“It’s Not You; It’s Me”: Network Protection From the Inside-Out

by | Data Breach, Data Limits

Every enterprise network uses firewalls to restrict incoming traffic. These firewalls are amazing pieces of technology, building a powerful wall to keep intruders out — but all the defenses face outward.

The soft spots — those areas most vulnerable — come from us, the users on the inside. Send the right targeted email, and somebody might download an attachment or click a link that looks legit. They may plug in a loose USB key to see who it belongs to. We are the weak link.

Devices inside the network are trusted at pretty much any company. They’re allowed to initiate connections to public-facing machines.

Once a session is opened by an internal device, the firewall “trusts” the session and allows return traffic. Therefore, if an internal device can be compromised to open a connection to a command-and-control server, that communication becomes “trusted,” granting a hacker full access to the device which can easily attack other machines.

Current security thinking is to “compartmentalize” the network, erecting more firewalls to isolate zones in hopes attackers will be deterred once on the corporate network.

This may slow the spread, but determined hackers can keep compromising machines and capturing credentials. And they can keep doing this until they make it to the corporate treasure chest, core databases that contain financials, employee records, and customer data.

What if we started looking at our systems from the INSIDE?

What if we realized it’s important to keep people OUT — but more important to keep data IN?

What if — crazy thought — we could LIMIT how far critical information travels?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know when someone tries to BREACH that travel limit?

That’s the philosophy of HOPZERO. We don’t replace traditional firewalls; we complement them. This adds a powerful layer of protection to your data. 

HOPZERO is not the only tool that can restrict outbound traffic. Firewalls and routers are options; they simply aren’t enough.

We recommend you consider how to keep your data INSIDE the company. It’s not just the outsiders who compromise sensitive data. It’s the insiders…and we can help.

 

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Ben Haley is the senior vice president of Engineering and co-founder of HOPZERO. During his over 30 years’ experience in software engineering, Ben has led network and application efforts for high performance, reliability, and security programs at multiple firms. As founding development director for NetQoS/CA Technologies, Ben led all development work and formed a research team to review performance and security anomalies. Most recently, he served as a lead architect for several key projects at MaxPoint (now Valassis), a leading digital marketing technology company.