As technology evolves over time and new software solutions come up, it’s natural for a company to want to upgrade its existing security resources, especially the firewall.
The problem, however, is that migrating to a new firewall vendor is incredibly challenging because all seven OSI layers need to work well, starting at the physical connectivity and ending at the application layer.
If even one of these layers malfunctions, it will effectively be the same as not having a firewall up at all. Then, of course, there are the problems that start showing up right after a migration.
No matter how smoothly and perfectly the process may go there were always be sync issues as the existing technology starts adjusting to the new one.
In this article, we are going to share the process of a successful firewall migration and give you tips that should help you migrate without getting a migraine.
Firewall Migration Procedure
These are the 7 steps you need to employ for a successful migration:
1. New technology training
The worst thing you can do during the process is to jump at the opportunity to replace your old software with the new one without first bringing your team up-to-speed with the ongoing changes.
What happens if something goes wrong during the migration and no one has any idea how to fix it? You will be stuck in a dead zone where the older software no longer works, and the new one can’t be implemented properly, leaving your network highly vulnerable to attacks.
To avoid this, make sure everyone on your team gets extensive training, is introduced to the new technology, understand the different features, and learns how to configure them.
2. Review existing firewall
Firewalls tend to bloat over time as more and more policies and rules are added to the database. The result is that a lot of information manages to get through which would otherwise be blocked.
This is why you do not want to switch over to the new technology without first reviewing the current one. Many good firewall management tools such as Checkpoint Smart Center will let you do this operation in a few clicks.
3. Initial dry run
You will have no idea how long the actual migration will take and what kind of tools it will need until you go through a few dry runs.
Take some time out and plan a test migration using the original configuration of the existing firewall. This lets you test out the features without actually migrating to the new technology.
Most of the basic setup can also be prepared during this phase.
With a basic setup ready and the new configuration prepared, you can start testing the overall system extensively.
Prepare a test list that details the kind of tests to be run and their expected results. The main focus here is on ensuring that the system will continue to work effectively even if a few elements break down.
5. Configuration testing
This is the most crucial part of the project since the configuration needs to go smoothly for a successful migration.
Here, we highly recommend that you keep a backup plan ready just in case anything goes wrong and you need to revert to the old technology for a while.
6. Actual migration
Make sure you schedule this event during a routine maintenance window and whatever you do, DON’T tell your customers that you are upgrading your firewall. Just tell them the network was down because of a maintenance break.
The people who do need to know about the migration, however, is the team responsible for your networks. They will need to test all the applications both before and after the migration, so everyone should be present and ready while the process is going on.
7. System Monitoring
Finally, once the new technology is installed and everything has been implemented as required, the monitoring phase starts where you ensure that the migration was successful.
It’s important to remember that no matter how well you implemented the 6 steps above, there will always be problems that you’ll need to take care of. It is just the nature of the task.
Make sure your team is on-hand to solve all issues that exist, and do not stop the monitoring phase until you are 110% sure everything is working as it should. Sometimes, this can even take months, but it is an essential step.
All companies around the world at this time of the millennium have crossed the barrier of going cyber with all their activities. These organizations whether they are large multinational enterprises or small firms working in their limits have to rely heavily on data and store info to keep their business operations running. Although it has lot of uncountable benefits but surely it has a downside to it as well.
Safety of client’s data:-
Ensuring the safety of data from unauthorized use and securing the clients info from any losses is the priority nowadays. But it has opened many ways for the cyber criminals to enter into the system from any weak point in the network. This can result in a huge loss to the company if the data stored is manipulated, cleared or accessed by unauthorized people.
Information security is one of the major problems faced by the large organizations and even small firms in the ever growing city of Dubai. This city has shown tremendous growth in the field of IT in the last decade but with it the hazards have also grown. Whether it is
Reasons why these incidents happen:-
Unaware owner or manger:-
One of the major reasons for these kinds of mishaps is that the owner of the company is not aware of any kind of wannabe mishaps which mean that right level of tools and systems are not in position to defend against with any kind of cyber-attack efficiently.
Shortage of resources:-
Another reason that is particularly proved right for the small businesses is that the owner may not have the resources to employ a high level and skilled IT professional on his payroll. This negligence can consequently result in money loss, data loss, bad reputation, closure of network and many other problems.
Dealing with other companies:-
In a corporate sector where economy is based on services many small and large businesses work together. The larger firm having tighter defense mechanism can also get vulnerable to the attacks because of the data and info shared between them. Because smaller firms are more prone to these attacks so by accessing, sharing and managing data larger firms can also become a target.
This dealing and sharing activity between the smaller and larger firm can also give back door entry to the larger firm or any other big target. The reason behind it that the hackers may have access to the network of smaller firm so by managing each other’s data they can have easy access to the bigger firm.
Another reason why information security is posed with danger that a user or employee may have visited a malicious site or page. This is called malvertising. Sending of a malicious file to another system or to install ransom ware, this can result in the grabbing of your personal information which can be used for other abominable purposes.
Make no mistake about it; all of us are caught in a global war on cyber security!
These past 12 months saw yet more high profile attacks on large organizations like Equifax and Verizon, and experts are predicting that the total cost of data breaches will have reached 2 trillion dollars by 2019!
There have been a few silver linings in 2017, like the cost of a data breach going down 10% over previous years, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before the threat of hackers can be truly eliminated.
With that in mind, here are some of the trends, threats, and challenges that await businesses and security consulting firms in 2018!
1. An AI-led war on both sides
Future artificially intelligent machine learning will process immense amounts of data and perform actions at an incredible scale to identify and correct known vulnerabilities. This is great for organizations and their security needs, since they’ll finally have a system that adapts to evolving threats in real time.
The problem, however, is that the hackers will have access to this technology too!
As security systems get increasingly intelligent, so will the hackers. It’ll be an endless struggle to see which system can get an upper hand first.
2. New General Data-Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Legislative bodies in the European Union have adopted the new GDPR, which explain how companies will store, process, and protect the confidential data of EU citizens.
The new regulation will come into force on the 25th of May, 2018, after which companies can be fined up to 20 million Euros for any breach of the law.
This should mean organizations putting better, more advanced security systems in place, which is definitely good news for all of us!
3. A rising threat of insider attacks
Two of the biggest cyber breaches of the year, Equifax and Anthem Inc. were actually the result of insider attacks, after employees at the company had sold off their shares and disabled the network security.
Organizations around the world are finally realizing the importance of hiring an ELV design consultant to set up CCTV cameras and local network monitoring systems in their buildings.
More often than not, the biggest threat to a company will come not from sophisticated external attacks, but from internal users who gain unauthorized access to confidential data and information.
4. Solutions to ransomware
In the coming months, the occurrence of ransomware attacks should decrease as the industry adopts new solutions to tackle this ongoing problem and users gain more awareness.
These attacks are predicted to have caused almost 5 billion dollars in damages to companies around the world this year, according to multiple reports!
To protect your own systems, we suggest you do the following:
Network security should be at the top of your priority list going into the New Year!
Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and threats in cyber security, and you won’t ever have to face the huge financial damages and loss of reputation cyber breaches bring with them.
A rising threat of attacks
Cyber-attacks are getting deadlier day-by-day, and every organization in the UAE is at threat – large and small.
According to reports, the cost of cyber crime damages will reach a yearly average of 6 trillion dollars by the year 2021. These numbers mean that most companies which were established this year will be out of business in the next few months if they’re not careful!
Every business is in danger
As a small business owner, you may feel safe thinking it’s only larger organizations that are targeted. After all, what good would it do a hacker to target a company which isn’t even profitable yet, right?
Hackers specifically go after SMEs because they know these companies can’t afford to spend big on security. Unsecured networks are the easiest to exploit, and the damage is usually fatal for businesses owners.
The stats back this up!
Studies conducted in past revealed that almost 62% of cyber breach victims were small-to-medium sized businesses.
Even more worrying is the fact that 93% of companies which had no access to their own data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within a year, and almost half of all victims filed for bankruptcy immediately!
So what can you do to protect your networks?
Outsource your security
Now that you understand how serious the threat is, it’s time to talk about solutions!
As mentioned earlier, smaller businesses don’t have the financial means to hire and train their own specialized IT staff that can watch over network safety 24/7.
The easiest way around the problem for these companies is to outsource their IT networks to one of the many security consulting Dubai based firms.
3rd party security consultants offer SMEs a ton of great benefits, like:
There are, however, a few considerations you’ll need to keep in mind.
Outsourcing your network’s security means you’re effectively handing the keys of the business over to someone else. If they’re not trustworthy, you run the risk of trade secrets getting leaked to your competitors.
Here are a few tips on outsourcing smartly:
4 tips for secure IT outsourcing
In an age where businesses are constantly under threat from cyber crime and hackers, make the smart choice for your company and outsource its network security!
Security consultants offer SMEs across the UAE a ton of great benefits at surprisingly low costs. You can rest assured your networks are going to be in safe hands, as long as you’re smart about the choice of vendor!
There should be no debate about the necessity of Security information and Event Management (SIEM) for both small and large scale organizations. In this cyber age, every organization is prone to unseen cyber threats that can affect them badly. We have competitors, enemies, hackers all ready to breach into our security and steal our information. We are hearing too many stories of Hacking and ATM scams these days.
SIEM is a complex, smart and efficient security system that could be deployed at any scale of business by taking care of its prerequisites. SIEM protects you from all kinds of malware, virus, and other potential security threats. It is an effective real time monitoring program that ensures security of your important data. SIEM as a service, features extraordinary ability to identify security events and analyze them quickly.
Many organizations fail to deploy the SIEM system because of its complex nature and not understanding the technology. By mishandling the system, it generates more logs that require deployment of 8 to 10 persons in the organization for monitoring purpose. Small and medium sized organizations can’t afford that much work force on cyber security because they don’t have all the resources to operate this service.
Why outsource the security?
It’s not easy to operate and maintain SIEM service efficiently if you don’t have the expertise. You should go for hiring third party services to look after your security needs. Because it takes a detailed and regular monitoring of the system. They will keep check only on the services and data that you want the security for. Relevant data is produced in multiple locations to secure all the data from a single point of view.
Be smart before deploying SIEM System
Organizations need to know exactly what they want to monitor so that the concerned vendor be approached. Your smart choice will make it easy for the vendor to install the service that will provide relevant protection. It could be your database server or any security product.
It requires maintenance
After smartly deploying the SIEM system, you have to keep a constant watch on its progress in reacting to any kind of threat. Threats continue to evolve and that is why SIEM system requires maintenance on a regular basis to ensure information security. It is therefore recommended to outsource the service to a third party who is expert in handling hundreds of organizations with a team of 20-30 people.
When operating online, things can go in grey zones within no time, irrespective of the markets in which one may be performing.
Things are going to be more or less the same attacking in nature, whether one operates in a highly promising and dynamic market of Dubai, or a market that has got a promising future such as Qatar or even a third world country’s market. If things are managed online, the risks of unauthorized access, hacking and attacking are always going to be high.
What are the experts’ approaches?
Experts associated with such domains, especially IT security, use various approaches, techniques and tools in order to ensure that they are on top of all the aforementioned threats.
They know that such threats would require professional penetration testing Dubai oriented approaches if the business is operating from and target UAE markets, because relevancy is important.
The adverse effects of hiring remote solution providers:
One may hire or acquire services in the said domain from specialists who may be operating remotely, i.e. from areas like Europe, USA and Australia but they may not be so effective because they may not have a clear understanding of the market nature and behavior that is usually found here and this is where things may go wrong.
When in complex zones:
When things are complicated, one as a business owner may need solutions that are elite, up-to-date and highly technical as a response in order to stay on top of such threats. The real problem starts when one is not tech savvy and has very little or no understanding at all of what exactly is required to cap the gaps and rescue the situation.
In such situations, professional and pro-active business owners in Qatar won’t put their business future and success on the line by tampering with things all alone on their own. They will simply look for reliable, authentic and affordable IT security solution providers to who they can outsource all their managed security services Qatar based needs.
This attitude from them will not only save them from going through hassled situations but at the same time will help them to save resources like time, money and personnel resources from going into the in vain zones.
Ultimate security online would required timely, smart and needs based solutions. Timely actions will save one from going through longer routes when aim to achieve something. Why not cover these weak and uncapped areas starting from today and grow business graph upwards without any stoppages, delays and unenthusiastic results.
Managed information technology facilities are undoubtedly not a new origination. Service providers in the information security industry are continuously monitoring organizational systems since 1990. They not only provide IT support, but also ensure their business information is protected enough against vulnerabilities and security attacks.
A noticeable growth has been observed in security services providence these days. In today’s world, outsourced security facilities like security threat and risk assessment are becoming a key requirement for modern businesses. Business owners are now capable of avoiding damage to their reputations and finances from data thieves and hackers.
Firewalls were previously considered as an optimal solution for data protection which no longer works alone these days. Organizational security now depends upon a well-organized Security Operations Centre, Security Information and Event Monitoring policies and an extra protection of Unified Threat Management tools.
The migration of security needs from firewall to such a combined approach is considered to be the growth of information protection. This development and evolution period of organizational data safety is been through various stages. A short outline of the evolution is presented here to review its different stages.
Development Of Security Model:
Long ago, both firewall and anti-virus installed on a local computer were acting as the most optimal solution for organizational data protection. They were both adding a patching cycle for the servers and were able to protect everything to an extreme level.
Business operations need multiple devices these days. An operational team requires a range of devices like tablets, laptops and other tools that enable exposure of the network to attack. Using up-to-date applications and staying obedient is although helpful, but not perfect.
Experienced Security Model:
The next phase towards an improved protection of organizational data is enhanced safety procedures. These procedures together with advanced appliances lead to a strong solution against information protection. These procedures and appliances were managed by an experienced security person.
All of the reputable service providers, including managed security services UK had been through this evolution. A range of larger sized corporations have realized that organizational data safekeeping is a full time job. They are appreciating this evolution due to the presence of round-the-clock monitoring system which is the crucial requirement for businesses.
Advanced Security Model:
Supported by improved reporting capabilities, an advanced security model provides all-time protection for sensitive data and confidential information. Service providers having these features are capable of improving business security in a lasting way.
This approach, in turn, enables organizational owners to have an eye on their data and the users that are accessing it. With the help of the advanced security model, organizations are able to have a real-time decision making option.
Firewall plays a key role in providing the best protection to organizational networks. They are always monitored and managed by administrators. Their duty is to observe the traffic on the network and avoid data breaches by allowing just authorized users to access the data. They also avoid misconfiguration of the devices which is the primary cause of data breaches.
Organizations that are maintaining confidential data of users carry out certain procedures to overcome the chances of a data breach. From firewall migration to management and maintenance, every activity of the administrator is to overcome the challenges to protect a network. Following are some of the recommended practices everyone must know.
Keep Security Policy Manager In The Loop From Changes:
Organizational security policies are arranged by security managers. They stay in charge to ensure that these policies are followed thoroughly. Beside that fact that they are not operational employees, the administrators must keep them in the loop when deploying rules. Both of them must work together so that none of a corporate policy rules can be violated.
Clean Up Unused Rules:
Among thousands of organizational rules, there must be some out-of-date rules that need to be clean up. Connections are often left unclosed even for a long time that can be noticed by hackers. One must close similar connections that no more serve any business purpose. Such a clean-up improves firewall performance and organizational security.
Conflicting Rules Elimination:
When implementing new rules, the administrator must have an in-depth idea of the existing ones. They must do not implement rules that can conflict with those that are existing. The new rules stay dysfunctional if they are implemented on existing ones. The administrator must have a policy for cleaning up the existing rules when implementing new rules.
Follow A Consistent Work flow Changes Implementation:
Every rule must be properly documentations so that they can help in demonstrating that who owns it. The organizational security managers need to define a business process needs so that a particular workflow can be followed when a rule is required. A better firewall management would be the one where such a workflow covers everything ranging from an access request from the owner to analyzing it and making the changes by the administrator.
Have Developers And Firewall Administrators On The Same Page:
Both the application developers and firewall administrators must have mutual understanding when requesting changes to an already implemented firewall. Using a technical translator is recommended in this regard to avoid misconfiguration and waste of time. The use of higher level language by developers is recommended that can be translated into details of technical implementation by technical translator.
Organizations that operate confidential data usually obtain security operations centre (SOC) from third parties to provide improved protection to the data. The centre is either maintained internally or it is outsourced to a reliable service provider. Regardless of security operation centre’s location, its main objective is to provide safety to the information.
Business requirements specification is the initial step to choose the right security operation centre. It is the duty of information security consultant to thoroughly analyse the needs of an organization to specify how they can accomplish the required safety. To provide the required security, an operational centre must:
The importance of security operations centre must never be overlooked. Confidential data is usually maintained almost by every organization regardless of its size and capacity. Confidential data mainly belong to customers that include their credit card information, address and contact details.
Organizations prevent the confidential data from unauthorized access so that it can neither be changed nor misused. An unauthorized access of users to security systems completely destroys the reputations of similar organizations. That’s why, an ultimate protection is crucial for looking after company reputations.
Why Security Operations Centre For Your Business?
An operations centre such as London SOC plays a vital role in data protection. Business owners invest handsome cash to obtaining such a complete solution for their security needs. This way, they not only avoid cyber-crimes that can alter private information, but also maintain their positive reputations. You must need a quality SOC if you:
If your organization is providing services to the customers in the European Union, then you probably would already know the importance of the GDPR. For those who don’t know about it, GDRP stands for “General Data Protection Regulation”. It is the regulation made in response to the data privacy concerns of the customers residing in the EU.
To keep privacy and data of the customers secured, the new data protection regulation called “GDPR” has been introduced. According to this regulation, every organization offering services in the EU are required to comply itself under this regulation, maximum by the 25th of May 2018. After that deadline, the organizations found failing in GDPR monitoring under new regulations would be heavily fined.
Basics of GDPR:
It actually refers to both the “controller” and “processor” of the data. In simplified words, we can say that, those organizations who are working in the EU and are accessing the data of the customers residing in the EU, both the parties are involved in the process of the GDPR.
During accessing the data of the customers the companies are most often able to track a lot of their private data as well. But now, according to the new regulations, these organizations need to take care of all that data in further appropriate way, so the privacy of the customers is kept intact.
Penalties on Failing to GDPR Compliances:
The cyber security is the biggest concern of all the organizations around the world. The EU is trying to make strict regulations to keep the privacy of the customers intact, so that doesn't leak from a company to cause troubles for the customer.
We could find a lot of firms offering better and improved security policies for cyber security UK and around the other EU countries. But it is more than important to ensure all that complies with the GDPR, and that the EU companies must get themselves comply with it before 25 May 2018. Otherwise, penalties and fines of up to €10 Million or the 2 percent of the Global revenue of the respective organization could be charged.
Nothing else is more important these days than the cyber security for every organization around the world. That’s a real headache for most of them. It has been the real cause behind leaking the privacy of the customers and the organizations themselves. That’s why, the EU has taken vital steps in strictly making all the EU organizations to comply with the GDPR regulations.
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