is furthermore important that all stakeholders, including directors, management, security staff, and vendor partners be connected via a shared platform. This will allow them to collaborate within a defined framework. The platform should incorporate governmental regulations like FINRA, HIPAA, FERPA to better connect directors with technological experts, track progress or changes, and allow for effective oversight. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the bulk of the responsibility for heavy decision making is shifting from IT personnel to the board of directors. This is a natural response to increased demands from organizations like the SEC and FTC. However, it is imperative for communication between the board and all stakeholders to remain strong. It should be noted that compliance is critical in order to prevent theft and mishaps similar to what happened at Bangladesh Central Bank.

Step 4 – Compliance starts at the CORE

Once your organization fully understands the regulatory policies it is subject to, it must then learn how to see and profile all network devices, remediate any security issues and automate actions that have traditionally been conducted manually.

There are four segments to this process:

  • Understanding how mobile, BYOD and IoT devices will affect and transform not only the organization, but the industry and implementing the right processes and tools control them.
  • Tracking any network related device or program in real time via a centrally secured platform providing full and actionable visibility.
  • Addressing cloud security is paramount, because everything today is going through the cloud. It is important to strictly control access to the network and to cloud applications, even based on the geographical locations of users.
  • Ensure that your business is in compliance with governmental regulations like SOX, PCI DSS, HIPPA, FINRA, FISMA, GLBA among others. Strict compliance will provide legitimacy with clients and partners.

Once your organization understands that without full and actionable visibility on the network it will be impossible to control devices or maintain compliance standards, the next step is finding the right tools. Portnox’s advanced system allows network operators to see and control any device, at any time, and from anywhere, making compliance a more straightforward and smooth process. Portnox continues to lead the way with its innovative technology that will allow you to tackle risk challenges in a simple and straightforward manner.

Check out our “Compliance as a Strategy for Business Success eBook” to learn more on how to become complaint with security regulations and grow a successful business.

Cyber Threats Cannot Compete with Strong Compliance

Cyber Threats Cannot Compete with Strong Compliance

By | Network Security | No Comments

2016 saw several high profile cyber-attacks, which resulted in costly breaches and damages to reputable companies and corporations. There have been several discussions in how to effectively preempt such cyber-attacks with solutions ranging from firewalls, endpoint device security, to network access management solutions.

Mindful that many industries maintain tough regulatory standards, companies are now required to implement automated systems to keep up with reporting, while also preventing breaches. The “Compliance as a Strategy for Business Success eBook” covers the key points that need to be considered when trying to achieve security compliance for regulations like SOX, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, FISMA, and GLBA. For instance, any company that stores, processes, or transmits cardholder data, must be PCI-DSS compliant. Compliance includes restricting access by what businesses need to know, creating processes to provide user access to system components, initialization of audit blogs, and more. However, these processes come with significant cyber risk.

If the cyber-assaulted companies had stronger foundations for compliance, they would not have needed to devise new and expensive technologies.

The Importance of Visibility to Achieve Compliance

When Yahoo Got Stuffed

Yahoo is no stranger to breaches. This past year it came to light that nearly 1 billion Yahoo accounts had been compromised between 2013-2015. How did this happen and what could have been done to mitigate or even prevent the hacks all together?

This was a type of mass-scale brute force attack called “cyber stuffing” which took advantage of previously hacked credentials by inserting them into random websites via automation until they found a match. Automation allowed this attack to be conducted quickly and more often than not, completely anonymously. Shuman Ghosemajumder, CTO of Shape Security, found that credential stuffing is successful in 0.1-2% of attempts and considering that many people reuse passwords across a range of websites, it can be damaging. This is especially concerning because as a publicly tradable company Yahoo is subject to SOX compliance, which was designed to protect data integrity via compliance.

If Yahoo had implemented an intelligence engine to provide admins with wider and deeper visibility of their network in real time, they would have better understood the warning signs presented in 2008 by Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute. The institute urged Yahoo to replace their encryption technology, MD5, which was considered cryptographically broken. Despite years of warning before the major hacks of 2013-15, Yahoo never brought the encryption up to date, because they lacked visibility and oversight.

The Ghost of Bangladesh Central Bank

 In February of 2016, $81million disappeared from Bangladesh Central Bank and was subsequently laundered in casinos throughout the Philippines. Cyber criminals used bank employees’ stolen Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) credentials to send dozens of fake money transfer requests to the NY Federal Reserve, requesting a total of a $1 billion to be transferred to various bank accounts that had been set up a year earlier in Asia. While most the requests were blocked, $81 million was released in four transfers of about $20 million each. So how was the heist pulled off and what could have been done to stop it?

The hackers implanted malware on end-point devices on the bank’s network, which prevented the automatic printing of SWIFT transactions. This undoubtedly, brought the bank into conflict with GLBA, which demands financial institutions to protect data. Both the bank and the Federal Authorities are playing the blame game. The Feds claim they followed protocol which permitted several transfers, while blocking dozens of others. There is no doubt that lack of end-point visibility and virus protection were massive issues here. The theft could have been avoided if both the bank and the Feds had total control over all network infrastructure.

To become security compliant and run the business successfully, companies need visibility on what is happening on the network. In other words, what devices are connected to the network, when they connected, what OS, applications and services they are running, who has access to what data, and proof that mechanisms to secure private data are operational. Without visibility into what is on the network, it’s impossible to control the network and ensure compliance. Check out our “Compliance as a Strategy for Business Success eBook” to grow a successful and secure business.