Show cyber threats who is boss in 2018.

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Last year went by so fast. In between everyone’s normal busy schedule, most of us had to deal with natural disasters of some kind. For us at Wavecrest, it was Hurricane Irma as well as an above average rainy season. For others, it was Harvey and Maria, as well as fires, flooding,  earthquakes, remnants of storms causing wind damage–the list last year seems to be endless.

2017 also brought on some notable cyber events with the Equifax breach as one of the top incidents. 2017 was definitely a year for the books. You may have also noticed a shift in the business digital threat protection messaging. We at Wavecrest noticed . . . because it shifted to what we have always focused on. People.

People are a big part of the cyber threats that take place in businesses. No matter how automated things are, there is always the aspect of human interaction–human vulnerability. Humans inherently have vulnerabilities. It’s not a fault of one individual over another; it’s not about how good your employees are. There is a point where a business owner, manager, or decision-maker has to come to terms with managing Web use for the sake of the business over “my employees wouldn’t do that” or “I trust everyone working for me.” It may be true that you have the most trustworthy employees, but mistakes happen . . . even to the best of us. Cyber criminals focus on the easiest route first to gain access to your systems. Many times this is the employee, or human, vulnerability.

So . . . the new year is here. What can be done to improve managing employee Web use? The key is to make sure you pay attention to the human endpoint because it is not always about a failure in the actual technology. The firewall is great but if you have a weakness with an authorized user, the hacker will get past the firewall. Defend the human endpoint.

Consider these as a starting point and build on each or all!

  • MONITOR YOUR EMPLOYEES’ WEB USE! Sorry. It had to be said. If you do not know what is happening, you will not be able to know why, when, or where it happened. And you will not be able to make an informed decision on how to stop it from happening again. Remember that many times the human error that allowed for a breach may have been habitual or reactive so the employee’s memory of how it happened may not be very clear. Make sure to have visibility into the actual Web activity.
  • Analytics. Really another part of monitoring but noted separately due its importance and the flexibility of what you should be able to view and analyze. Find a Web activity solution that allows you to see relevant, drill-down data when you need it. Trends, customizable charts, by user or group, and real-time information on activity and bandwidth use are all things you should be able to analyze easily. All will allow you to expose abnormalities in user activity, identify potential insider threat behavior, flag possible legal liability issues, assess trends for data breach exposure, and observe patterns for lost productivity.
    • Hits versus Visits. This one deserves a sub-bullet. Make sure the Web-use management solution you choose has clearly defined Hits vs. Visits. Hits consist of unsolicited traffic, such as ads, and are not a reliable tracking metric on its own. Visits give you uncluttered, relevant Web activity detail based on user clicks and are a critical component to understanding human behavior. The last thing you want to do is try and sift through a bunch of data that is not even really relevant to the employee’s actual Web activity.

  • Filter. Yup . . . another suggestion that has the “but my employees are awesome” stigma to it. BUT let me just remind you that this is something that will provide another layer of security from phishing, malicious Web links, and data loss. I got your synapses firing now, don’t I! Filtering allows you to block or restrict URL link clicks that an employee may not be aware are malicious. Hackers have become increasingly precise in how things look. Very convincing e-mails and Web links are not rare anymore; they are commonplace. It is not really all about making sure your employee isn’t streaming YouTube all day. Although that should be managed as well, it should all be under your control. Allow it, don’t allow it, throttle it, or open it all up. The solution you choose should allow you to do it all, in your own customizable way.

The point is that the human endpoint is still a leading way threats get into your network. It may be through phishing, a malicious ad, or use of a unsanctioned cloud application, or it may even be a human error such as the delay of updating software. Whatever the issue, you have to be as proactive as possible to protect your network. Educate your employees continuously, have a comprehensive Web activity solution in place, make sure your Acceptable Use Policy is current, make sure patch management is an active process, and hug your IT people regularly because they are usually some of the busiest and stressed people in your organization.

Here is to showing the cyber criminals who is boss in 2018! Happy New Year!

About Wavecrest

Wavecrest has over 20 years of proven history of providing reliable, accurate Web-use management and Advanced Log File Analyzer products across various industries. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, Forensics Investigators, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage the human factor in business Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Trusted by large government and commercial organizations such as US-CERT Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, USPS Office of Inspector General, National Grid, Johns Hopkins, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit https://www.wavecrest.net.

It is holiday shopping time again! Cyber Monday is now more like Cyber Month!

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we all know what is coming–Cyber Monday–the big day (now it is more like a month!) for personal employee Web use! More than ever before, businesses are open to employee use of the company Internet for personal use such as snagging some holiday deals. But what does this really mean for daily business operations? That depends.

There are definitely cyber risks associated with the season of shopping–malicious ads, phishing e-mails with malicious Web links, and slow bandwidth, to name a few. Paying attention to your employees’ Web usage is crucial. It is up to you whether you allow shopping on your network. If you do, there are steps you should take to manage this naturally vulnerable human endpoint.

  • Filter
    • Filtering allows you to reduce risks from malicious URLs in ads, phishing, etc. . . . employees are your weakest link. Train them continuously but also make sure there is a Web filtering solution in place to allow you to manage the Web use the way you see fit.
  • Manage Bandwidth Usage
    • This time of year employees may be doing things such as watching a video review of the latest in tech toys for their kids. Make sure your mission-critical operations are not affected. Configuring bandwidth limits by user-defined thresholds and setting trigger alerts will help you make sure you don’t have unnecessary bandwidth hogs slowing your business down.
  • Monitor Web use
    • Visibility means everything. With the right monitoring solution, you can easily analyze employee Web-usage trends, make sure your Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is being followed, and get actionable, relevant detail when you need it.

These are only a few of the things that you can do to help reduce the risks associated with employee Web use all year long. Remember that human vulnerabilities are a leading cause of most network breaches. Focus on the human endpoint. Take the time to keep training employees, enforcing your AUP, monitoring, analyzing, and filtering.

At this time of year, you can feel good about allowing your employees some freedom to research or snag some holiday gift deals. Have a comprehensive employee Web filtering and monitoring solution in place, and enjoy your holidays even more knowing you are proactively managing employee Web activity!

About Wavecrest

Wavecrest has over 20 years of proven history of providing reliable, accurate Web-use management and Advanced Log File Analyzer products across various industries. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, Forensics Investigators, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage the human factor in business Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Trusted by large government and commercial organizations such as US-CERT Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, USPS Office of Inspector General, National Grid, Johns Hopkins, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit https://www.wavecrest.net.

Are you leaving your small business Web-use security door open?

Monday, May 15th, 2017

 

There is so much to be concerned with when running a small business. Economic uncertainty, the cost of health insurance benefits, regulatory burdens, keeping mission-critical operations running–all add up to a stressful experience. Now security concerns include more than just locking the doors; it means everything digital too. And the risks? With ransomware, phishing, insider threats, unsanctioned cloud apps, BYOD . . . lets just say, the Internet usage risks are probably even higher than the front door being left open . . . wide open.

Many small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are without full-time IT departments or even full-time IT personnel, making them a prime target for breaches. But SMBs tend to think they don’t have the resources to handle this type of security, whether it be the financial consideration, personnel needed, or when hardware is preferred, limited space constraints. Since hackers know this, SMBs have to be proactive when it comes to Web-use security–nowadays, even more so than corporations.

The connection between the human and the Internet is a weak link, making it one of the leading access points into a system for a hacker. Whether it’s from the employee clicking a Web link in an e-mail, clicking a malicious ad, or sharing company information with a cloud service, make sure to protect the business by managing that employee-Internet connection. Find a solution that allows you to easily and proactively monitor and secure your employees’ Web activity. Your business is unique–finding a way to solve these issues and concerns will take a unique solution.

A few tips for your Web-use security solution search:

  1. Find a vendor who will spend the time with you. The cyber world has its own language. It’s important to have a human being on the other end of the phone during the sales process, in customer service, and when you need technical support . . . yup, they still have human beings in technical support . . . go figure! Get with a company who wants to talk to you!
  2. Of course, it doesn’t help if that vendor doesn’t have what you need so make sure you list the top security priorities for your business. Do you want to filter access to certain Web sites or categories such as social media, or do you want to limit time that an employee may spend on one site? Are you are more concerned with your guest Wi-Fi and BYOD or throttling bandwidth use? Don’t get sold on something that doesn’t meet at least your primary concerns. One solution does not always fit all . . . in today’s cybersecurity world you need to focus on your specific business concerns. Just because an expensive, large scale, all-in-one network security solution or firewall has a Web-use add-on tool does not mean it will give you the pertinent, granular detail and control that you need to protect your mission-critical operations.
  3. Ask questions. The vendor should understand that you excel at what you do, not what they do. Don’t be intimidated by the security subject. Even those of us in this business spend a lot of time keeping up with the fast pace of cybersecurity. No question is unnecessary. If you think about it, then it is important to you and should be to the vendor too. Refer to Tip #1!
  4. Last tip for today . . . solutions come in many shapes and sizes. Don’t settle for something that doesn’t fit your business. Your business is special and unique. Your solution should fit and work in your environment without you constantly having to justify it and make it fit in.

Wavecrest can, and wants to, help you–with CyBlock Mini Appliance, specially designed for small businesses, remote offices, and limited space environments.

CyBlock Mini Appliance is an employee Internet-use security hardware solution that is not only the size of a wireless hub but is also economically priced. You gain an easy-to-setup, turnkey Web activity gateway with advanced filtering and monitoring capability, manual or automatic delivery of detailed, interactive reports, real-time monitoring by user, group, or category, the ability to easily manage BYOD, guest Wi-Fi networks, cloud services, and bandwidth use–all with included U.S.-based Technical Support.

Wavecrest also provides CyBlock Web security solutions in other shapes and sizes! Find out more about our other CyBlock deployments: Appliance, Hybrid, Cloud, and Software. As a customer-centric company, Wavecrest focuses on the needs of each customer. Let us help secure your business with a solution that fits every business size, type, and configuration.

About Wavecrest

Trusted for over 20 years, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit https://www.wavecrest.net.

Employees are like Hacker Candy

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Employees are still the central part of all our businesses. Even with all the technology, we still have people to run the operations. The human component of our business is the goal for most hackers. It is easier to find the human weakness than it is to find a network flaw. This human point of infiltration still needs attention, even when you feel your business is secure.

Hackers are smart and agile. It’s a full-time job for them. They don’t get called into meetings, get distracted by co-workers, or have to worry about receiving their W-2 in time for their tax advisors. Their focus is to get into your network using those distractions against your employees. Your employees are busy and focused on what they have to get done, many juggling multiple responsibilities. Hackers like these employees; it’s like candy to them.

Is there any one solution that will remove all risks? No. But there are ways you can help your employees protect themselves and your network. Ransomware, insider threats, phishing–there are so many threats that can halt operations that are critical to your business success. Be aware, prepare.

A combination of defenses helps you reduce the risks we all face in business today. Don’t assume one will solve everything. Develop multiple layers of proactive security. This can include anything from making sure your Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is current or having consistent employee training, to firewall and virus protection, to Web-use comprehensive monitoring and filtering solutions.

It is also important to have a recorded and tested recovery plan in place. Make the assumption that a breach will happen. This way you are prepared. Most importantly, maintain current backups. Make sure that the backups are not accessible through your network!

The “one” solution to protect your business just doesn’t exist. Maintain a combination of defenses and solutions to cover as many risks as possible. Being proactive will pay off in the long run.

Trusted for over 20 years, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit https://www.wavecrest.net.

Are your employees full of March Madness? They will be!

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

March Madness always produces a high level of anticipation and excitement. It ranks up there with the Super Bowl and the World Cup for many people. So fans want to make sure they see the games that for every year, the amount of series streaming surpasses expectations. We can all watch them on our phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops at any time and anywhere. Because of this, many managers now allow for some freedom during this time, so their employees can get their yearly March Madness fix. But there are risks to the business to always consider.

Some March Madness 2016 statistics from NCAA to consider:

  • With 18.1 million live hours, the tournament generated more video consumption than any other tournament.
  • The national championship game generated 56 million impressions across March Madness social media accounts, up 112 percent over 2015.
  • Video consumption for social media was also up with 8 million views overall, more than five times the volume of video for last year’s championship game.

Is your business ready?

The first thing that pops into a manager’s mind is increased bandwidth use. It is an important thing to consider for sure since your business has mission-critical functions that have to run for your business to operate efficiently, even during increased Internet use. Making sure you can control and monitor bandwidth use by throttling nonessential traffic if needed, is critical to making the decision to allow streaming during any time, but especially during events like March Madness.

The things that may not immediately come to a manager’s mind may be the increase in malicious links generated during times of special events. In a world with cyber threats, such as ransomware, a business cannot ignore times when this risk increases. March Madness is a time when many keep track of all the games, not just their one team. They follow the process through the whole series and enjoy the competitive nature right down to the Final Four and beyond. They may be more prone to fall for a March Madness ad link for a stat update or phishing e-mail to check the latest game highlights. During the whole series and even before it starts, educating your employees about the increase in cyber threats, such as malicious Web sites and ads, and phishing e-mails, is important. Security solutions that offer features like white/black listing and filtering will allow you to maintain Web-use protection against the human tendency to click without analyzing if the link or e-mail makes sense.

Don’t just lock up employee Web-use. Protect your business and employees from threats, such as bandwidth hogs, malicious Web links, legal liabilities, and even productivity losses. Gain the control and security needed . . . and once again, let the games begin!

About Wavecrest Computing

Trusted for over 20 years, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit https://www.wavecrest.net.

Think defense.

Monday, June 27th, 2016

ransom

Ransomware has the annoying characteristic of sneaking up on you. If you aren’t prepared, you may as well pay the ransom. Why? Because being prepared for loss of data is not at all difficult. First off–think old school . . . BACK UP, BACK UP, and BACK UP! This first very important step is that simple.

Think about what you do on your devices today, professionally or personally. We now live our lives in this digital environment. It is likely your use of technology has increased, even in the past year. This puts all of us at risk. Not just on our desktops either. Wired.com reports “these days ransomware doesn’t just affect desktop machines or laptops; it also targets mobile phones. Last week news broke of a piece of ransomware in the wild masquerading as a porn app. The so-called Porn Droid app targets Android users and allows attackers to lock the phone and change its PIN number while demanding a $500 ransom from victims to regain access.” Not many people could function today without access to their phones. Businesses are becoming more and more friendly to mobile devices as well. All this data floating around just makes it more appealing to hackers.

Where do we go from here? Back . . . back to backing up. Get that portable hard drive back out, dust it off, and use it. Yup . . . I did say that. Back it all up. Of course, for businesses it is more complex (and critical). But that is what cloud storage services are for. My only recommendation when it comes to off-site backups? Use more than one service. This way if anything does happen to your access to one backup, you will still have access to another. Inserting stern warning here: Do not store your passwords on your devices or in your backups unencrypted. If a hacker can access and lock up your systems, then he can find your passwords and have a go at them as well, including access to your backups.

Protect your business. Train your employees about new threats and monitor what is happening. Information is a gold mine–get visibility to see where your employees are going and then make some decisions that can protect your business. Ransomware can hit you through just a link in an e-mail. Make sure you have a solution in place that will help stop access to malicious Web sites.

We need to rethink the way we operate. It is just a shift, and if you just do it now, then you won’t be alarmed when you do get hit. Sadly, chances of a business being victimized by cybercrime are becoming more and more likely. Be prepared. And please, don’t let them win. The Internet has opened up so many opportunities for us and generations to come. Singapore is a perfect example of letting hackers win. They are moving to shut down Internet access for government computers, “from May next year and affect about 100,000 computers in use in the public service in the city-state, local media said.” (Reuters)

Do you think giving up Internet access will solve cybercrime?

We can help you find a better way.

About Wavecrest Computing

Celebrating 20 years in business, Wavecrest Computing, headquartered in historic downtown Melbourne, FL, has provided commercial business and government clients with reliable, accurate Web-use management and Cloud Access Security Broker products since 1996. Managed Service Providers, IT specialists, HR professionals, and business managers trust Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products to manage employee Internet usage — managing cloud services, reducing liability risks, improving productivity, saving bandwidth, and controlling costs. Wavecrest has clients worldwide, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Florida Department of Health, Siemens, Department of Homeland Security, and a growing list of global enterprises and government agencies. We are a proud long-term GSA contract holder. For more information on the company, products, and partners, visit http://www.wavecrest.net.

Into the Madness of March…brackets, bandwidth, malware, and all.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

BracketMarch Madness begins on March 17th this year. We all know that employees check out highlights or even stream a whole game. According to Turner Sports’ Will Funk’s interview with AdWeek,Turner did 70 million live streams on broadband and mobile during March Madness 2014. That is a lot of streaming. With all the streaming and new apps that are out since last year, 2015 will likely set another record.

This year, have the choice to allow your employees some freedom to watch and enjoy! CyBlock Web Security Solutions will help protect your business, blocking sites known for malware and proactively controlling bandwidth consumption, while allowing responsible viewing.

With Wavecrest’s Bandwidth Management in CyBlock, there are numerous ways to be able to control access when you need to. With Real-Time Data Usage Monitoring, you will be able to easily view current data usage for the entire enterprise, detect unexpected spikes that could indicate excessive data use, or just observe the last 5, 10, or 15 minutes of real-time updates.

You can also make sure the critical business operations remain functioning efficiently, even during the games, by using the Bandwidth Throttling features. Be more restrictive as the noncritical usage gets higher by setting one of the automatically triggered, higher-usage policy thresholds to throttle more or even block. E-mail alerts will keep you informed wherever you are. Once a policy is activated, policy-specific traffic is throttled or blocked, allowing business-critical applications (VoIP, CRM, etc.) to continue operating as needed.

Don’t forget about protecting your company from malware. March Madness search results have had a history of being known for malware in past years, and this year will likely be no different. As your employees search for brackets or results, CyBlock blocks traffic to the constantly growing number of sites that generate and/or promote malware. Keep out viruses, Trojan horses, phishing attacks, and more.

March Madness has become a way of life. Decide how your company will handle the traffic and proactively prepare for it by letting CyBlock help protect and secure your business and your employees. Find out more about all the Web Security product lines at Wavecrest Computing.

 

World Cup 2014 is kicking off. Is your network ready?

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

fifa-world-cup-2014-brazil-logoThe 2014 FIFA World Cup games begin today and will run until July 13. Since the broadcast of the last World Cup in 2010, the number of Americans who have watched, attended, or listened to a major soccer match has increased by 32%. If most of your employees start streaming the games or highlights simultaneously, can your Internet bandwidth sustain the demand? 42% of IT professionals state that popular events impact their network. How many simultaneous users watching game highlights does it take to saturate your bandwidth? Just 2 streaming users result in a 1 megabit-per-second download, while 17 users equal a huge 10 megabits per second. The Internet bandwidth is quickly overwhelmed. Given the time difference with Brazil, most of the 64 matches will be played during U.S. office hours, and streaming video could deal a major blow to corporate network and application performance. When the first match of the day kicks off, smartphones, tablets, and laptops will be streaming footage live from offices around the U.S.

In addition to the major spike in bandwidth usage, World Cup 2014 malware sites are out there! According to a recent survey from Osterman research, some kind of malware has infiltrated 74% of organizations via the Web increasing security risks. Another major revenue loss for companies is lost productivity. The World Cup 2014 is 27 days, 66 matches, and a total of 99 hours average wages lost per hour each day.

Wavecrest’s Cyfin and CyBlock products and services help all types of organizations manage and control employee Web activity.Cyfin and CyBlock products do this by monitoring, filtering, and bandwidth throttling employees’ Web use, and reporting on the activity by content categories, e.g., sports, social networking, games, and others. Of particular note, with regard to the World Cup, CyBlock products can be set up to block Web access by categories and by half hour so employees can access sports sites on their lunch break or after hours. This approach can help sustain morale while minimizing lost productivity and bandwidth associated with the World Cup.

CyBlock Web Security Solution is now available in the Cloud

Monday, December 9th, 2013

 Melbourne, FL, Dec. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wavecrest Computing, the makers of CyBlock, have just announced the availability of a Cloud version of CyBlock. Now companies have access to the most popular and solid Web Security solution in the Cloud.

CyBlock Cloud Web Security is an easy-to-implement solution that benefits organizations of all sizes and quickly safeguards your network. Whether you have branch offices, remote users, or just one location, CyBlock Cloud protects your company and its employees allowing you to take advantage of time and money savings. Enforce your company’s AUP by defining one or more Web-use policies to successfully address Internet abuse, legal liability, workforce productivity, and Web security threats.

“We are very excited to be extending our product line into the Cloud market. Now, new and existing customers who are considering a cloud solution have one less worry. Starting today they can access an industry tested and proven solution with a successful 13 year track record. CyBlock Cloud is a perfect addition to Wavecrest’s line of industry leading Web Security Solutions.” CEO – Dennis McCabe

Wavecrest Computing has been the recognized leader in Web-access security and Web-usage forensics solutions for the last 16 years. Our scalable filtering and forensic reporting analysis products are designed to enable organizations to successfully address Internet abuse, legal liability, workforce productivity, and Web security threats. Wavecrest Computing’s client list includes well-known corporations such as Edward Jones, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Blue Cross Blue Shield, MillerCoors, Rolex, Siemens, and others.

Link to Press Release.

Analyze Your Encrypted Traffic With CyBlock SSL Inspection

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

In huge numbers, more and more organizations, particularly e-businesses, are using Web-enabled applications that involve the use of personal, private, and sensitive data. Banking, online shopping, and credit card transactions are good examples, but by no means the only ones. SSL encryption is being increasingly used to protect the confidentiality of this business and personal data on the Web. Surveys show 25%-35% of enterprise traffic is SSL-encrypted, and the number can be as high as 70% in specific industries. SSL encryption is the most cost-effective way of protecting the privacy of this traffic.

While SSL encryption solves many privacy-protection problems, it can allow traffic that poses security threats–both inbound and outbound–to pass through security protection measures uninspected and unchecked.

Inbound Problem.  SSL encryption creates security blind spots in incoming traffic. The traditional security infrastructure that protects an organization is blind to the threats in inbound SSL traffic and provides an easy vehicle for criminals and hackers to hide their cyber attacks.

Outbound Problem.  In addition to the risks of incoming threats hiding over SSL channels bypassing security protections, outbound enterprise traffic is now a growing problem. This is becoming quite a “hot button” for security applications (e.g., content filtering applications) that tackle data loss prevention (DLP), compliance reporting, and lawful intercept. In the past these solutions could see what was outgoing, but now they are suddenly “in the dark” when it comes to the data transferred over SSL.

From a security standpoint, most organizations already deploy an array of network and security appliances and programs to protect their enterprise, enforce internal corporate acceptable use policies, and satisfy external government regulation. Unfortunately, in many instances, they can only inspect plaintext traffic and are unable to inspect HTTPS communications for attack signatures. This makes it difficult or impossible for network administrators to enforce corporate acceptable use policies or ensure threats, such as viruses, spam, and malware, are stopped before they reach individual users.

In addition, without the ability to examine the contents of HTTPS communications, network administrators leave open the possibility for information to be accidentally leaked out of the enterprise or worse, stolen. Regulatory compliance requirements, including identifying accidental or intentional leakage of confidential information, are also virtually impossible to meet because of HTTPS encryption.

CyBlock SSL Inspection gives network administrators the ability to monitor this SSL-encrypted traffic and to identify and respond to any undesirable content. The total HTTPS inspection process decrypts, analyzes, categorizes, and then re-encrypts the traffic. If necessary, specific standard and/or custom URL categories can be exempted from the inspection process; this is known as “tunneling.” In addition, full URL information in a number of Wavecrest audit reports is available to network administrators.

To learn more about how CyBlock SSL Inspection can protect your sensitive data, please see our SSL Inspection Tech Brief or contact Technical Support at (321) 953-5351, Ext. 4 or support@wavecrest.net.

Source:  Examining SSL-Encrypted Communications – Netronome