Smart architecture for cyber security: Integration beats hodge-podge


Smart architecture for cyber security: Integration beats hodge-podge

With all the cyber security rhetoric out there, especially in light of recent NSA leaks and Chinese hacker threats, it seems like everyone has an answer to security. But how do CIOs and other government IT leaders sort through the banter to really determine what products are most effective? And which ones are easiest to manage as a single solution?

Government needs to adopt technologies that make systems safer and enable admins to do their jobs with minimal headache. Having a single interface and a solution set that works interchangeably, and smartly, together is the only way to optimize cyber security management so important details don’t fall through the cracks. Agency IT admins need to be agile and productive in order to ferret out cost savings, which is important in a sequestered budget environment.

With mobile users, insider threats and ever-more-sophisticated hackers, cyber security must adapt so that IT admins can quickly and easily manage the security of data without facing loss that could negatively impact the agency, or even the country.  As I discussed in my post on the 2013 ESG report, cyber security is the top concern among IT execs. The confidentiality, integrity and availability of data needs to be protected.

What’s the right mix that makes managing manageable?

Achieving the goal of increased security takes more than a bundle of random products. It takes a package that’s architected of homogenous solutions designed to work well together that admins can manage as a whole, not individually.

I’ve been working tirelessly with my team to demo, test and architect just such a solution to government’s cyber security problem. I’m excited that we’ve found a combination of products that talk to one another and simplify keeping your agency safe. Many times, IT admins will buy separate security products that do a lot of trendy, cool things, but it can cause a nightmare when it comes to trying to manage them all at once. I recommend tying everything together with McAfee’s ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), which was designed from the start to consolidate information from several different products as a single threat database that allows admins to make comparisons within a single dashboard.

Here are the pieces to the cyber threat analysis puzzle you’ll need to build your next-generation cyber monitoring capabilities:

  • McAfee Security Suite particularly ePolicy Orchestrator: As I mentioned, everything plugs in here to make management simpler.   The security suite should also include a firewall, IPS and SIEM deployments that can feed information back to ePO. The McAfee end-point solution is critical so ePO can effectively remediate through it when there is an event.
  • NetApp E-Series storage: NetApp’s data storage systems are architected for performance, density and modular flexibility for wide-ranging, data-intensive workloads such as cyber security monitoring, without breaking the bank.
  • Riverbed’s RPM solution and nPulse Technologies: This is a high-speed, multi-terabyte traffic recording and analysis platform for security operations. Together these two solutions can monitor network traffic inside your firewall, instead of just at your firewall.  Trend analysis can alert about insiders moving data around uncharacteristically.
  • Application Delivery with application firewall software: Whether hardware based or software, an ADC solution that can defend the applications individually against attacks is important. Using this solution, you can proactively block and detect known and unknown threats. It receives, analyzes and acts on requests — legitimate ones pass through to your applications while others are repelled. There are many choices, but the most cost effective are Brocade’s ADX and Riverbed’s Stingray solutions for hardware and software respectively.

Although these products all come from different companies, we’ve vetted their ability to integrate. We found our cyber security solution set to be the Dream Team of Cyber Security with effective products and single-view management.

Because we’re the Data Performance Architects, we’re experts at providing peace of mind by implementing our data protection knowledge. To learn more about how SwishData approaches cyber security and other technologies to serve government agencies’ IT needs better, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Flickr user amelungc

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