Hackers and data breaches are becoming the focus of IT leaders in organizations across the globe. Most recently, it was announced that a breach of the Office of Personnel Management-(OPM) information systems would impact 4.2 million Americans. Not long after the announcement, the OPM adjusted upward the impact of the invasion and confiscation of proprietary data. The breach would affect more than 25.7 million previous and current federal employees whose personnel information had been unlawfully pilfered by an intruder.
According to OPM, the agency was breached twice prior to the agency becoming aware of the intrusion. The types of information stolen from the background check databases include Social Security numbers, residency and educational history, employment history, information about immediate family, and other personal and financial history. The government agency stated that usernames and passwords that background investigation applicants used to fill out their background investigation forms were also stolen. The incident once again demonstrates, whether in government or private industry, the need for dynamic security continues to intensify.
Threats like web-based malware attacks, targeted attacks and application-layer attacks are rapidly changing the threat landscape from bad to critical. The majority of the increased intrusions are exploiting weaknesses in applications, as opposed to weaknesses in networking components and services. “With the growing proliferation and sophistication of hackers, combined with our increased reliance on interconnected applications, devices and systems; it’s imperative that both private and public organizations intensify their approach to network security”, says Clint Nelms, Vice President of Professional Services at Infinite Resource Solutions (Infinite). “We have the tools and the latest in processes and technologies to prevent, protect, detect, and respond to elevated threats to information systems.”
One tool in the security professional’s tool box has become a staple in fighting off unwanted hackers is Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW). An enhanced, integrated security platform that combines traditional firewall functions with other analysis and filtering functionalities can provide more layers of security to protect networks against intrusion by today’s hackers. Previous firewalls, with port focused capabilities, were once effective in blocking unwanted applications. In the past, administrators could prevent an unsafe application from exposing sensitive data by by blocking the associated ports and protocols. Preventing more sophisticated and aggressive attacks with this older technology is not as effective now that hackers hide malicious activities inside protocols like HTTPS. These days port based security strategies are not dynamic enough to keep up with sophisticated attacks.
With hackers focused on stealing our information, many CTOs and IT departments find their efforts to secure systems behind an increasingly more complex learning curve. Providing a focused and intensive defense is often better left to a team of professional subject matter experts who can design and deploy a next generation solution. Infinite Resource Solutions is a leading international provider of business-to-business professional services, offering clients solutions to the increasingly complex threats of data breach.
A recent Infinite client, an American manufacturing company, was routinely reviewing traffic passing to and from its servers when they noticed an unusual traffic pattern. A large amount of traffic was leaving one of its servers headed for an international destination. In addition to their concern that valuable data was being unlawfully exposed, the traffic was having a negative impact on the amount of bandwidth available for the organizations production environment. The company was faced with the immediate need to locate the traffic’s source, stop the bandwidth utilization, investigate the severity and scope, and assess next steps.
Infinite’s security expertise was the perfect choice to combat the problem. By deploying a next generation security solution the Infinite team was able to analyze the traffic, isolate it, and then stop it from reaching its destination. By leveraging new firewall rules designed to block traffic from the client’s server to the internet, the team stopped the bandwidth abuse and paved the way for a full forensic investigation by the appropriate agencies. Infinite’s agility and quick response exceeded the client’s desired results.
Infinite’s team of experts can assist with the design and implementation of your security solution. To learn more about Infinite’s capabilities contact Clint Nelms at 678.379.2804.