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07 Jun 2019

Fortinet: Emerging cyber threats and security solutions

Fortinet: Emerging cyber threats and security solutions

Until a few years ago cyber-threats were only about a couple of simple social engineering tricks, today they have grown to pose a far more potent and persistent risk on an organisation-wide scale.

Network security vendor Fortinet, a leading key cyber security player, has been a gatekeeper to provide internally-developed solutions for its corporate clients with preparedness and protection on their IT systems.

“Fortinet takes a unique position as a constant innovator with an expanding portfolio that can provide an integrated array of protection for our clients,” said John Jacobs, VP of systems engineering at Fortinet.

The 19-year-old company is invited on the agenda at this year’s Hong Kong Cloud Expo show, at the Cloud and Cyber Security Expo. A range of topics from cyber broad awareness, security automation to cloud computing security will be discussed.

As more businesses reflected their IT environments have come under attack in the past years, it is proven that cryptojacking has become a viable business practice for attackers to mine cryptocurrency using background process, that is to purchase or create tools to infiltrate organizations and either extract or extort the hacked information for crypto.

“Advanced threats layer multiple attacks vectors that can shift to take advantage of the weak links and then pivot to other infrastructure once the breach is accomplished,” said Mr. Jacobs.

Despite more C-suites are aware of cyber threats to meet compliance needs, bigger budgets do not necessary slow down attacks. Human errors made by end users remain the first sources of nearly all breaches through the lack of cyber security education and transaction discipline, according to Mr. Jacobs. Attackers could exploit vulnerabilities through configuration mistakes, lack of patching and system hygiene, or unintentional action, like a phishing email.

“It is crucial to know and enforce what is running inside the organization,” said Mr. Jacobs. With security executives more accountable than ever, security rating and automation could assist them to identify non-compliant devices in a network system and effectively provide compliance reporting for the executive suite.

As for Fortinet, which has been using machine learning to better analyze data gathered from third-party feeds or its own installed platforms, is helping security operators to focus on valid threats, remediation and end-user education, Mr. Jacobs said.

“The first logical steps is in reducing false-positives as we gather information from numerous and varied sources to compare them for validity,” he added.

CLOUD & IoT SECURITY

However, hackers are persistently adapting to new environment. The constantly expanding cloud-computing, which allow data and workflows to move seamlessly across different virtual environments, has dissolved the traditional network perimeter and hence represents another adaptive threat.

“Cloud makes consistent security application even more crucial to distributed resources because the speed of deployment can be tempting for users to bypass traditional security checks in the interest of efficiency,” said Mr. Jacobs.

And from a security perspective, a cloud access security broker (CASB) is the answer for organizations to be covered with a consistent security posture across local and cloud-based resources to protect all interface transactions. It is a software tool that sits between an organization’s device and a cloud infrastructure, allowing the organization to extend the reach of their security policies beyond their own premise.

It allows security operations to view what is being placed, accessed and utilized in the cloud. “We encourage organizations to block all but the allowed cloud services and then utilize CASB to monitor their usage,” said Mr. Jacobs.

As for the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, particularly the usage of industrial and medical IoT, Fortinet’s pioneer solution rests on Network Access Contol (NAC).

Not only does it provide visibility of unsecured devices, it also allows organizations to exercise ‘on ramp’ control to every single device on the network and enables segmentation, giving each device access only to approved items. “It provides validation of an on-net device through their communications, essentially confirming that they are doing what type of device should be doing,” said Mr. Jacobs.

This functionality is delivered all within a solution that works with multi-vendor environments and an unlimited number of devices, because at the end of the day, hackers will only need one open port or an unknown device to pose threats into a network.

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