The state of IT security is terrible – that is the only conclusion you can make, when breach after breach is reported by global media outlets. Keep in mind, these are only the breaches we hear about... countless others go unreported. Hackers are winning the war against companies and customers are caught in the crossfire. There is so much at risk: Millions of dollars of reputational damage, direct lost business, lawsuits and much more.
All of this came to mind as I spoke with Erik Knight the CEO of SimpleWAN. His company provides a managed security service, which channel partners and VARs can resell to their customers. He started off by saying firewalls haven’t changed much, and hackers typically are looking for easy targets, such as firewalls left in “set it and forget it mode.” This phrase isn’t what he used but it sums up his thoughts on the competition.
Instead, his company advocates a managed security appliance – a firewall with back-end big data analytics and a command center that works behind the scenes to ensure the customer’s network isn't under attack.
He mentioned PCI (News - Alert) compliance fines could cost up to $250 per credit card stolen and most companies have thousands of credit cards stored on their systems. He says companies can spend thousands on consultants, but his combination of appliances and backend monitoring are far better. He likens the company’s approach to a monitored security service. For instance, you wouldn’t have a security service for your house without an associated monitoring service. Knowing that, why would you do it for your business? He has a point.
In one case, he says a customer called SimpleWAN in because it had voice quality issues on the network. Turns out SimpleWAN found the problem by gaining visibility on the packets being sent, where they were going, and the specific device that had become infected with malware. Turns out this financial services firm had its traffic copied and sent to a competitor.
He believes his systems would have stopped the Sony Pictures hack as well, as it would have stopped abnormal traffic from being sent to the intruders. Moreover, the customer is able to visualize the attacks on the network and he says this makes IT look like a hero.
IT departments are more stressed than ever - I'd say anything which makes them look good is worth looking into.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino