Exeter, Rhode Island, August 7, 2014 — Carousel Industries, a leader in unified communications, managed services, data networking solutions and visual communications, has been helping enterprises mitigate network security threats since the company was founded in 1992. While many of these threats are fundamentally the same at the most basic level, attack methodologies have evolved and companies’ networking environments have become increasingly complex. According to security experts at Carousel, the key to developing and executing a successful security approach lies in three fundamental steps:
First, understanding one’s networking environment and the inherent security risks;
Second, knowing which hardware and software purchases will assist in mitigating both present and future security risks;
Third, implementing a consistent visibility and reporting strategy.
Through its SmartPoint Guard managed services program and its partnership with best of breed security manufacturers, Carousel brings unique perspective to both legacy and next generation network security challenges that enterprises face.
- Know Thyself: Understand Your Network Environment According to Mike Burgess, Director of Presales Engineering Data for Carousel, many enterprises routinely overlook this important ‘discovery’ phase, which involves finding out where your sensitive data is, what your vulnerabilities are, and what compliance requirements you have: “You need to look at the broader network context,” he explains. “We don’t care about network attacks in general, only those attacks that are relevant to your environment. Having this knowledge, if we look at the most common attacks in real time, we can assess whether or not they present a potential threat your own environment.” This phase — which is a professional services engagement — involves a gap analysis as well as engaging a ‘white hat’ team to identify vulnerabilities in the network.
- Let The Buyer Beware: Make Intelligent Hardware and Software Purchases Once you understand the network environment and what you are trying to protect, make sure you buy a balance of the right equipment. “It is important to spend time and resources on consulting so you know exactly what you need to protect you from threats that are happening right now,” says Jeffrey Hewson, National Sales Director, Data Networking Group, Carousel. “For example, a firewall solution that might have protected you five years ago may not be up for the task today. Cyber criminals are now writing attacks for mobile devices and not just operating systems — therefore a Layer 7 application aware firewall, combined with a comprehensive network access control (NAC) solution might be a good investment.” By employing a layered security approach that identifies each of the 11 different functions of security, Carousel is able to help companies navigate their equipment decisions so they only purchase what they need.
- Trust but Verify: Implement Sound Visibility and Reporting Practices One of the most common hurdles enterprises face is evolving their network security strategy to become more ‘proactive’ and less ‘reactive.’ One of the key components required in achieving this is to build effective monitoring and reporting capabilities. “What you are really trying to do is gain real-time visibility so you can detect an attack before it can cause damage or proliferate the network,” explains Burgess. “A next generation firewall solution may present an effective defensive measure, but enterprises need proactive reporting on exactly who is coming in and out of their networks and what critical information is passing through its channels.” In general, Burgess says, the industry is getting better at reporting on exposed security breaches — but with the right tools and talent in place, could do a much better job on preventing them from occurring in the first place.
In light of the prevalent, well-publicized security attacks, increasing regulatory compliance requirements and proliferation of mobile devices — not to mention the relatively recent advent of cloud computing and the massive wireless endpoints connecting back to large data centers — it is no surprise that many companies are perplexed on where to begin with network security. “Frankly, there has been a lot of conflict avoidance,” says Mike Burgess. “We spend a lot of time working with companies to help them understand their environment and acquire the tools and expertise needed to secure their data.”
Carousel and Juniper are inviting several companies to take the first step in understanding their own security needs by participating in a short, complimentary survey, which helps identify participants’ key priorities and challenges. On completion of the survey, participants will receive an analysis of the results as well as an opportunity to benchmark their responses against the broader community of survey participants.