Improve network safety through better visibility
Author : Rishikesh Kamat Date : May 16,2016 Category : General
Technology magazine Tech Insider reports that nearly 300 million records were leaked across the world in cyber attacks in 2015 and over $1 billion was stolen. From the 37 million affected in the Ashley Madison hack to the unprecedented breach of the US federal agency in charge of background checks, almost every month of 2015 brought up a major new cyber attack. Hackers hit companies and governments alike month after month, often with shocking results.
In India, according to the KPMG Cybercrime survey report 2015, 72% of Indian companies faced a cyber attack in 2015. Worryingly, nearly 94% of the 250 C-level executives surveyed indicated that cybercrime is a major threat. But only 41% said it forms part of the board agenda. Alarmingly, 54% respondents indicated that spend on cyber defenses is less than 5% of IT spend.
Clearly, cyber attacks are a growing threat and enterprises are struggling to prevent breaches to their networks. Poor network behavior visibility leads to gaps in the security posture, ultimately leading to full-fledged attacks. Without the proper tools and systems in place to continuously gather, process, compare, and analyze network behavior, IT security professionals are unable to identify and react efficiently to security incidents. The more network and security intelligence you have, the better you'll know how to tweak your security policies and tactics to best protect your organization – and your customers' data.
The reality is that few IT administrators have an accurate picture of what's really going on inside the network, and lack the automated visibility and analytics tools that can quickly identify, interpret, and act on threats.
Network security has traditionally focused on border protection strategies and inspected data at the network layer only. The thinking was that hackers were using unsophisticated methods and that if you could keep them from entering, then your computers, users, and data were safe.
But an increasing number of attacks are coming from inside the network itself. Many of the headline-grabbing breaches in the last year began with a compromise that originated within the network instead of more traditional attacks by hackers attempting to breach a network from the outside. Hackers are also using social engineering and sophisticated phishing techniques more frequently to obtain confidential information and network credentials directly from employees. They can then launch attacks that bypass even the most sophisticated firewalls because employees unknowingly gave them permission to do so.
Traditional firewalls still do a good job of filtering traffic and limiting access from unwanted sources. It’s important, however, for today’s enterprises to build on the capabilities of traditional firewalls by either employing next-generation firewall capabilities or adding software to protect information that the hackers are trying to capture.
Next generation firewalls offer protection from both internal and external sources. They blend the features of a standard firewall with quality of service (QoS) functionalities in order to provide smarter and deeper inspection. In many ways a Next Generation Firewall combines the capabilities of first-generation network firewalls and network intrusion prevention systems (IPS), while also offering additional features such as SSL and SSH inspection, reputation-based malware filtering and Active Directory integration support.
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