Federal Insights

New Users and Devices on the Network? How to Maintain Security & Productivity

by bwright on ‎06-06-2017 08:14 AM - last edited on ‎06-15-2017 01:49 PM by Community Manager (2,725 Views)

You are a network administrator, responsible for running a campus area network spanning several buildings within a business park. Your company, Widget Inc., runs a portion of its manufacturing, all shipping and receiving, sales, support, admin and HR out of the buildings in the office park. At the same time, you provide support for the remote sales reps and a few overseas employees that offer oversight to an off-shore manufacturer of some of your Widget components.

 

Fortunately for Widget Inc., the buildings in use are close together, sharing parking lots and allowing for direct cable runs between each. This makes for an easier to build, deploy and maintain campus network infrastructure. However, the diverse nature of the operations that Widget Inc. maintains requires a robust network infrastructure providing wired and wireless access to employees, and wireless access to guests and visitors. With all business functions of Widget Inc. accessing the same network, security concerns have arisen.

 

As the network administrator, you must identify what your requirements are for a secure means of network access, both for internal and external users and for wired and wireless. For years, you’ve run an Active Directory (AD) server with LDAP and some type of NAT for your Windows-based desktops. However, several new employees have stated that they prefer to use Mac OS-based computers, all staff use smartphones now and warehouse staff use tablets to facilitate a new inventory application that you have been testing. At the same time, the devices brought in by your suppliers and visitors run all sorts of operating systems, from Linux-based laptops to Google Chromebooks. All of these devices need access to the guest network.

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Security On The Edge: How Is Your Agency Protecting Data at the Edge?

by walkerj ‎03-21-2017 08:47 AM - edited ‎03-21-2017 09:58 AM (3,413 Views)

It’s no surprise that the Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding. IHS predicts that the number of IoT-connected devices will grow to 75.4 billion in 2025. While greater connectivity increases innovation and operational flexibility, these devices raise concerns about network security.

 

In January 2017, the Government Business Council (GBC) surveyed 442 federal employees about the state of their network security and what their agencies are doing to secure the data at the edge. Sixty percent of respondents cited security as the most important performance feature when it comes to the devices and sensors their agency uses to transmit data, ranking above stability, speed and accuracy. Further, 89 percent of those surveyed felt it was very or extremely important that devices operating on the edge, such as IoT-connected devices, were secure from malicious attackers.

 

Despite this agreement, 58 percent of respondents are only somewhat, not very or not at all confident about the security of edge devices. The most commonly cited tactic for securing the edge is also one of the easiest approaches for hackers to work around: stringent password requirements. What is causing these security gaps? Insufficient funding, slow procurement and lack of technical expertise were highlighted as top challenges. However, agencies can take steps to protect their networks from the edge to the core.

 

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It is no surprise that cybersecurity is a growing concern for the federal government. The most recent FISMA report reflects 77,000 successfully executed cyber incidents occurring in 2015, a number that has increased each year. Part of the growing challenge is due to the diverse and ever-expanding number of endpoints and data sources for agencies to secure, especially on government campuses. With this landscape as a backdrop, campus environments require a tailored approach to security and encryption due to their varied department needs and multiple physical locations. Here are traits to look for:

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Government networks now face a multitude of users demanding access to massive amounts of data, but they’re losing steam trying to keep up.

 

The legacy frameworks propelling them forward aren’t getting any more capable, either. But through a revolutionary networking practice called the New IP, limited and wasteful networks can transform into open networks — and they can do it now.

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Security Services Abstraction via Software Defined Paradigm

by walkerj ‎02-08-2016 08:31 AM - edited ‎02-08-2016 10:29 AM (4,168 Views)

The recent explosion of connected devices, big data and cloud computing has led to revolutionary changes in our use of technology. While these innovative technologies have unleashed unparalleled possibilities for government agencies, they have also seriously threatened network security. Every new piece of technology added to the network – from sensors, to laptops, to cloud datacenters, to mobile phones – is a new endpoint that has the potential to be compromised.

 

 

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After this summer’s high profile OPM breach, there’s no question that cyber attacks are affecting the federal government with an alarming frequency. According to the Government Accountability Office, data breaches at government agencies involving personal data have jumped 91 percent over the past eight years. This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s time to consider all elements of a secure environment – starting with the network.

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Budget Constraints, Network Performance Top Government’s List of Security Barriers

by walkerj ‎04-27-2015 08:37 AM - edited ‎04-27-2015 10:24 AM (4,858 Views)

With breaches affecting government entities from the White House to the Department of State, high profile security incidents have dominated headlines over the past year. According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) recognized more than 46,000 security incidents in 2013. With these issues in mind, it comes as no surprise that a recent Market Connections survey of federal IT decision makers and influencers found that only 26 percent of agencies feel their network data is fully protected. 

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What’s Missing from Government’s Security Wish List?

by Anthony Robbins ‎02-23-2015 10:06 AM - edited ‎02-24-2015 04:58 AM (4,906 Views)

There is no question that security is becoming one of government’s top IT concerns. Breaches have become so frequent that it is no longer a question of if they will occur, but when.

 

According to a GAO report, the number of security incidents at federal agencies that have involved the potential exposure of citizens’ personal information has increased from 10,400 in 2009 to more than 25,500 in 2013. As network security remains the most critical area of vulnerability prevention, government agencies are in need of next-gen solutions that don’t stifle innovation. 

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