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Securing instant everything

Nicholas Tay | Jan. 6, 2009
Fully blocking rogue applications and access to undesirable Web resources requires more than a traditional firewall.

There are free tools available that provide a deep look at exactly what is traversing the enterprise network, and the results are almost always surprising. Organisations that believe they have these applications locked down tend to be amazed when they discover the actual instances of unauthorised traffic on their network. Blocking ports on the firewall and disallowing access to specific URLs doesnt cut it anymore.

One organisation, for example, found 19 GB of IM traffic over a dozen networks during the course of just three weeks, plus heavy use of IM aggregators like Meebo and IMhaha. At the same time, 20 GB of P2P traffic was discovered including a high usage of Skype with applications like Tor and Hopster in use to bypass network proxy servers. In addition, the company had hundreds of malware infections ranging from simple adware to the most dangerous keyloggers.

With knowledge about whats really happening on the network, decisions can then be made about what to embrace, what to block and how to ensure there are no work-arounds in play.

Fully blocking rogue applications and access to undesirable Web resources requires more than a traditional firewall. In the age of instant everything, it requires technology solutions based on a thorough understanding of real-time communications protocols and their evasive behaviours.

Enabling the use of collaborative communications applications with confidence means putting fault-tolerant, enterprise-grade security, management and compliance solutions in place to monitor and control both incoming and outgoing communications over the network, concludes Tay In order to do this, enterprises need to get visibility of all traffic on their networks, apply policies allowing or blocking at user/group levels and for those applications such as IM that are allowed, to enforce hygiene, content filtering and compliance logging.

Nicholas Tay is Regional Manager (Asia Pacific) for FaceTime Communication with 7 years expertise in IT Security. Prior to FaceTime, Nicholas was the provider of solutions in the UTM space in South East Asia for Watchguard providing solutions for UTM Firewall.


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