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Make it network security

27 Feb 2015

The need for effective network security is at an all-time high, says David Higgins, WatchGuard Technologies ANZ country manager.

Existing and emerging trends in the network security space have continued to reinforce the need for network security vigilance in small to large organisations across New Zealand.

Ransomware is constantly evolving and new, increasingly sophisticated variations are regularly being released. A recent example is Cryptolocker’s new, and improved sibling, Cryptowall 2.0. Aside from providing helpful hints on how you can to get your files back, the attackers have considerately included features like chat support to help you pay on time with the added threat of inflating their ransom should you take too long.

Increased incidents of Darkhotel campaigns are also becoming commonplace and business executives staying in luxury hotels are having their sensitive data stolen through advanced malware and infiltration techniques. Bandwidth is also being leeched and used maliciously as a result of ineffective security.

In addition, publicly available DDoS services are being used to launch botnet attacks made up of compromised routers in homes and commercial organisations.

Needs at all-time high

All these trends are an excellent opportunity for IT and managed service providers to provide customers with the right systems and management tools before the inevitable prodding and probing for vulnerabilities arises.

The need for effective network security in every organisation is at an all-time high and with mainstream media coverage of cyber-attacks comes increased demand for security in businesses at affordable cost. These solutions also need to be in a position to effectively thwart these threats and provide modular protection.

Most resellers in New Zealand have been touched by ransomware like Cryptolocker. It has been hitting their customers and will continue to do so. As a result, it is absolutely essential that businesses are making the most of available advanced malware protection and modular security solutions to protect against these kinds of threats and the new ones we’ll see in the near future.

Hospitality and retail, by way of example, are two sectors which are going to need a transformation of existing practices before their customer data will reach an acceptable level of security.

As software becomes a key driver of business for resellers we’re starting to see a strong shift towards the provision of managed services and network security is a key part of these changes. 

We have seen situations where a reseller has refused to deliver additional services for their customers until security solutions have been implemented. This is to protect new and existing systems, reduce downtime, simplify network management and increase visibility. In 2014, New Zealand was leading the way for the provision of managed services. It will be interesting to see how managed serviced providers develop in 2015.