Posts Tagged ‘endpoint enforcement policy’

Between The Lines, The Security Threat When the Insider Gets Outside
InfoSecurity UK, Securing the Remote Working Environment
Insecure About Security, It’s Time To Re-Examine Endpoint Security, Facebook and Web Apps Threaten Network Security
ZDNet Australia, Security Q&A: The Father of Firewall

VPN Haus caught up with Chris Liebert is a Senior Analyst for IDC’s Security Services practice, at RSA 2011 to talk about trends she was noticing at the show.

Chris points out that authentication on mobile devices has been a major topic of conversation. Endpoint security, in general, has been a major push with attendees looking to safeguard access to corporate servers.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of the Forward Thinking series, which features expert opinions on the top security trends of 2011. Today’s post features Martin Hack, EVP at NCP engineering.

By Martin Hack, EVP at NCP engineering

This year’s threat landscape will build upon some of the major network security threats of 2011 with a few new twists and turns. Over the next two posts, I’ll outline these issues and provide tips to avoid falling prey to these dangers.

1.      Bring Your Own Devices – this is no longer a trend, it’s becoming more and more of a standard. Companies once purchased laptops and bevy of mobile devices to be doled out as corporate devices – for business use only, but now that’s turned into an allowance for employees to subsidize their personal devices for business use. With this development, IT departments are suddenly bombarded with multiple devices and platforms to manage. In 2011, be prepared for a highly dynamic environment with a garden variety of devices turning up from employees. The best way of handling such a diversity of devices would be to be prepared with a remote access management framework that doesn’t result in a nightmare scenario of having to manually configure each device individually.

Turning back the clock and going back to the days of corporate-only devices isn’t an option. The cat is out of the bag and employees are now accustomed to only carrying one device. This is from the top down. Executives have started doubling their personal devices as corporate devices and the effect has trickled down.

2.      The Melding of Business and Personal – the trend of work-life integration has been ongoing for years. However, the BYOD policy has rapidly accelerated this and 2011 will open mobile devices to even more threats. When their device doubles for work and personal, employees are more likely to check their Facebook account while also having a session open that connects to their work server. The attack surface for this type of behavior is still unfolding, but its potential is staggering. An attacker could create a free, popular Facebook application that is loaded with malware. The application could scan for smartphones that are connected to corporate networks and then unleash a Trojan onto the backend.

In his next post, Martin will explain how to protect against threats from the melding of business and personal and share his final prediction for 2011 network security trends.

Network World, Best Practices for Endpoint Security, Part I
Network World, Best Practices for Endpoint Security, Part II, A Pre-Implementation Windows 7 Security Guide for Enterprises
The Register, The Changing Face of Branch Offices
WindowsITPro, Q: What VPN Protocol do you Recommend for Windows 7 Clients?
ZDNet, Five Ways for IPv6 and IPv4 to Peacefully Co-exist

In the second part of our series on NAC, let’s look more closely at the way the industry has tried (and, we think, failed) at solving the complexity around NAC. Rather than dealing with the complexities of NAC head-on, many vendors have stirred confusion and conflict, but ultimately, very few viable solutions.

NetworkWorld’s Joel Snyder taps into this frustration in his recent piece on NAC: What Went Wrong. He points out:

NAC’s three components are authentication, end-point security and access control, but vendors tend to deliver NAC products based on their particular strong suits. This means NAC products tend to focus on one of those three components, often ignoring the other two… The broad variation in products is also due to legitimate disagreement on the best way to reach the final goal. The problem with this lack of consensus is that it causes confusion in anyone who is interested in adding NAC capabilities to their network. For example, is authentication important or isn’t it?

At VPN Haus, we believe that endpoint policy enforcement is the most critical NAC function. The reason is, this gives the customer the flexibility to make remote access as easy as possible for the end-user, while still maintaining high security standards. Once the process gets too sticky for end-users, they often start scouring ways around NAC. And ultimately, that’s just as dangerous as forgoing NAC altogether.

What are your thoughts? What’s the most important component of NAC?