I N F O R M A T I O N A N D C O M M U N I C A T I O N S – N E T W O R K E D



How Supermicro has

perfected its 'one-stop'

total solutions approach


The cybersecurity impact

of COVID-19


The benefits of running

an SD-Branch platform


Smart policies for remote

compliance and security

MAY/JUNE 2020 VOL 29 NO 02



Cloud Infrastructure

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with the New 2 nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors

Better. Faster. Greener.

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© Supermicro and Supermicro logo are trademarks of Super Micro Computer, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.





Dave Mitchell

Ray Smyth

SUB EDITOR: Mark Lyward




DESIGN: Ian Collis



David Bonner


Julie Cornish


Network Computing has a somewhat different look this issue. With the entire

team still remote working to bring the issue together it seemed appropriate to

dedicate a significant part of it to all things WFH, with a particular emphasis

on the role of cybersecurity in our 'new normal'.

According to a new report from Bitdefender, 'The indelible Impact of COVID-19 on

Cybersecurity', "Half of infosec professionals (50%) revealed that their organisations

didn't have a contingency plan in place, or didn't know if they did, for a situation like

COVID-19 or a similar scenario. This lack of forward planning has come at great

risk, as 86% of infosec professionals admitted that attacks in the most common attack

vectors were on the rise during this period."

The survey sought the opinions of 6,700 infosec professionals of which 23% were

CISOs, CSOs and CIOs across the UK, US, Australia/New Zealand, Germany,

France, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden, and found that 81% of the respondents

believe that COVID-19 will change the way their businesses operate in the long-term.

Commenting on the survey findings Liviu Arsene, Global Cybersecurity Researcher at

Bitdefender said "At least half of organisations admitted they were not prepared for a

scenario such as this, whereas the attackers are seizing the opportunity. But within the

current situation there is a great opportunity for positive change in cybersecurity."

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Christina Willis


PUBLISHER: John Jageurs


Published by Barrow & Thompkins

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reproduced without prior consent, in

writing, from the publisher.

We will need to seize that opportunity with the same zeal as the cybercriminals if

we're to continue to work remotely and safely for the foreseeable future, and in the

following pages you'll find a wealth of guidance on how to ensure your business is

doing just that.





MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 3



M A Y / J U N E 2 0 2 0

REMOTE WORKING...............10

Our remote working feature this issue looks

at the security and compliance challenges

of working from home both during and

beyond the COVID-19 pandemic


Network Computing speaks to Supermicro

CEO Charles Liang about how the

company has perfected its 'one-stop' total

solutions approach


Networking in the new normal

INDUSTRY NEWS.............................6

The latest networking news




By Steve Law at Giacom and Sébastien

Gest at VadeSecure

BRANCHING OUT...........................12

By Jordan Baker at ZPE Systems



By Mike Puglia at Kaseya


By Michael McNearney at Supermicro


OF CRISIS.......................................18

By Tom Caldwell at Statseeker

UNDER FIRE AT HOME..........24

Bad actors have been taking advantage of

the current crisis to create chaos, locking

out employees and paralysing business

operations, according to a new report from

Neustar's International Security Council


OF COVID-19......................22

Addressing the need for cybersecurity

training and preparedness during the

ongoing lockdown is critical, as Deshini

Newman at (ISC) 2 explains


Working from home can make IT systems

far more susceptible to attack, without the

right security measures firmly in place

YOU'VE GOT MAIL..........................26

By Chris Blood at Swiss Post Solutions Limited


By Phil Underwood and Chris Cassell at



By Aman Johal at Your Lawyers




by Kev Brear, Director of Consulting;

Technology Risk Management, at Xcina





NETALLY ETHERSCOPE NXG................15

SOLARWINDS APPOPTICS...................20

4 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2019 @NCMagAndAwards


Pragmatic and experienced

risk management professionals

Xcina Consulting provides high quality business and technology risk assurance and

advisory services, which only comes from years of experience in our clients’ shoes.

We help to ensure an organisation’s key risks are appropriately managed; its processes

and controls are robust and fit for purpose; it remains compliant with legislation

and regulation and wherever feasible it leverages industry standards as part of

good practice.

Accredited by the Payment Card Industry’s Security Standards Council as a Qualified

Security Assessor (QSA) company and a British Standards Institution (BSI) platinum

member for the provision of services related to ISO27001 (Information Security) and

ISO22301 (Business Continuity).

All our consultants have 10+ years minimum experience and have held senior level


Our services can be customised to your needs.

• Business Continuity and Crisis Management

• Data Protection

• Financial Processes & Procedures

• Information Security / Cyber Security

• IT & OT Security

• Payment Card Industry

• Project & Change

• Risk Management

• Control Assurance (ISAE3402 / SSAE18)

• Due Diligence

• Governance

• Internal Audit

• Operational Processes & Procedures

• Process Management

• Regulatory Compliance (finance services)

• Third Party Management

020 3985 8467






Securing the new normal with Zyxel firewalls for SMBs

Zyxel Networks has announced the USG FLEX, a new series of

mid-range firewalls designed for SMBs to keep up with the

workplace mobility, connectivity and security requirements postpandemic.

The USG FLEX 100/200/500 firewalls feature

upgraded hardware and software power that level up SMB security

with up to 125 percent of firewall performance and up to an

additional 500 percent Unified Threat Management (UTM)

performance. In addition to providing robust, scalable network

security for SMBs, the new firewalls also provide VPN remote

access, WiFi access point management, and comprehensive

hotspot functions to fulfill business needs within one-box.

The USG FLEX series supports Zyxel's Cloud Query service, which

is based on a multi-source, continuously growing cloud database

that covers billions of malware samples from industry-leading thirdparty

sources and from threats identified by every other Zyxel

firewalls worldwide to increase the malware detection rate.

"As the spread of COVID-19 continues to impact companies

around the world, the need to protect the network while providing

secure access to the network from remote locations to continue

operations becomes even more critical," explained Nathan Yen,

AVP of Zyxel's Gateway Business Unit. "The USG FLEX series is

designed to provide the security, flexibility, and ease-of-use that

makes this an ideal solution for SMBs in this new business reality."

WatchGuard acquires Panda Security

WatchGuard Technologies has closed the acquisition of the

advanced endpoint protection provider, Panda Security.

Panda is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of WatchGuard, and

the combined company will enable its current and future

customers and partners to consolidate their fundamental

security services for protection from network to endpoint under

a single company.

WatchGuard resellers will gain immediate access to Panda Adaptive

Defense 360, which includes both endpoint protection platform and

endpoint detection and response capabilities, and Advanced

Reporting Tool products via the Panda Security Early Access Program,

launching on 1 June 2020.

"The completed acquisition of Panda Security, and the subsequent

integration of its portfolio into WatchGuard Cloud, represents a

significant milestone for the company and will result in both

immediate and long-term benefits for our customers and partners

that will address common challenges with security complexity, rapidly

changing network topologies, purchasing models, and more," said

Prakash Panjwani, CEO of WatchGuard Technologies.

Insight cloud-based management offer from NETGEAR

NETGEAR are offering the inclusion of a free 1-year Insight

subscription with the registration of selected Insight Managed

switches, Insight Wireless Access Points and routers. With a mix of

home and limited office working and social distancing still likely to

be a major factor affecting businesses nationwide for many months

to come, the importance of secure, effective remote network

management has never been greater.

"Insight simplifies network management at a time when the

power and importance of remote network visibility and control

cannot be overstated," said Shaheen Kazi, Director of Product Line

Management for Insight. "In addition to allowing network

managers to work effectively without needing to visit premises onsite,

we are confident that our customers will find the Insight

remote management solution to be a valuable asset to their

business in general." The 1-year free NETGEAR Insight offer

applies to selected devices added on or after April 27, 2020, for

both new and existing Insight accounts.

Thermographic fever-screening camera solution

D-Link has launched the DCS-9500T Group Temperature

Screening Camera to help businesses mitigate against the

spread of Coronavirus. The solution has been designed to

support a wide range of industries including busy entrances at

schools, hospitals, transportation hubs and office buildings. It is

a complete kit that includes thermographic camera with

intelligent temperature detection, blackbody calibrator and

management software and can screen up to 30 people at the

same time with a rapid response time of less than 30 ms and

accuracy within 0.3°C.

06 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards



Securing against identity theft with ID PROTECTION

F-Secure has launched ID PROTECTION, a new solution that

provides a comprehensive approach to securing personal

information and accounts. The solution continuously monitors

and detects exposed personal information online, responds

quickly to threats to users' identity, and doubles as a password

manager to prevent account takeovers. It offers offers a powerful

combination of human intelligence and real-time monitoring that

helps track down breached data. Key features of F-Secure ID


Identity management provides instant alerts and guidance on

how to respond when personal information has been found as

part of a breach or data leak

Comprehensive breach database consisting of billions of

recovered assets and plain text passwords

Combination of human intelligence and Dark Web monitoring

to recover breach data up to 6 months faster

Protection for the entire family with a single subscription

Password management that makes it easy to create unique,

strong passwords that are automatically synchronised and

auto-filled on all devices.

F-Secure ID PROTECTION is available both with monthly and

yearly subscriptions and is now included as part of the F-Secure

TOTAL premium cybersecurity package.

Highest performance DDoS protection from A10

A10 is launching its highest-performance DDoS protection

appliance, the A10 Thunder Threat Protection System (TPS)

7655, helping service providers and MSSPs mitigate the largest

DDoS attacks, providing up to 1.2Tbps blocking capacity and

380 Gbps scrubbing capacity. Combining Zero-day Automated

Protection (ZAP) powered b ymachine learning (ML) and advanced

software mitigations, Thunder TPS delivers unprecedented

protection in a compact 1.5U form factor, enabling customers to

efficiently scale-out their DDoS defenses as the threat landscape

expands. The Thunder 7655 TPS will be available in Q3 2020.

HornetSecurity set to create buzz in the UK

Hornetsecurity, the German email cloud security provider, is

expanding its presence in the UK through a strategic

partnership with cybersecurity distributor Brigantia. The new

partnership - which follows Hornetsecurity's acquisition of the

Poole-based email security provider Everycloud in January - will

give the company access to Brigantia's network of resellers

throughout the UK and Ireland and support its plans to become

the UK market leader within 12 months. Brigantia, which has

offices in London and Yorkshire, will now work with Hornetsecurity

to establish its channel distribution strategy in the UK, following its

success in other markets including Spain and Germany.

Hornetsecurity's product is unique in covering all the key areas of

email security, including spam and virus filters, legally compliant

archiving and encryption and including best in class technologies.

It offers advanced threat protection for users of Microsoft 365 as

well as other email systems. Daniel Blank, COO of Hornetsecurity,

said "We see great potential for our innovative cloud security

services in the UK and are really excited about our new partnership

with Brigantia, whose large reseller network will allow us to extend

our footprint and partner base."

Daniel Blank, Hornetsecurity

Nuvias Appointed European Distributor for ColorTokens

Cybersecurity solutions provider ColorTokens has appointed the

Nuvias Group as their EMEA high-value distributor.

ColorTokens delivers a comprehensive cybersecurity platform that

manages security posture from data centre to edge, including

public clouds. The platform delivers business agility and flexibility

by enabling rapid delivery of IT services such as remote access,

without compromising security and compliance, while maintaining

desired control and governance.

The ColorTokens platform is architected to the NIST-ZTA (Zero

Trust Architecture) specifications, securing workloads and

endpoints through proactive, policy-based enablement. The ZTA

approach is designed to help protect business data and assets by

preventing a whole range of data breaches – from phishing

attacks, ransomware and zero-day attacks. In addition to

protecting enterprise 'crown jewels' and offering end point client

protection, ColorTokens enables customers to quantify risk.






MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 07





For a company that has been around

for over 25 years, Supermicro is

something of a best-kept secret outside

of the IT industry where it has been

quietly - and very successfully - expanding

its portfolio and its customer base

throughout that time. When Network

Computing spoke with CEO and founder

Charles Liang (via online video chat, of

course), his enthusiasm for the company

he has built was evident from our opening


What, he asked us, did Supermicro

have in common with Tesla? The management

at Tesla did something unique,

and he explained: as most automobile

manufacturers shifted everything offshore,

Tesla stayed in Silicon Valley, where

they've continued to grow and thrive.

Liang went on: "The Supermicro story is

more similar than you might think: most

companies selling servers, storage, IoT

and even 5G hardware have moved to

offshore operations over the last 30

years or so - but we've been in Silicon

Valley for 27 years. The US today has

hardly any server, cloud, or 5G design

and manufacturing, and more importantly,

no one here is seeing any real growth

in those markets - except, that is, for


Charles Liang, CEO, Supermicro


Around ten years ago, Supermicro saw

increasing manufacturing and engineering

costs but also saw expanding market

opportunities overseas, especially in Asia.

Supermicro decided then to extend its

operations to Taiwan, and it has aggressively

grown market share, and now has

a large and solid foundation in Taipei.

08 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards



Liang explains: "This expansion allowed

us to really scale our offerings. That's

how we are now able to provide the

industry with not only world-beating

design and solutions but also high-volume

products. We have extended and

increased our capacity to serve the

broader IT industry regionally, and we

want to share our message more widely,

not just in the US but increasingly across

Europe. Historically, our successful

growth has been on that foundation: the

technology and the products, and now

we feel we have solutions that are ready

to serve the industry globally."


We asked Charles Liang if there had

been a particular go-to-market strategy

that has allowed Supermicro to thrive in

such a competitive - and often cost-driven

- market, and his answer was surprisingly

straightforward: "I have always

wanted Supermicro to offer a one-stopshop

opportunity for our customers. It

shouldn't matter if we're talking about

cloud, storage, IoT, or smart edge

devices - Supermicro can provide a total

solution suited to our customers' requirements

combining US-based engineering,

superior global manufacturing, and fast

time-to-market operations."

The Supermicro story today is certainly

not just about hardware - with management

software offerings and global onsite

service, the company in 2020 is a

true one-stop-shop for IT, telco, and AI

clients around the world. Liang summarised

it neatly: "Supermicro has a

uniquely broad product line, based on a

building-block solution approach. It

means we can offer a comprehensive

portfolio of optimised solutions to customers

such as cloud service providers,

for instance. Also, we work with all sorts

of major players globally, in scale, in

total solutions, including 5G telcos."


Charles Liang came from a background

as an engineer, and engineering judgment

has, therefore, always been a critical

focus - as well as a key long-term

advantage - for Supermicro. That engineering

vision has also coloured Liang's

passion for reducing e-waste and

improving the environmental credentials

of the industry. "We operate in a very

sophisticated and complicated market,

of course," he explains, "And again this

is part of why we have taken our time in

developing our market offerings not just

in terms of product quality but also

service, and the capacity for production

and support. As a business, we have

always focused on energy and resource

savings as part of our efforts to ensure

we are offering the most optimised

hardware possible for our customers.

Obviously, we are first and foremost an

engineering company, a design, and

manufacturing business - but we have

always aimed to provide the 'greenest'

solutions in the world in terms of energy

savings and resource savings. We are

absolutely dedicated to that vision."

Supermicro was one of the earliest

companies to focus on 'green computing',

long before it became a buzzword

a few years ago: high-efficiency power

supplies, high-efficiency designs able to

work at high temperatures, cooling systems

and far more. Many of their customers

are achieving a PUE (Power

Usage Effectiveness: the most popular

method of calculating energy efficiency

for data centres) rating of 1.1 or 1.05

in their data centres - the accepted

industry 'ideal' PUE is 1.0 - reflecting

how seriously the company takes the

need for environmental efficiencies in

the tech sector.

Emphasising the resource-saving

aspects of their offerings helps

Supermicro customers to reduce their IT

waste over the lifetime of their investments,

and Liang is keen to explain the

company's approach: "Our subsystems

are built from components that have

longevity designed in. It is not unusual

for many items to have a lifetime of ten

or even twelve years, whether that is the

chassis, the power supply, the cooling

fan, the cooling system, or the I/O subsystem.

Customers buying from us can

upgrade the parts they need: - CPU,

memory, storage - as frequently as they

want while keeping most of the critical

subsystems in place for up to twelve

years. This can save them a lot of

money over those twelve years in hardware,

depreciation, and upgrade costs."


We ended our conversation with a discussion

of the way that the Supermicro

brand has been something of a bestkept

secret in the past - even though the

company has been selling to most of the

major players in the global market for a

very long time.

We wondered if Charles Liang had

made a conscious decision to take a

more proactive stance in getting his

message out to the market: "It is true

that we intentionally chose to 'stay

under the radar' somewhat in the past

as we quietly grew the business over

time, and developed and perfected our

total solutions approach," he admitted.

"We didn't want to make a big splash

too early - but I am confident that

Supermicro is ready now to promote our

unique one-stop shopping approach to

the whole IT market. Every aspect of the

business is set up to succeed - hardware,

software, and service, and

Supermicro is supremely well-prepared

after 27 years to take the next steps and

broaden our appeal even further." NC


MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 09








Workforces may not have access to the

necessary devices from their homes

such as work laptops, the correct

video conference solutions or collaboration

tools in place to perform their role. As a result,

employees who are working from home will

have to do so from their own devices. This

'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) phenomenon

creates a security concern as not all personal

electronic devices will have the correct level of

security installed on them – the software may

not be up to date, they may have an older

version of Windows installed or no antivirus

software available.

This creates an issue for both the consumer

and the professional, as the same credentials

are often used across multiple accounts at the

same time. Hackers' creativity is limitless and is

becoming more sophisticated over time. Vade

Secure has seen a shift in cyber criminals'

strategies, changing from attacking individuals

with ransomware to instead using these

individuals as a backdoor to gain access to

corporate networks, and there is no better

opportunity to do this than via individuals using

their personal devices from home. However, by

implementing the correct software and security

solutions across all employees' devices, these

risks can be mitigated.


The number of cyber attacks has continued to

increase over time, withup to 88% of UK

companies being targets of breaches in the last

12 months. However, hackers are taking

advantage of the current coronavirus situation

by sending phishing emails purporting to be

PPE suppliers or medication. Recent statistics

have found that since January 2020, there

have been over 4,000 coronavirus-related

domains registered globally, with 3% found to

be malicious and 5% suspicious. These results

heighten the importance of ensuring your

workforce are securely remote working.

Over the last three months, as the coronavirus

outbreak has unfolded, Vade Secure has seen

a surge in spear-phishing and malware

activities. Examples of this which have been

found include capitalising on psychological

aspects of the victims, including Covid-19

charity campaigns, fake mask and sanitiser

suppliers, as well as stock and medications for

purchases which don’t exist.

With 91% of cyber attacks using emails as

their first vector, it's more important than ever to

ensure that your employees have a secure

email network in place. No organisation is

immune to the threat and companies which

don’t have the right security software in place

need to act now before it's too late. By adding

these security elements, companies can benefit

from detecting and blocking features and using

Artificial Intelligence to secure their networks

and become notified when a non-legitimate

email appears.


Often, the weakest link of an organisation is

the employee, as 88% of UK data breaches

are caused by human error. Employees are

not security experts and can fall foul to

phishing scams if they don’t have the right

level of education or awareness. When

working from home, your workforce is under

more pressure to work both faster and harder,

which can lead to mistakes being made. Staff

members don't have the time to check every

Steve Law

email before they open them, but this one click

can make all the difference.

Instead, by educating employees and making

them more vigilant, they will be able to spot

scams and cyber attacks before the damage is

done. Combined with the right security

software that uses techniques such as alert

'pop-ups' to prompt users to check emails

before clicking on links, for example, the

workforce will become more aware of the signs

to look out for. By enabling users to make an

informed decision about the nature and

legitimacy of their email before acting on it,

organisations can now mitigate against this

high-risk area.


In order for organisations to limit the number

of insider data and security breaches,

particularly when working remotely, it's crucial

for employees to understand the role they

play in keeping the company's information

secure. By preparing in advance and having a

secure contingency plan in place which

provides employees with the necessary

devices and security, companies will be in a

stronger position to defend their systems

against hackers. In addition to this,

supporting employees with training will allow

workforces to understand the evolving risks

they face, and how to keep their information

and systems secure. NC

10 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards


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Even during the most stable global conditions,

IT staff face a monumental

hurdle when deploying and maintaining

branch networks. However, having the

right SD-Branch platform can breathe new

life into what's possible at remote sites. This

is achievable when you choose an SD-

Branch solution that offers:

Fast, consistent deployments using


Remote OOB for convenient, off-site


Reliable cellular failover for more



Deploying any branch location is a chore.

But when you introduce consolidated

devices and zero touch provisioning

(ZTP), the deployment process becomes

virtually effortless.

At the very least, all-in-one appliances

save you money on shipping expenses. You

no longer need to haul large inventories to

each location, and can instead send a single

box capable of performing the work of

three, four, five, or more devices. Choose

an SD-Branch platform that supports

Docker containers, network function virtualization,

and modular add-ons, and you've

got a compact solution for your whole

branch network.

Take even more work and expenses off

your hands with support for ZTP. Common

tools such as Ansible, Chef, and Python

allow you to script your entire deployment

for plug-n-play simplicity. It doesn't get

easier than connecting devices and watching

the network build itself, while ongoing

configuration management is done automatically

via the cloud.


After deploying a new location, maintenance

can bog down a lot of your

resources. You typically need on-site support

to troubleshoot issues, resolve outages,

or perform something as simple as

rebooting a router.

SD-Branch with remote out-of-band

(OOB) management eliminates the need

for all this, and instead gives you an indepth

virtual presence throughout your

network. The level of visibility and control

can be astounding, putting granular control

at your fingertips. The right platform

can give you complete command of routing,

switching, security, and even power

cycling - even if you're halfway across the


Faraway issues no longer require plane

tickets, lodging expenses, and time-consuming,

on-site support. SD-Branch lets

you manage your network from anywhere.


Branch locations can be subjected to disasters

and outside forces that cause downtime.

Nearby construction crews (even your own)

might accidentally send a backhoe bucket

through your main connection, or local

storms might easily knock out connectivity for

your entire zip code. But comprehensive SD-

Branch safeguards you with cellular failover.

When your main connection goes down,

your failover device (equipped with one or

more SIM cards) automatically switches to

your provider's 3G, 4G, or 5G wireless network.

With the right platform, you can

choose plans from any major carrier, cover

an entire location using a single failover

appliance, and even use your wireless connection

as a reliable OOB path. This kind of

seamless backup and remote branch management

means downtime isn't much of a

threat any longer.

When you consider enterprise networking,

remember that a comprehensive SD-Branch

solution addresses your biggest problem

areas. Be on the lookout for a platform that

helps you streamline and simplify your

branch management efforts. From consolidated

devices that let you deploy at the press

of a button, to remote OOB and cellular

failover that keep your business running, the

right SD-Branch platform can turn your network

into a powerful asset. NC

12 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards



ZPE Systems

Nodegrid Services





In these challenging times support staff

demand secure remote access to critical

infrastructure devices, as it accelerates

troubleshooting and negates the need for onsite

visits. There are plenty of appliances that

offer these services but we've yet to see any that

can match the sheer versatility of those from

ZPE Systems.

Not content with offering high-level OOB

(out-of-band) access to core devices, the

modular Nodegrid Services Router (NSR) on

review can be customised to provide a wealth

of on-site network services. This 1U rack

appliance presents five multi-service card slots

that accept an impressive range of plug-in

expansion modules.

Along with 16-port serial USB and RJ-45

OOB access modules, you have 8-port

10GbE SFP+ and 16-port SFP Gigabit

switches, 16-port copper Gigabit and 8-port

PoE+ switches, storage and compute modules

plus a combined M.2/cellular/WiFi/SATA

version. With this much choice, the NSR can be

easily equipped to run a host of network

services including switching and routing, SD-

WANs, SDNs, firewalls, 4G/LTE failover and

even application virtualisation.

A major issue with fixed-port OOB appliances

is they have to be replaced as the number of

managed devices exceeds their capabilities.

The NSR overcomes these issues as you

increase its port count with extra modules as

demand dictates and group multiple

appliances in clusters. Even better, the NSR is

vendor agnostic so you can use it to access

legacy OOB solutions allowing businesses to

phase them out gradually.

The NSR has plenty of power on tap as it's

equipped with a 2.2GHz 8-core Intel Atom

C3758 CPU partnered by 8GB of DDR4

memory. Its 32GB mSATA SSD can be easily

upgraded or you can add the storage module

that supports standard SFF hard disks and SSDs.

Deployment is a breeze as we connected one

of the NSR's Gigabit management ports to the

lab network, powered it up and pointed a

browser at it. Zero-touch deployment for

distributed sites is also available as you declare

the NSR to the ZPE Cloud portal and send it to

the site, where it connects to the portal for

enrolment and remote management.

The local web console is very intuitive, and we

started by running a discovery of the lab

network and creating managed device entries

for our various infrastructure systems. Each port

on the OOB modules can be configured with

the desired serial settings and we also added

network devices such as our Dell server iDRAC9

IP addresses, which were then directly accessible

from the console's access page.

Switch module ports are enabled as required

and used to connect devices such as IPMI

controllers, UPS management ports and PDUs

and as they function as standard switches, any

other device you want. Add a Docker license

and you can create lightweight containers on

the NSR and run just about any app that's

available on the Docker Hub.

Access security is tight as the NSR supports

authentication servers such as Active Directory

and RADIUS along with 2FA and SSO. User

access can be fine-tuned by placing them in

groups that are assigned specific devices with

read/write and power control permissions plus

authorised PDU power outlets.

The NSR offers integral intrusion prevention

which blocks hosts with multiple authentication

failures and enforces system BIOS password

protection to stop unauthorised changes

being made. Businesses worried about

compliance can rest easy as the extensive

auditing services include keystroke logging for

all remote sessions.

The Nodegrid Services Router seamlessly

delivers joined up infrastructure management

and network services. It's easy to use with

extremely tight remote access security, and its

smart modular design allows businesses to cut

costs and complexity by using it to replace

multiple point solutions. NC

Product: Nodegrid Services Router

Supplier: ZPE Systems

Web site:

Telephone: +353 (01) 631 9164


MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 13







With data collected by the Office for

National Statistics (ONS) indicating

that almost 50 per cent of Great

Britain's workforce was working from home in

mid-April, and with many organisations looking

to consider permanent remote working

models as the lockdown eases, the need to

effectively manage a secure and compliant

remote workforce is increasingly vital.

Yet, that mass migration to working from

home has inevitably made achieving these

goals more challenging. Of the 2,000 homeworking

British people surveyed in recent

research by IT support company, ILUX, for

example, one in ten believed that their expected

working practices are not GDPR compliant.

But the issue is not just about GDPR, it is

about compliance and security more generally

and it is also about support. As James Tilbury,

managing director at ILUX, puts it: "Asking

employees to work from home and then not

providing the right computer systems and

security measures is a recipe for disaster. The

last thing any business needs at this time is to

lose valuable data, leave themselves open to

cyber-attacks or phishing and leave themselves

vulnerable to the unknown."

In ensuring compliance, it is critically important

that businesses provide their employees

with the right computer systems and security

measures. If possible, they should not be

using their own personal devices for work purposes.

However if they do, IT needs to be

able to verify the readiness of these devices to

be connected to the corporate network. If they

are working on the organisation's network

through a secure VPN, their business will be

able to secure all the endpoints on their network

to ensure they're patched and secured

properly to mitigate the risk of a data breach.

They can integrate the right security including

anti-virus, anti-malware and backup. They

can ensure routine, reliable (and encrypted)

backup and recovery as part of a complete

layered security approach.

Remote solutions can also be key in ensuring

security remains tight and in enforcing compliance.

Dark web monitoring is one example.

Keeping an eye on the Dark Web is prudent

because it's the most likely place for bad actors

to get the illicit password lists, stolen logins,

ransomware, and hacking software that are

the tools of their trade. Reams of sensitive personal

and business data are also available on

the Dark Web to bolster phishing attacks.

That's why dedicated Dark Web monitoring is

a smart choice. A quality Dark Web monitoring

service can quickly get experts to hunt

through the Dark Web and discover if a company's

data or passwords are in circulation,

enabling businesses to prevent a problem from

becoming a catastrophe.

Compliance reporting remains key in this

context also. Under GDPR, organisations are

responsible for how they manage and protect

the privacy of EU citizens' user data (Article 5).

Organisations need to ensure they choose

backup, recovery and cloud software solutions

that provide robust compliance reporting

built into the user interface, including outage

impact predictions and comprehensive

data recoverability reports that are available

in formats that can be shared with leadership

or auditors.

Businesses should remember too that compliance

should not just be imposed from the top.

Working from home can be too comfortable

sometimes. Relaxing the dress code can

encourage workers to relax their standards,

creating potentially expensive compliance disasters.

Many industries have adopted strict

compliance standards for the secure storage

and transmission of sensitive data, with equally

burdensome penalties for failure. Enforcing

compliance can be a challenge when a company's

workforce isn't centralised.

It is important that organisations don't give

staffers the opportunity to fail at compliance -

and don't give regulators a reason to come

calling. Instead, they need to automate compliance

as much as possible to make it easy

for compliance specialists to ensure everyone

is meeting the necessary standards. An automated

compliance assistant can also have a

key role to play in keeping up with the minutiae

of changes to regulations so that no detail

gets overlooked; making sure that everything is

ship-shape and alerts staffers to potential

issues quickly.

Becoming fully remote ready is not easy for

any business of course. But in terms of becoming

compliant and secure, there are several

steps they can take to help streamline the

process. Creating smart policies and backing

them up with the right solutions will help businesses

to rapidly mitigate risks to their systems

and data and remain secure in this new

remote working world. NC

14 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards




EtherScope TM nXG




NetAlly's EtherScope nXG sets new

standards for network analysis as it

delivers a remarkably powerful set of

diagnostics and troubleshooting features in a

ruggedised handheld device. Ease of use is

another key feature as it runs an Androidbased

OS, so if you can use a smartphone

you'll have no problems with the EtherScope

nXG, making it ideal for network technicians

and engineers alike.

Wired network features abound as it

supports 10GbE copper and fibre, multi-

Gigabit NBase-T and Gigabit connections

plus it can analyze PoE++ switch ports. For

wireless networks, you have integral 4x4 MU-

MIMO 11ac capabilities with Wi-Fi 6 11ax

device visibility, and a unique feature is its

ability to simultaneously display data gathered

from wired and wireless networks.

Using the device couldn't be easier as its big

5'' colour touchscreen presents a range of

icons for instant access to all tasks. We

connected its 10GbE copper port to the lab

network and a tap on the AutoTest icon took

us to a set of customisable profiles.

Three profiles are provided by default so we

could quickly test our wired network for

connectivity and device discovery, review Wi-Fi

air quality to pinpoint oversubscribed channels

or interference and test selected wireless APs.

You can easily customise AutoTest profiles,

place them in groups and add new ones using

the screen's FAB (floating access button).

For Wi-Fi profiles, you simply view the results

from the main network discovery app and

connect to an SSID where a new profile is

automatically created. We also connected the

EtherScope to a fibre 10GbE switch port, used

the Performance app to test the line rate and

ran another app for packet capture.

The AirMapper app can be used for indoor

and outdoor Wi-Fi site surveys and creating

signal heatmaps. We copied a site map JPEG

to the EtherScope using its USB 3 port,

created a new survey and took a walk around

our site, tapping on the screen to add position

datapoints as we went along.

On completion, one tap uploads the site

survey directly to the NetAlly Link-Live cloud

portal. The view can be filtered to show

features such as specific APs or SSIDs and

shared with other users that have been invited

to join your organisation.

The Live-Link portal is a stand-out service

as once you've claimed the EtherScope for

your account, you can upload test results

and packet capture data. Many test results

are uploaded automatically to the portal and

all can be used for further analysis and

report creation.

It gets better, as the EtherScope can be

remotely controlled from Link-Live or via VNC,

where you are presented with an exact

representation of its screen. This makes it

perfect for secure remote site troubleshooting

as you don't even need anyone present to run

your tests.

The network discovery app provides a

complete rundown of every wired and wireless

device it finds. You can drill down into each

entry for more detail and if errors have been

detected, it provides a problem analysis and

sage advice on remediation.

The EtherScope can do much more as it

can run many other Android apps. Installed

from the NetAlly App Store, you have a

multitude of choices ranging from remote

support and SNMP monitoring to email

clients and Office apps.

The powerful NetAlly EtherScope nXG takes

network analysis to new levels as it combines

a stunning range of diagnostics features with

extreme ease of use. It delivers joined up

wired and wireless network testing in a single

device and teaming it up with NetAlly's Link-

Live web portal adds extra versatility, making it

a must-have tool for swift network

troubleshooting and fault remediation. NC

Product: EtherScope nXG

Supplier: NetAlly

Web site:

Telephone: +44 (0)141 816 9600

Price: From $8,250


MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 15






Adoption of new technologies like

smartphones and wearables may

have slowed significantly in the last

few years, but data usage is only continuing

to grow - massively. In 2012, there were

500,000 data centres worldwide, but today

there are more than 8 million according to

IDC. The rapid rise in smartphone usage,

IoT adoption, and big data analytics have

led to massive growth in data centres, and

they come with a cost. So - is our data

destroying the environment?


Every year, millions of data centres

worldwide are purging metric tons of

hardware, draining country-sized amounts

of electricity, and generating as much

carbon emissions as the global airline

industry. Technological advancements are

challenging to forecast, but several models

predict that data centres could be using over

10% of the worldwide electricity supply by

2030. Such growth would indicate similar

increases for both gas emissions and e-

waste produced.

Britain's foremost data centre expert Ian

Bitterlin notes that despite hardware

innovations, the amount of energy used by

data centres continues to double every

four years.

Together, this paints a challenging picture

for the future of our environment. Luckily,

some forward-thinking industry leaders

have been innovating their way around

this conflict.


The U.S. Department of Energy found that

rapidly increasing Internet traffic and data

loads were being countered by new

technologies. The Lawrence Berkeley

National Laboratory estimated that if 80% of

servers in the U.S. were moved over to

optimised hyperscale facilities, this would

result in a 25% drop in their energy usage.

For the enterprises that don't need or can't

afford to establish a hyperspace data centre,

a new category of resource-optimised

systems for data centres have arisen on the

market. These solutions look to further

design improvements, rethinking how

standard data centres are built to achieve

breakthrough performance and efficiencies.

One big area of improvement is to develop

superior cooling techniques. A popular

answer is simply to locate data centres in

cold or windy climates. Another is leaving

fewer servers on so as not to waste time

idling: Facebook invented a system called

Autoscale in 2014 that reduces the number

of servers that need to be on during lowtraffic

hours, leading to power savings of

about 10-15%. Some companies, like

Google, have turned to AI to optimise their

internal cooling systems by matching weather

and operational conditions, reducing cooling

energy usage by almost 40%.

Another recent innovation is disaggregated

system designs that break the 3-5 year

"forklift upgrade" model by building a

modular, sustainable infrastructure that

allows the upgrade of only the improved

elements of the system (e.g. memory and

CPU); this delivers sustained optimal

performance over multiple generations and

reduces e-waste issue created by full data

centre upgrades. For example, Intel has

been heavily deploying disaggregated

system designs with its latest generation of

CPUs, contributing significantly to e-waste



NASA's centre for Environmental Research

has been implementing data centre solutions

that are in line with green computing efforts.

Lesley Ort from NASA's Global Modeling

and Assimilation Office noted that "[NASA]

doesn't want to be creating the problem of

greenhouse gas pollution at the same time

that we are studying it". While organisations

like NASA are making strides in researching

and tackling the environmental dilemma of

data centres, many technology companies

have yet come to grips with this

environmental impact.

These technologies are available and ready

to use. They deliver the double benefit of

optimising performance, and TCO while also

reducing environmental impact. Engineers

and data centre architects in Silicon Valley

and around the world should be asking how

they can optimise the data centre while also

reducing environmental impact. NC

16 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards




Get a Look Inside the CISSP Domains.

Watch Now!

Inspiring a Safe and Secure

Cyber World








Almost overnight network traffic has

completely changed due to the Covid-

19 outbreak. With a significant

increase in video conferencing, users taking

different routes to their SaaS apps from home

and traffic going over firewalls and interfaces

that it didn't before, many organisations are

scrambling to understand and manage dramatic

changes in network traffic. The bottom

line is that performance is being impacted and

staff start to complain when the network runs

slow or video quality is poor.

While different organisations might be more

prepared than others, network engineering

teams are under pressure to deliver a clear

view on the availability and performance of

their remote network connections, which are

now deemed critical to ongoing business success.

Senior management is demanding

reports which give almost real-time insight into

the quality and user experience of their remote

workers. Network managers need to rapidly

discover if corporate firewalls and VPN concentrators

can handle the additional network

load, especially from video-based services.


NetOps teams need immediate answers to

these questions, and what we're seeing in the

market is that VPNs are obviously front of

mind. But for the Covid-19 urgency, not all

organisations have a clear view of their

IPSEC VPNs, SSL client VPNs, or other types

of VPN connections.

The problem is more than just logging into

firewalls and VPN concentrators and trying to

view the siloed network statistics. Network

managers are trying to view the end-to-end

network connectivity from remote clients,

through VPN devices, across the switch links,

then through the core to a business-critical

destination, which could be private datacentres,

SaaS clouds, ERP systems, collaboration

systems, etc. Furthermore, they need the ability

to monitor and predict key availability and

performance indicators as more and more

staff work remotely.


Many organisations are feeling the impact as

they're simply not used to having so many

staff or students working remotely. Major corporations

may have larger teams and budgets

compared to smaller businesses or an

educational institution and therefore be more

prepared to add VPN to their network monitoring

capabilities. But others are finding it

more of a challenge.

Many NetOps teams don't usually have to

monitor everything, everywhere, rather focusing

on the key areas such as the datacentre.

But the new 'normal' means that VPNs have to

be closely monitored, almost in real-time, for

capacity planning purposes and answering

the key questions of "do I have enough

capacity?" and "do I have enough network

infrastructure to keep our remote workers productive

and collaborating?"

Existing VPN firewalls and concentrators may

not be up to the task due to throughput limitations

and license restrictions. NetOps teams in

the past have not been mandated to monitor

jitter and delay for latency-sensitive applications

like video and voice, on top of the more

usual congestion and usage levels. Some

companies and institutions are having to

install new methods of monitoring these types

of applications to obtain the required visibility,

then extract the data via SNMP polling and

visualise it in operational dashboards.



Visibility of VPN metrics is rapidly becoming

the new standard and delivering the end-toend

network visibility that network managers

require today is critical. Displaying vital information

such as latency and utilisation across

all key VPN interfaces, including throughput

graphs showing when a pipe is full, we're

finding that customers need these intelligent

dashboards. They're helping them keep up

with their evolving networks, without having

to manually check VPN appliances or bandwidth


Offering access to new performance metrics

in this way helps them look into the future for

VPN capacity planning, plan for growth in the

new 'normal' and provide the deeper visibility

that many have been missing. NC

18 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards








Infrastructure and application performance

monitoring (APM) are essential tools for

enterprises and yet many solutions are overly

complex and require high levels of expertise to

understand. SolarWinds simplifies these

processes immensely as its AppOptics SaaS

solution is designed to provide deeper insights

and intelligent analysis for swifter problem


This latest version introduces service and

trace-level root cause analysis to highlight

applications that are not behaving normally

and show precisely what the underlying cause

is. SolarWinds also scores over the

competition by offering a simplified pricing

structure with no hidden costs, making it

easier to control expenditure.

AppOptics infrastructure monitoring supports

an impressive range of platforms with Windows,

Kubernetes, Amazon Linux and all other key

Linux distributions on its guest list. Installing the

host agent on our Windows Server systems was

simple as we downloaded it from the portal,

added the API token provided during agent

installation and waited for it to send host metrics

to the portal.

We could view all hosts in the portal's

Infrastructure page and drill down for more

detail. The level of information is extensive with

graphs showing CPU, memory, disk and

network utilisation along with a complete readout

of host process and resource usage.

Log monitoring is also provided and

AppOptics can pass system and service logs

directly to the SolarWinds Loggly and PapertTrail

log analysis and management platforms.

AppOptics makes log analysis even easier as

the agents can automatically insert unique trace

IDs making it much easier to search for and

follow specific transactions.

For service monitoring, AppOptics offers

agents for nine programming languages

including .NET, Java, PHP, Ruby and Python.

Again, installation is simple as you choose your

language from the portal, pick a platform,

name the service and follow the instructions for

installing and configuring it.

SolarWinds provides plenty of host agent plugins

ranging from Apache, Docker and IIS to

SQL Server, Oracle and ZooKeeper plus the

portal gives access to a huge catalogue of

open-source community plug-ins on GitHub.

Hosted services are present too, as you can

monitor AWS and Azure environments with the

former providing CloudWatch integrations for

importing metrics from 35 different web services

The level of information presented is

staggering as AppOptics provides full stack

views and all service traces. If, for example,

you're running IIS web services with SQL

backend databases, it displays everything that is

going on in relation to each other and presents

heatmaps to highlight unusual activity.

AppOptics makes light work of troubleshooting

complex web applications by presenting

individual traces so you see how different

components tie in together and easily spot

which one is causing problems. Errors for

specific transactions are provided and a slick

map view shows service dependencies making it

even easier to identify issues.

AppOptics full application visibility allows you

to view activity at the host level, drill right down

to individual transactions and see exception

categories where similar errors are grouped

together. Code profiling goes even further as it

shows you the classes and attributes of

application code to provide a deeper

understanding of performance and further

opportunities for optimisation.

AppOptics stands out for its integrated

machine learning (ML) capabilities as it uses

insights based on historical data to make

informed decisions about detected issues and

their likely cause. It's also great for monitoring

the impact of application modifications as you

can view traces and logs from different time


SolarWinds AppOptics offers an innovative

approach to infrastructure and application

performance monitoring making it accessible to

a much wider audience. It cuts through the

APM data fog and presents clear insights and

analysis for swift, accurate application

troubleshooting. NC

Product: AppOptics

Supplier: SolarWinds

Web site:

Price: From $20 per host per month

20 MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards













First OSTIA meeting in early 2020, with Caroline Dinenage,

Minister of State for Digital and Culture, centre front

The industry body OSTIA has been

launched with the aim of bringing

together companies operating in the

field of online safety, who believe the UK

is at the forefront of safety tech, and the

development of products and solutions

that will make a significant contribution

to online safety.

The concept of OSTIA emerged at a

roundtable event in 2019 organised by

Cyan Forensics and PUBLIC, chaired by

Baroness Shields OBE. The event brought

tech companies, government and charity

organisations together to share ideas and

to discuss collective issues and solutions

to many of the online harms-related

problems faced today. To date, 14 tech

companies have joined the association.

The association has three key aims:

Provide a voice of hope by informing

policy makers, technology providers

and the general public about online

safety technologies

Create collective influence on policy,

regulation and broader support for

the sector

Provide a forum for companies

contributing towards the goal of

online safety.

The association has received backing

and support from across government,

campaign bodies and charities, as well

as organisations including the Internet

Watch Foundation (IWF) and NSPCC.

Organisation representatives will meet

regularly with government representatives

to explore ways to support innovation

and growth in UK safety tech.

Ian Stevenson, OSTIA chair and Cyan

Forensics CEO and co-founder, says:

"The topic of online safety is wideranging

and hugely complex.

Unfortunately for regulators and

providers, it is made up of many

individual problems; there is no silver

bullet that will solve the whole issue.

That's why we wanted to establish this

industry association - to create a

powerful collective voice to enact

change. By focusing on specific,

actionable areas, we can work together

to demonstrate how the thriving safetyrelated

products and services market will

play a significant role in helping

companies protect the most vulnerable

from accessing harmful content, while

driving digital growth. Together, we can

ensure that the public, technology

companies and policy makers are aware

of these lifelines."

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for

Digital and Culture, comments: "We are

determined to make the UK the safest

place in the world to be online and have

set out world-leading proposals to put a

duty of care on online companies,

enforced by an independent regulator."

Traditionally, debate in online safety has

been between those who seek change,

and those who fear it will be costly and

difficult to implement. OSTIA will

represent new voices, it states: the

companies that have built the technology

that can deliver the much-needed

transformation. NC

Ian Stevenson, OSTIA chair and Cyan

Forensics CEO and co-founder


MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 21












The COVID-19 outbreak has caused

unprecedented disruption for individuals

and organisations alike. The acceleration

to a global pandemic reaching the

UK arguably caught many off guard, leaving

little time to prepare for the wholesale shift of

the economy to working-from-home, and the

temporary suspension of many businesses

and services we take for granted.

To keep the economy working as much as

possible, organisations and governments put

business continuity plans into action at short

notice, developed new approaches to deal

with an unprepared scenario and pushed

remote working capabilities to previously

untested levels. The result has been a distinct

shift in the responsibilities of cybersecurity

professionals and the challenges of workload

that is being experienced.

Keen to understand the extent of the

impact, we recently surveyed cybersecurity

professionals globally to understand exactly

how things have changed and how they are

being affected on the cybersecurity front line.

The (ISC)² COVID-19 Cybersecurity Pulse

Survey's findings shed light on the adjustments

that organisations and their cybersecurity

professionals have made in the last

two months, in order to maintain their business

operations and mitigate the impact on




The survey revealed that 81% of respondents,

all responsible for securing their

organisations' digital assets, indicated that

their job function has changed during the

pandemic. On top of that, 90% indicated

they themselves are now working remotely

full-time, while trying to address the cybersecurity

needs of their organisations. Added to

this, a third stated they had confirmation of

someone in their organisation having contracted

COVID-19, further illustrating the

impact the virus has had on society.

As expected, almost all of the organisations

surveyed (96%) have closed their physical

workplaces, moving to remote working to

maintain as much operational capability as

possible. That 96% is comprised of 47% that

said all staff from closed facilities were now

remote working, while 49% said that some -

but not all - employees are working remotely.

The sudden change in circumstances has

resulted in a marked effect on cybersecurity

threats, with a quarter reporting that incidents

have increased since the change in

working practices. Some organisations are

tracking as many as double the number of

incidents, compared with pre-lockdown

times. It is not a surprise that four out of

every five respondents view security as an

essential function at this time.

The need to adapt to the sudden change in

operations and workplaces has seen almost

half of cybersecurity professionals being

taken off some or all of their typical security

duties to assist with other IT-related tasks,

such as equipping a mobile workforce, and

implementing new applications and platforms

to enable mass remote working and

communication. The sudden and sometimes

improvised solutions that have enabled businesses

to transition so quickly to remote

working have caught 15% of respondent

organisations off guard, as they suggested

their teams do not have the resources they

need to support the sudden appearance of a

22 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards



remote workforce. A third said they are managing

- for now at least!

Some 40% are making use of security best

practices, even while compromised by the

lockdown conditions. Meanwhile, 50% said

they could be doing more than they are to

maintain security standards.



The industry has responded by realising that

more needs to be done to ensure a safe

and secure cyber world. The sector needs to

remain on top of new and changing threats

and challenges. This is motivating the industry

to provide more options and support to

the professional community.

As the world's largest non-profit association

of certified cybersecurity professionals, (ISC)²

has put a variety of measures in place to

support cybersecurity professionals through

the current situation. Being acutely aware of

the workload pressures facing some, and the

financial impact of furloughing and shutdowns

on others, we've made available a

variety of resources to help with education

and training to support people as they reenter

the workforce after lockdowns ease

and to support professional development

during the COVID-19 disruption period.

We have made available our award-winning

webinar series for free. It features

expert-led discussions on a wide range of

security topics and we are continuing to add

new content even during the current period.

It means there is both a wide range of

knowledge to tap into to help learn and deal

with the cybersecurity issues facing organisations

today, as well as boosting the opportunities

for members to meet their CPE needs

without having to travel or attend in-person

meetings or conferences.

(ISC)² has also taken the decision to offer

many of our certification training options for

online consumption at reduced cost. We

realise that some people will be looking for

a new role now and after the lockdown period

is relaxed. That is why we are making

recognised certification, such as the Certified

Information Systems Security Professional

(CISSP) and Certified Cloud Security

Professional (CCSP), available using online

self-paced training at a 33% discounted

price. This is intended to help IT and non-IT

staff alike develop and verify their skills and

knowledge, supporting them as they seek

new opportunities in the cybersecurity sector.

Online instructor-led courses are also available

for those who prefer a more structured

online learning experience. Alongside this,

we are making our Professional

Development Institute (PDI) courses available

to non-members at a discounted rate,

including free access for all to the recently

released 'Utilising Big Data' course. The PDI

library currently comprises 35 courses.

Expanding access to PDI courses is another

way we are working to help the community

expand its collective knowledge and understanding

of complex and topical issues and

technologies. This is a challenging time for

many, inside and outside the cybersecurity

profession. The need for professional development

is more important than ever as a

result of COVID-19, and the unique business

and community conditions we currently face.

We hope these resources will prove valuable

to the larger cybersecurity community and

encourage them to continue to develop their

skills during this time.

Our heartfelt thanks goes to (ISC)² members

and the wider cybersecurity community

for the efforts being made to keep us all safe

in the digital world during the pandemic and

when we get to the other side.

For more details about how COVID-19 is

impacting (ISC)² members and exam candidates,

and how the association is responding

to support members and the wider community,

please visit:


Deshini Newman, managing director



MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 23






Due to the sudden shift to a workfrom-home

model as a result of

the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly

two-thirds (64%) of companies have

experienced at least moderate

disruptions to their network security

business practices - and nearly a quarter

(23%) have suffered major disruptions.

The report from Neustar's International

Security Council, based on a recent

survey of cybersecurity professionals,

also reveals that 29% of companies did

not have a fully executable business

plan in place to keep their network

secure, in the event of a major crisis

such as the current pandemic.

In addition, survey responses indicate

that only 22% of corporate virtual

private networks (VPNs) have handled

the work-from-home shift with no

connectivity issues, while 61%

experienced minor connectivity issues.

"Social distancing measures that call

for employees to work from home when

possible have dramatically changed

patterns of connection to enterprise

networks," says Rodney Joffe, chairman

of NISC, SVP and fellow at Neustar.

"More than 90% of an organisation's

employees typically connect to the

network locally, with a slim minority

relying on remote connectivity via a

VPN, but that dynamic has flipped. The

dramatic increase in VPN use has led to

frequent connectivity issues, and -

especially considering the disruption to

usual security practices - it also creates

significant risk, as it multiplies the

potential impact of a distributed denialof-service

(DDoS) attack. VPNs are an

easy vector for a DDoS attack."

With IT teams stretched particularly

thin at the moment, bad actors can take

advantage of the chaos to exploit any

vulnerabilities and launch volumetric

attacks, network protocol attacks or

application-layer attacks - locking out

employees and paralysing business

operations. In addition to this,

volumetric attacks are increasing in size.

Recently, Neustar mitigated a 1.17

terabyte attack, which required a unique

and diverse set of tactics in order to

successfully fend off the attack. "In times

like these," continues Joffe, "an alwayson

managed DDoS protection service is

critical. A purpose-built mitigation

solution like Neustar's cloud-based

UltraVPN Protect can keep remote

workforces connected and productive,

and ensure that business continues

without interruption."


The latest NISC report reveals a sharper

than usual uptick in threats over the two

months covered by the most recent

Rodney Joffe, Neustar: the dramatic

increase in VPN use has multiplied the

potential impact of a distributed denial-ofservice

(DDoS) attack

survey. In fact, the International Cyber

Benchmarks Index, which reflects the

overall state of the cybersecurity

landscape, reached a new high of 331

back in March this year. When asked

which cyber threats had caused the

highest level of concern over the

previous two months, the security

professionals who were surveyed ranked

DDoS attacks as their greatest concern

(23%), followed by system compromise

(22%) and ransomware (18%). NC

24 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards










In order to support businesses in

managing their security during the

pandemic, Secured by Design, the

Police Digital Security Centre and the

National Counter Terrorism Security

Office have put together a leaflet

containing the 'Top 10 Cyber Security

Tips for Working at Home' and the latest

counter terrorism advice.

The leaflet is aimed at businesses that

have either been instructed by the

government to close, in line with the

Covid-19 guidance, or have chosen to

close, and provides advice and guidance

to assist them review both their physical

and cyber security to reduce the chances

of falling victim to criminals.

The top 10 tips for working at home

offer this advice:

Strong password policy for all devices

and social media accounts. Change

default passwords on all your devices

when initially installed (especially

your Wi-Fi router at home or any

Internet of Things devices you may

have) and consider using password

managers to store and protect your


2FA: turn on the two-factor

authentication setting on all your

accounts and devices

VPN: use a Virtual Private Network

(VPN) to protect and encrypt the data

you send or receive. It will also scan

devices for malicious software

Software update: set all your devices

and apps to download and install

updates automatically to ensure that

any crucial fixes are not missed and

the risk of your devices being infected

with malware is reduced

Backup: to safeguard your important

personal data and information, back

them up to an external hard drive or

cloud-based storage system

Phishing emails: cyber criminals are

targeting people and businesses with

fake emails about the coronavirus.

Phishing emails are embedded with a

virus that could compromise your

device, as well as manipulate you

into sharing personal or financial


Install anti-virus: install and activate

anti-virus software on all your device

and preferably set it to update

automatically. This will help you to

run a complete scan of your system

and check for any malware infections

Safe online browsing: only visit

trusted websites. Keep an eye out for

a padlock sign in the address bar,

showing that the connection and your

personal information (eg, credit card

information) is encrypted and secure

Social media: it is important to review

the privacy, password and security

settings for all your social media

accounts to ensure they are as secure

as possible

Communication: maintain contact

with your team, as it is easy to feel

isolated or lose focus when working

at home.

Despite the current threat emanating

from Covid-19, it is still important to

remain alert and vigilant to terrorist

activity. Live-time information from

counter terrorism policing, plus all the

very latest protective security advice, is

now available at your fingertips 24/7 -

wherever you are.

Via your 'phone, you can keep updated

where and when it matters most - all

through the new easy-to-navigate Action

Counters Terrorism (ACT) app, which is

free for businesses and available from

Google Play or the App Store. NC


MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 25









The life-changing disruption of

COVID-19 has impacted all

businesses, employees and

customers, and, whilst so much of the

future remains unknown, it's clear that a

more long-term plan is needed to

facilitate remote working as we start to

define the 'new normal'.

Swiss Post Solutions initially developed a

Crisis Management Solution, in response

to its clients' facing up to the challenge of

maintaining communications using the

traditional model of on-site mail.

Suddenly, complex, hybrid environments

made up of both the physical and digital,

and that require social distancing to be

adhered to at every stage, are here to

stay, as the country awaits the call to

return to work.

"Meeting this challenge head on with a

simple, yet crucial, Return to Work Digital

Documents Solution means teams need

never miss an item of post or a piece of

printed communication whilst working

remotely," states SPS. The solution is a

web-based application that is securely

hosted within the cloud and can be swiftly

deployed within seven days, delivering

digital mail to a homeworker or officebased

worker's desktop or mobile and

offering guaranteed access during

extended working hours.

The centralised Digital Documents

Portal allows teams to create numerous

digital desks, with a user permissions

hierarchy, to ensure swift and accurate

distribution of mail and documents.

Users can:

Download and view mail

Take/relinquish ownership of mail

Add comments

Forward to colleagues or teams

Close or complete a mail item

Delete a mail item.

The system maintains a full audit log of

every mail item interaction by any user,

and is built on a tried and tested, highly

secure, fully compliant and pre-existing

technology platform. Very little software

installation is needed in a set-up process

that simply involves connecting a

scanner(s) to a workstation on customer

premises and connecting to an online

application to scan and deliver the


Mail is scanned either by on-site staff or

Swiss Post Solutions mailroom staff,

ensuring a business can be serviced

whatever their social restrictions.

Alternatively, post can be collected from

customer premises and scanned at one of

SPS' secure and certified Document

Processing Centres (DPCs).

Clients are reportedly already seeing

reductions in mail handling costs of 15%,

mail processing times coming down by

75% and document management costs

reduced by 30%.

"These unprecedented times leave a lot

unknown, but, with Swiss Post Solutions,

you could not be in a safer pair of hands

for the return to work," states the

company. With over 90 years' experience

of managing mailrooms for some of the

world's most demanding organisations,

and currently operating over 500

mailrooms worldwide, it handles around

120 million items of mail for clients each

year. "And with a 96% contract renewal

rate and a 'World Class' customer

satisfaction Net Promoter Score of 78, it's

fair to say that these are happy clients,"

adds the company. NC

Do you need urgent digital access to

mail items, but have no current process in

place? Then it's time to talk to Swiss Post

Solutions. As soon as this time next week,

you could have peace of mind. Contact

us for more information

26 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards





Efficient communications were an issue

for the insurance industry, even before the

COVID-19 crisis, where paper has

always been the dominant communication

channel. "For ERS Insurance, our mailroom

solution was off-site, replacing two traditional

mailrooms. It focused on converting mail

to digital at the earliest opportunity, before

processing it either to an individual or to a

'digital desk', which all team members can

access." The benefits were immediate: 87%

faster processing of incoming mail, along with

improved access and tracking, to create vastly

more efficient processes.

The Co-operative Bank was looking for a

new, digital solution for storing and accessing

correspondence, as access could take up

to five days to achieve. "The solution

implemented by us included a day forward

scanning operation and web portal,

based around our Document Management

software to provide instant access to all

correspondence." The result? The time to

access to correspondence was reduced to

an average of just five seconds, dramatically

improving efficiency, business continuity and

the customer experience.

A final example would have to be Zurich

Insurance Group. Zurich receives high volumes

of diverse forms of mail that previously were

handled as part of a labour-intensive, manual

process. "We proposed a scanning solution

Chris Blood,

Head of Business

Services UK,

Swiss Post



that would centralise and automate the

scanning and processing of FinOps mail. This

technology allows users to receive, view,

process and archive digital mail documents,

essentially replacing the physical delivery

process." This new quick-to-implement solution

achieved a 6x faster processing time and 5x

faster access to business-critical documents.



Our document management solution supports your business

continuity as you return to work.

SPS’ proven digital mail solution enables your business to quickly

Fast roll out

24/7 Access

Employees are able to access

incoming mail and generate printed

Secure and Compliant

Service delivered in an SPS secure

cleared to BPSS and SC Government





Contact us for more information

A0562A0320_HybridMail-DigitalMail Advert v5b.indd 1 05/05/2020 11:07:46






Over the years, there has been an

increase in remote working, as

organisations look to promote

flexible working. With technology

constantly improving, employees are no

longer restricted to working in a traditional

office space.

However, the current global pandemic

has forced businesses worldwide to rapidly

implement remote working across their

workforce while travel restrictions are in

place. In its current form of remote

working, few businesses were ready for

supporting the complete workforce

remotely, in case of an emergency such as

the pandemic.

Even fewer conducted a readiness event

to understand, prepare and provide

remediation to cover the shortfalls and

problem areas that would impact their

day-to-day operations. In such situations,

hackers are fully ready to take advantage,

whether this is for financial gain, to

damage a company's reputation or steal

sensitive assets. Thus, the various security

challenges that remote working brings need

to be addressed to ensure business data is

not put at risk. The following are some of

the topics that need to be considered to

ensure your business remains secure during

remote working.


With a surge in requirements to support

non-typical mobile workers, it is all too easy

to allow use of a home machine to fulfil

a need. Yet, this approach brings its own

issues, namely the integrity of the machine,

whether the OS type and patching are up

to date and supported, browser type and

support are allowed and secure, the

firewall is active or not, and if there is antivirus

and malware capability. Home

computers are also more likely to have

been used by non-security trained people

at some point. Therefore, use of BYOD can

increase vulnerability to cyber threats.


Now that you are discouraged from

allowing BYOD devices, securing your

endpoints is key. As users are using their

current corporate machines, most of this

can be managed remotely for firewall, antivirus,

malware and OS patching, in

addition to password management policies.

When we discuss endpoint protection,

ideally having a solution that provides data

28 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards



loss protection is key, as now the corporate

machine is most likely to be exposed to

threats upon the home network. Finally,

protecting the endpoint is not just about

cybersecurity, but also physical security.

Ideally, the same policies should be

executed at home, such as screen locking,

invoking MFA for laptop access and

securely storing the laptop when not used.


To enable remote working, users require

access to applications. Typically, access

is granted with a username-password

combination. However, multiple

applications require users to remember

multiple passwords which, if they forget,

can lead to locked accounts or end up with

users writing them down. A single sign-on

solution (SSO- identity provider) can

resolve most of these issues, but ideally

multi-factor authentication (MFA) should

augment the login process, as an SSO

solution allows a single password to access

a plethora of applications.


All too often email security solutions allow

a phishing or similar bad email to be

delivered to a recipient. These may have

a bad payload or embedded link to a

compromised site. Hackers are getting

more imaginative on setting up new email

domain and locations, in order to send

their spam messages. The best piece of

advice is, if in doubt, delete the email. If it

is someone you do not know or conduct

business with, delete the email. If the sender

persists, pass it to your IT security team who

can check the message for validity.

Aside from the technical working

environment, the physical working

environment also needs to be considered.

The level of focus that employees have in

an office takes time to develop in a home

environment: patience, dedication and

routine are not achieved overnight. The

home environment can provide

distractions you might not otherwise have

in the office, which can lead to human

error. You attach the wrong version of a

file, or send it to the wrong person, and

there is the breach. That's how data leaks.

It is a situation that is less likely to happen

in an office, as there is less distraction.

Hence, alongside antivirus and endpoint

protection, businesses also need data

governance and data loss prevention

solutions. Generally, employees are not

focused on security when doing their job

and that is understandable. Lack of focus

on security is even more prevalent in

environments when they are juggling

several other priorities at once.

This is why tools that can enforce and

educate the security policy interactively are

so much more important. By controlling

what users can access and then, in turn,

what they can do with that data once they

receive access, you can ensure that it is

not going to be subject to those minor

human errors. This can stop the accidental

attachment of the wrong version of a file,

provide a reminder to check the recipients

of an email and stop data transfer to

external media to work on it on home

devices, all of which can help prevent


Finally, having clear, defined policies and

guidelines for staff ensures a smooth and

trouble-free remote working deployment.

Provide education sessions to reinforce safe

working practices from time to time and

support staff who are completely new to

this concept. Teach them about physical

security, as well as cybersecurity, as they

both go hand in hand with a successful

remote access strategy. Lastly, detail a

simple escalation path for when things may

and do go wrong. In this way, mitigation

steps can be applied quickly and any

potential damage is limited.

Remote working during the current time

is essential and highly beneficial, so the

need to ensure your business is secured

during this time is crucial. NC

Phil Underwood, Chief Information Officer,


Chris Cassell, Technical Specialist,



MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 29


Business continuity and crisis management in the time of Covid-19



The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has

generated unprecedented

challenges and, whilst it is entirely

correct that the current focus is upon

saving lives, life carries on and that

sentiment applies most pressingly to

global business operations and

economic activities.

The traditional approach used by

many organisations to manage the

effects of business disruptions has been

to employ business continuity solutions

to ensure that their critical business

activities, or services, continue to

operate at acceptable levels.

However, it has been suggested in

many forums that business continuity

solutions are best designed to deal with

operational level disruptions, such as

technology failures, physical damage

and supply chain disruptions. These

types of disruptive events are often

described as high frequency, with low

or medium levels of impact incidents.

The response to these types of incidents

can often be effectively managed,

following predefined plans and

procedures, with little or no input from

the strategic management team of the

organisation dealing with the situation.

The potential limitations of business

continuity solutions become quite

apparent when responding to the

challenges that arise from lifethreatening,

existential or reputational

crises. By contrast, these types

of crises are low frequency and have

high or catastrophic levels of impacts.

These crises always require flexible and

adaptive responses that can only be

provided through appropriate

leadership from the strategic

management level of an organisation.

It also seems quite apparent that it is

possible to deploy a hybrid response,

using both business continuity and

crisis management solutions to tackle

those rare situations that require an

extraordinary response. The current

Covid-19 crisis is exactly the sort of

unprecedented event that requires such

a response.

The most obvious challenges that

arise in using a hybrid response

strategy lie in the areas of leadership,

coordination and communication, but

these areas always represent

challenges in any adverse situation and

the organisation merely has to leverage

its proven arrangements, whilst bearing

in mind the additional complexities and

conflicting priorities of the highly

dynamic situation. Once the crisis

management team (CMT) has defined

its objectives and strategies, the CMT

then has to convey the correct

information and requests for action to

the relevant members of the

organisation, whilst also conveying the

appropriate messaging to its wider

group of stakeholders.

The CMT must then work with the

business continuity function and put in

place the appropriate supporting

business continuity activities. All these

coordinated activities must then

continue until the business is ready to

transition back to a stable operating


It is difficult to anticipate the outcome

or duration of the current crisis;

however, it seems reasonable to

assume that the recovery period may be

protracted, before a stable state of

operations may be achieved. It may

also be reasonable to say that the next

few months could be quite

transformational for many organisations

and lessons will have been learned,

and will continue to be learned, as this

global crisis unfolds. NC

Kev Brear: appropriate leadership at

strategic management level is the key to

steering a path through the current crisis

Rob Treacey, MD; Co-Head of Xcina

Consulting and Shearwater Group DPO

30 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards







While the Coronavirus continues to

dominate headlines everywhere,

the fact that the General Data

Protection Regulation is now two years old

warrants close attention as well. Several

businesses have felt the impact of failing to

comply with its strictures, such as British

Airways, which has been issued with a

notice of intention to fine a record £183m

for its 2018 data breaches, while several

high-profile data breaches affected

thousands of Travelex and Microsoft

customers. History will continue to repeat

itself, unless something is done, and a

good place to start is with educating staff.

The increased requirements for businesses

to store, manage and protect customers'

digital information leaves them vulnerable

to attacks from highly skilled data hackers.

This threat is not being met with training,

however. Too often, employers are failing

to educate their staff on how to avoid

simple data leaks and the catastrophic

consequences they could have. The 2019

State of IT Security Survey, for example,

revealed that the top issues faced by IT

security professionals included email

security and employee training. Despite

this, a third of employees reportedly don't

know what phishing or malware is - two

basic forms of cyberattacks.

Educating staff about cybersecurity is

crucial. If they aren't adequately trained the

business doesn't have a viable defence.

Even worse, your staff could be the cause

of a data leak themselves. A recent

example includes the Virgin Media data

breach which stemmed from a member of

staff not following the correct procedures

and "incorrectly configuring" a database.

This led to the personal details of

900,000 people being left unsecured

and accessible online for ten months.

With each customer potentially eligible

for up to an estimated £5,000 in

compensation, this entirely avoidable

incident could cost Virgin Media a total

pay-out of £4.5bn.

It's the responsibility of the employer to

ensure employees are educated about

data leaks and how to avoid them. Such

events are typically considered 'human

error' breaches. However, the reality is

that they arise from systemic failures by

organisations to protect themselves and

staff from data breaches. Educating

employees about data leaks and security

threats, including how they might look

and the necessary procedures to follow to

mitigate risks, will strengthen your

business against breaches and attacks.

It is now a legal requirement for all

organisations to have reasonable

defences in place, in order to prevent

cybersecurity breaches. There should be a

thorough defence strategy that starts with

the basics, such as encrypted storage and

processing, as well as the implementation

of professional tools like firewall

protection. Businesses that fail to take

reasonable steps and experience a data

breach can be issued with significant

regulatory fines. Since the introduction of

the GDPR, maximum penalties can be up

to 20 million euros, or up to 4% of an

organisation's global annual turnover. As

well as the financial losses, businesses

would also be wise to consider the

damage to their reputation and loss of

consumer trust that follows. NC

Aman Johal, Your Lawyers


MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 31









Ransomware attacks skyrocketed in

2019, according to a newly released

breach report, an annual update on

cyber trends that is produced by cyber insurer

Beazley - and the shift to home working

has only heightened the risk of cyber breach

via remote desktop protocol and phishing

attacks, it states.

Beazley's in-house team of breach experts,

Beazley Breach Response (BBR) Services,

reported the number of ransomware attack

notifications against clients increased by

131%, compared to 2018. Along with this

growth in frequency, the sums of money

demanded by cybercriminals also increased

exponentially, sometimes reaching seven or

even eight figures.

Cybercriminals' methods of attack continue

to evolve, too. The two most common forms

of attack to deploy ransomware are phishing

emails and breaching poorly secured remote

desktop protocol (RDP). RDP enables

employees to access their work computer

desktops or company's primary server from

home with the press of a button, but the

convenience also comes with added risks.


"With the convenience of enabling employees

to work from home, using RDP can

make IT systems more susceptible to attack

without the right security measures in place,"

states Katherine Keefe, Beazley's global head

of BBR Services. "The coronavirus has forced

many more employees to work from home

and, in this pressured environment, it is very

important that companies take the right steps

to reduce the vulnerability of their IT infrastructure.

Always ensure employees can

access their computer using a virtual private

network with multifactor authentication. It is

important to whitelist IP addresses that are

allowed to connect via RDP, and make sure

that unique credentials for remote access are

in place - particularly for third parties."

In 2019 and into 2020, BBR Services

recorded an increase in reported attacks

by policyholders whose systems were

breached via cyber-attacks against their IT

managed service providers. In some cases,

these attacks stopped the operations of

hundreds of customers downstream from

the IT provider.

Keefe adds: "BBR Services handles thousands

of breaches every year and our data

demonstrates how ransomware has developed

into a more serious and complex

threat over the past four years. Early on,

ransomware was typically used to encrypt

data as leverage for a ransom demand.

However, more recently, attackers have been

using ransomware variants in tandem with

banking Trojans such as Trickbot and

Emotet. This two-pronged attack leaves

organisations not only with the debilitating

impact of its critical systems and data being

encrypted, but with the added risk of data

being accessed or stolen.

"Although these attacks can be damaging

and complex, some of the most effective

preventative measures are relatively simple.

More than ever, organisations need to

ensure their IT security measures are a top

priority and up to date, that they have

access to authoritative, experienced risk

management advice and, importantly, that

employees are trained and alert to the

potential threats."

32 NETWORKcomputing MAY/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards




The latest Breach Briefing provides detailed

information on the most common forms of

attack, including the two most common

forms of attack used to deploy ransomware:

phishing emails and poorly secured remote

desktop protocol (RDP).

Turning first to phishing, Beazley cites

how direct email of malware and links to

credential-stealing sites lead to a large

number of incidents. "There are a lot of protections

available, in the forms of email filters

and added layers of authentication,"

it says. "However, few of these solutions are

broadly implemented. People have access

to the information and technology that the

attackers want, and attackers will continue

to find new ways to reach people and

exploit them. It would be incorrect to view

phishing as the vulnerability; phishing just

happens to be the most effective way of getting

to the real vulnerability - people."

Exactly how do you mitigate phishing risk,

though? Beazley suggests the following:

Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Force regularly scheduled password

resets, preventing recycled passwords

Train employees to recognise and report

suspicious email traffic.

Turning next to remote desktop protocol

(RDP), Beazley describes this as "a very powerful

tool that provides a lot of convenience

to its users. It is also extremely easy to

enable. If the computer you want to access

is on the public internet, you gain immediate

access to your work computer from

home or your company's primary file server

while you are on vacation with the press of

a button."

However, problems arise from these basic

facts: RDP runs on a standard port

(tcp/3389) and is easily identified while

scanning; companies have very poor password

policies, giving a brute force attack a

high probability of success; more than 20

vulnerabilities have been identified within

RDP, many of which allow unauthenticated

access to the target computer; companies

tend to have very poor patching policies.

"So, not only is it easy to turn on, it is also

very easy to discover and break into." Ways

of mitigating RDP risk it recommends

include requiring access via a virtual private

network (VPN) with MFA; whitelist IP

addresses that are allowed to connect via

RDP; and unique credentials for remote

access, especially for vendors.


Ransomware can be devastating to an individual

or an organisation. Traditionally,

these attacks were designed to deny access

and interrupt business operations. However,

the recent shift towards ransomware paired

with banking trojans, and towards threats

to expose data, changes the landscape.

"Anyone with important data stored on their

computer or network is a target - from

municipalities or hospitals through to law

firms," warns Beazley. "Important data at risk

was traditionally thought to be personally

identifiable information (PII) and protected

health information (PHI), but it could also

include intellectual property, litigation strategies,

unpublished financials, and project

bids. It is a myth that attackers are not interested

in small companies. As our data

shows, small and medium-sized business

are often easier to exploit and therefore

very attractive targets."


Many organisations rely on vendors to perform

multiple services, which can help

reduce overall costs and administrative burdens.

But when you no longer control

all of your data or when you provide third

parties direct access to your systems, it

inevitably increases your exposure to data

privacy and security risks. "Third-party vendors

were aggressively targeted by cybercriminals

deploying ransomware in 2019,

and at least 17% of all ransomware incidents

reported to Beazley originated from

attacks on vendors," says the cyber insurer.

Katherine Keefe, Beazley: using a virtual

private network with multifactor authentication

is crucial.

"These attacks caused business interruption

to many downstream customers, ranging

from the inability to access data housed in a

software application, to a full-blown attack

on the customer systems as well."

Why are vendors targeted? Cybercriminals

have come to realise that interrupting the

dependent and deeply interconnected relationship

between vendor and customer creates

the most pressure. Hitting a single vendor

can cause catastrophic interruptions for

hundreds of companies, making it more

likely for the vendor to pay. NC

To read the Beazley Breach Briefing in full,

follow the link below :


MAY/JUNE 2020 NETWORKcomputing 33









In early March, Avast Threat Lab researchers

found that the increasing use of mobile

devices around the globe is fuelling the

growth of mobile-related malware. To date,

131 COVID-19 related apps have been

detected as malicious through Avast's platform, as cybercriminals look to

exploit the pandemic using social engineering


According to statistics gathered by the Avast

researchers between October and December

2019, adware (software that hijacks user

devices to spam them with malicious ads) is

responsible for 72% of mobile malware, with

the remaining 28% of threats linked to banking

trojans, fake apps, lockers and downloaders.

Now Avast has released an Android version

of Avast Secure Browser, extending its platform

support beyond Windows and Mac on desktop

to mobile. The introduction of a multi-platform

browser is part of Avast's ongoing focus to

converge security and privacy services to

"enable a safer, more private and faster

browsing experience across devices and

operating systems", says the company.

Avast Secure Browser for Android was

developed following Avast's 2019 acquisition

of Tenta, a private browser backed by

Blockchain pioneer ConsenSys and has been

built from the ground up by privacy and

cybersecurity engineers focused on total

encryption. At its core is strong encryption,

including AES-256, ChaCha 256-bit and the

latest TLS/SSL cryptographic protocols for the

data transport layer. To ensure that user DNS

requests are kept private and secure, the

browser supports multiple DNS options straight

out of the box, such as DNS over TLS,

DNSSEC and decentralised DNS support.

"Avast's core mission is to make the world a

safer place by protecting the security and

privacy of every customer, says Scott Curtiss,

vice president and general manager of Avast

Secure Browser. "Our commitment to being a

privacy-by-design technology provider was

behind our acquisition of leading private

mobile browser Tenta, whose technology has

contributed to the development of our new

Avast Secure Browser for Android. We know

that our customers care deeply about security

and privacy, and want to be in control of their

own personal data without compromising the

quality of their online interactions. Our goal is

to be the first all-in-one browser to secure our

users' privacy, along with a frictionless secure

browsing experience. Adding support for

mobile is another milestone in our journey

towards this long-term goal."

Additional built-in security and privacy

features available with Avast Secure Browser

for Android include:

A VPN that encrypts all inbound and

outbound connections to the VPN location

An ephemeral user PIN code for device

access that is never stored on any server

nor on the device itself

Anti-tracking technologies used to prevent

websites, advertisers and other web

services from tracking online activity

Adblock integration to improve website

load time

An encrypted media vault.

Adds Curtiss: "There is still a perception

among many consumers that on mobile,

internet and browser-based threats do not

exist. This is not the case. Mobile is a lucrative

platform for cybercriminals because of its

majority market share versus desktop and

higher levels of internet traffic. In the past 12

months, we've seen adware rise by 38% on


Scott Curtiss: still a perception that on

mobile, internet and browser-based

threats do not exist.

34 NETWORKcomputing APRIL/JUNE 2020 @NCMagAndAwards


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