Cybersecurity Initiatives for Today's Technology Leaders

Nov 04, 2021

Cybersecurity within Deployments

As more companies leverage emerging technologies like edge computing, AI, and ML, cybercriminals use the same advances to cause havoc. These bad actors exploit every weakness they can find, whether by attacks on data centers, retail locations, utility installations, or even gas stations making a robust cybersecurity approach vital at every level of your deployment.

Fortunately, forward-thinking systems integrators like UNICOM Engineering and tier-one technology providers like Dell Technologies fight back with various approaches and technologies.

Read on for the critical security initiatives technology leaders should consider:

Supply-Chain Security

As we know, thanks to today's global marketplace, crucial hardware components arrive from anywhere around the globe. This reality, unfortunately, opens up your hardware supply chain as a possible point of attack.

In response, technology leaders should partner with vendors to take extra care to guarantee that goods can move from their point of origin to their final destination without being disturbed. To this end, ideal OEM hardware suppliers offer platforms validated from initial shipment to their arrival at the customer facility. That ensures that the devices have not been tampered with in transit.

The Physical Layer

While we may envision cybercrime as being all about data, prudent security measures start at the physical level. While most organizations physically secure their data centers, edge servers typically reside in cabinets and on racks in remote locations with less inherent security.

Meeting this modern security challenge means multiple things. First, using end-to-end lifecycle management, technology leaders can control all infrastructure devices. Secondly, they should take measures to prevent all unauthorized physical access to servers and other devices. Finally, they can enact new programs to secure and back up data to prevent loss.

The Operational Layer

As networks expand onto more devices and into more remote locations, technology leaders struggle to implement the same level of control. And, at the same time, each new edge location and device expands the attack surface of the entire organization.

Therefore, the operational layer presents several opportunities for greater security. For example, applications can't be fully secure until the platforms on which they run are verified. Therefore, ensuring a secure boot spin up with an uncompromised image ensures installing applications into known safe environments. Another opportunity at the operational layer is instituting access control like port access security.

Firmware

Moving a level deeper, a growing method of attack is through firmware and boot sequences. Traditionally, this method of attack has been difficult to spot because it hides deep within the server.

The latest platforms offer secure boot customization, which empowers the customer to select which firmware and OS bootloaders are authorized to run. For example, Dell EMC PowerEdge UEFI Secure boot customization has been recently recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) in one of its white papers.

The Operational Layer

As networks expand onto more devices and into more remote locations, technology leaders struggle to implement the same level of control. And, at the same time, each new edge location and device expands the attack surface of the entire organization.

Therefore, the operational layer presents several opportunities for greater security. For example, applications can't be fully secure until the platforms on which they run are verified. Therefore, ensuring a secure boot spin up with an uncompromised image ensures installing applications into known safe environments. Another opportunity at the operational layer is instituting access control like port access security.

The Application Layer

Application layer security is the more traditional, data-center security that IT professionals know. However, with edge computing, high volumes of data are collected and must travel to and from the cloud and core locations, creating new vulnerabilities.

At the application layer, technology leaders need to secure connection points to prevent unwanted access. This task entails identifying and locking down exposures during backup and replication processes and restricting application traffic to verified resources only.

Zero Trust Architecture

Today, cybersecurity means more than just establishing a network perimeter. That's because, as our networks grow, they create access points that are more and more challenging to secure. And once an intruder gets inside the perimeter, they can bring an entire organization down. As a result, companies need to not only prevent intrusion but also guard against attacks from within.

In response, federal agencies and many private sector suppliers are looking to implement zero trust architecture. Not focused on a single device or application, it's a security philosophy that mandates the continuous authentication of all network and application traffic.

Some of the more critical components of the zero-trust framework include:

    • Data Trust - where access to sensitive data on a user-by-user basis is restricted at all times. In other words, network access alone is never sufficient to grant privileges to sensitive data, and users must continue to prove their right to access all networks, data, and applications.
    • Device Trust - specifies that devices, from the data center servers to mobile phones, must be authenticated within the system as part of a user's profile. Therefore, the lifecycle of these devices must be monitored and maintained as well.
    • Transport Session Trust - follows the user throughout their use of the organization's resources. Thanks to newer technologies like software-defined networking, each user has a customized profile that allows them the proper permissions and makes them trackable. This heightened level of security will enable administrators to know who is accessing the network at all times and from which devices.

Your Partner In Your Cybersecurity Success

When it comes to securing your environment from the latest attack methods, there's safety in numbers. That's why it's best for you and your staff not to face the latest threats alone when skilled partners can help. Your end customers will require this level of attention and persistence in deploying all solutions in their environments. This is best accomplished using the most up-to-date technology combined with an integrator with the skill to configure and deploy it.

For the third year, UNICOM Engineering has won the Dell Technologies OEM North America Partner of the Year award. It has been well-regarded for its creative expertise in deploying its servers, storage, and other solutions. Our team is highly skilled and ready to power your solutions with Dell Technologies' industry-leading portfolio to deliver unique solutions with greater speed, reliability, and security. To learn more about how we can help you drive your solution to market faster, watch our Why Build on Dell Video or schedule a consultation today.


Category: Cybersecurity

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