Apani Urges Enterprises to Put an Isolation Plan in Place to Protect Business Assets
London, April 15, 2008 – Large enterprises across the country are grappling with the challenge of how to utilise the skills that come with outside contractors while limiting exposure to security breaches. It is a well-known fact that corporations today are relying more heavily upon contractors. And while these arrangements provide businesses with a competitive edge there are associated risks that, if not handled properly, can far outweigh the benefits.
In a recent article from InformationWeek (March 3, 2008) for example, 100 technology companies were surveyed and nearly half of all respondents indicated that they rely on offshore outsourcing. With such outsourcing comes the associated risk to data security. How can businesses extract the benefits that third party contractors provide without compromising the security of their corporate data? Is there a cost-effective way to isolate contractors from mission critical data?
Protecting the network goes beyond offshore developers and includes temporary employees and local contractors. Securing corporate assets from these individuals is challenging as they tend to have free reign when they are granted access to the network.
Apani, the preeminent provider of cross-platform server isolation solutions for large enterprises, has identified several key factors that those working with contractors should consider, when looking to efficiently isolate contractors from sensitive corporate data.
Apani believes there is indeed a way to limit the access of contractors and other third party vendors without the need for costly and complex firewalls or virtual LANs (VLANs). Robust perimeter security is efficient for preventing unknown parties from gaining access to the network. However, its value is greatly limited for contractors inside the network - either physically or remotely. How then, does one limit the travel path of the contractor once he or she has been granted access inside the network?
"Protecting the network entails providing appropriate and robust levels of security for all third party individuals accessing the network at some point," stated Ryan Malone, Apani's vice president of marketing. "We have created a software-based solution that secures corporate assets from the inside out to efficiently isolate contractors from sensitive data while enabling them to do the job for which they were engaged."
Apani EpiForce®, the company’s flagship product, is a software-based alternative to using firewalls and VLANs inside the corporate network. EpiForce enables two powerful disciplines – logical security zoning and policy-based encryption of data in motion. A distributed, centrally-managed solution that is transparent to infrastructure, applications and users – EpiForce makes it quicker to deploy and less costly to manage than any hardware-centric solution. The most recent addition to the Apani product family is EpiForce VM, the industry’s only single solution that protects both physical and virtual environments. EpiForce VM provides enterprises with the ability to isolate contractors on a mixed network that consists of not only legacy equipment but also physical and virtual machines.
"In the past, configuring firewalls and VLANS to allow only specific IP addresses was sufficient because desktops were physically tied to an exact location," Malone noted. "However, users now carry laptops in and out of the physical network, and contractors are often located in multiple geographies. This creates challenges for IP-based firewall and VLAN access control."
Apani offers the following recommendations for contractor isolation and urges enterprises to be sure that solutions support the following:
• Transparency to infrastructure and applications - ensure seamless operation with existing infrastructure and eliminating need for costly integration;
• Certificate-based authentication – seek a solution that uses X.509 v3 certificates to ensure operator credentials cannot be spoofed;
• Interoperability with VPN clients – look for a solution that works with the company’s existing VPN infrastructure;
• Centralised management – require a single point of security management, eliminating the need to modify firewall or VLAN policies, access control lists and VPN concentrators;
• IP address independence – enforce security standards regardless of the connection method of the contractor or IP address changes;
• Multiple operating system environment support – secure the entire data centre, including legacy and contemporary platforms as well as virtualised server environments;
• Centralised access logging and reporting – track and report accesses or attempts and allow alert notifications;
• Designed for complex IT environments – ensure support for large, geographically dispersed environments and contractor sites.
EpiForce effectively achieves software-based contractor isolation by isolating servers, endpoints and business critical data into security zones regardless of their platform or physical location. Access to these zones is strictly controlled based on policy, while communications are optionally and selectively encrypted. EpiForce provides the flexibility and efficiency not available with traditional hardware-based network security solutions and proactively mitigates risk, in the event a breach should occur.
Once inside the network, EpiForce is designed to limit a contractor's access to freely roam. Additionally, the contractor has no access to sensitive data and systems. This approach to software-based contractor isolation enables IT decision-makers to impose flexible yet secure access policies for these third parties. With Apani EpiForce, there is no need to reconfigure firewalls, change VLANs and alter access control lists.
“With Apani EpiForce, large corporate enterprises can rest assured that their contractors are accessing only what they should access through the implementation of logical security zones layered within the enterprise and across geographic boundaries,” added Malone.
For more information regarding this issue, Apani has released a white paper entitled, "Efficiently Isolating Contractors from Sensitive Data". To download this whitepaper please visit http://www.apani.com/index.php/Library/Efficiently-Isolating....
Apani® is the preeminent provider of cross-platform server isolation solutions for large enterprises. Apani’s solution isolates and secures the communication between servers and endpoints without regard to operating system or physical location.
Apani EpiForce®, the company’s flagship product, is a software-based alternative to using firewalls and VLANs inside the corporate network. EpiForce enables two powerful disciplines – logical security zoning and policy-based encryption of data in motion. EpiForce is a distributed, centrally-managed solution that is transparent to users, applications and infrastructure – making it quicker to deploy and less costly to manage than hardware-centric solutions. Policy enforced by EpiForce is persistent, which enables protected resources to be relocated without compromising security.
Providing an evolutionary improvement in efficiency, flexibility, manageability and total cost of ownership, Apani technology is used by many leading organizations throughout the world.
Headquartered in Southern California, with a European office in London, UK, Apani was founded in 2003 and is privately held. More information about the company may be found at www.apani.com.
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