It seems that our news feeds are constantly flooded with the headlines of the latest cyber attack. Wishing it away, or hoping that our news filters are malfunctioning, is just not possible. Sadly, it is due to the fact that these crimes are happening more frequently than ever before.
The worst part is that the response from the victims is all too predictable: “We just didn’t think it would ever happen to us.”
This nightmare becomes a reality for far too many companies, and for this reason, we stay busy with our Managed Security Services.
Who We Are
We are a team of security experts who protect our clients from cyber attacks and treat their networks like they are our own. This is who we are at our core.
Our engineers are SANS-trained security ninjas who specialize in knowing how hackers break in,and also in knowing how to stop them. In today’s world, companies do not have the time or the expertise to defend themselves properly, and we’ve found that many of them don’t want to go it alone. With our help, they can solely focus on their business, and we can focus on their security.
Our clients who use our program of managed security services have never experienced a breach resulting in data loss. We take pride in this reputation given that 50% of small businesses have had data breaches of some kind. The industry average time to detect an attack is about seven months, but for our clients, it’s closer to seven hours or even minutes. What is our secret? It’s simple. We preach a layered defense strategy that is managed and monitored on a continuous basis. To explain a bit more, think of your organization's network as a castle.
5 Steps to a Secure Castle
1. The Moat
The first thing you must do to protect your castle is to have a strong perimeter defense. Your Next-Generation Firewall, somewhat like a powerful moat, is the essential first layer of defense. Your firewall will give you visibility into who and what is trying to go in and out of your network. It will also block unauthorized users from gaining access, along with stopping sensitive data from leaving your walls. The statistics are staggering, with 90%+ of all attacks containing an email element, which brings us to our next line of defense…
2. The Door
When an intruder manages to get past the moat, a quick second defense is necessary. We recommend integrating two additional services into your firewall, the first being Email Security with anti-spam and encryption functionality. The second is a Sandbox that will test unknown files to make sure they are good before letting them through to the user's inbox. Without a strong door, the cybercriminals have easy access to come and go as they please, leaving you high and dry.
3. A Secure Barrier
If there’s a gaping hole in your castle wall, you should probably know about it, right? Another essential line of defense is called Vulnerability Management. Hundreds of new vulnerabilities emerge monthly. Think of these as open and unguarded windows into your castle. Through these vulnerabilities, criminals are able to sneak in and wreak havoc. These vulnerabilities can occur in programs that need upgrades, misconfigured appliances, new devices that show up, and much more. We protect our clients by running recurring vulnerability scans of their entire network, then providing actionable and prioritized reports based on the results of those scans. In addition to knowing about vulnerabilities, we can also manage the patching of those vulnerabilities to ensure there are no holes in your perimeter allowing attackers to get in.
4. The Internal Fortress
One of our last lines of defense is your malware prevention. This is your ace in the hole that is built to stop anything and anyone that breaks into your castle and is attacking a device. Those traditional signature-based or heuristic-based solutions cannot keep up with today’s sophisticated attacks. We deploy a solution that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to block these advanced forms of malware. When you combine this technology with expert engineers trained in the art of identifying indicators of compromise, your level of endpoint protection skyrockets.
5. The Watch Tower
We cap off the multiple layers of defense with your Detection & Response capabilities. SIEM (security information and event management) gives you a holistic picture of your organization’s IT event logs. This is the ‘birds-eye view’ into all the activity happening within your castle. When this technology is combined with the continuous monitoring of expert engineers, you are able to connect and correlate the activity generated by your entire network, enabling 24/7 visibility into every event that takes place. At the endpoint level, EDR (endpoint detection & response) identifies abnormal events and behaviors that could indicate device compromise, locking down attacks in progress on endpoint devices and preventing lateral movement.
Even all of the right technology can be rendered useless without the help of trained security experts (your castle guards) who know the technology, know the threats, and continuously manage and monitor the network. This is what our team does at Ascend. It’s not monotonous or boring to us, it’s a thrill and a privilege. After all, we are paranoid security nerds. If you are interested in any of these services or simply would like an assessment of your castle (security infrastructure) feel free to contact us today.
Written By: Jared Froehlich, Security Account Manager