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Don’t Gamble With Your Network Configuration

Gregory Tompkins| August 08 2016

| monitoring

gamble-with-your-network-configuration.jpgThe house always wins when it has locked every door into its network.

Protecting a network against unauthorized access is constant struggle for IT teams. There’s a lot to focus on at once. An attack can be as easily instigated by a malicious insider as a well-meaning employee who gets phished.

Don't gamble network configurationAccording to an April 2016 report entitled “IBM X-Force 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index,” 60% of all cyber attacks carried out last year were an inside job. Three out of four inside jobs were instigated by malicious insiders and the rest attributed to inadvertent actors (aka well-meaning employees).

Malicious insiders often seek to steal credit card data stored on networks. As a result, IT teams across many industries spend lot of their time trying to keep it out of the wrong hands.

You know who has a lot of credit card data on hand? Casinos. Customers mostly use player cards to gamble and these modern-day versions of the poker chip are connected to a database where associated credit card data is stored.

Anyone Remember to Lock the Back Door?

If you’ve ever been to a casino, tight security is not hard to miss. It’s not unlike your local bank. Staff are trained to keep a watchful eye on pretty much everything. Security cameras are poised at nearly every angle to catch what might pass by the attention of an employee. One big difference between a casino and your local bank – there are hundreds if not thousands of customers roaming about at any given time.

In other words, managing a casino is nothing short of a major physical and network security challenge.

Casinos spend millions just to make sure no one is cheating at blackjack and other gambling tables. Yet for a lack of a low cost network monitoring solution, a malicious insider can get into the back door easier than he can order a watered-down cocktail.

Think about it this way. You can lock your house up tight as a drum. But all that goes for naught if someone leaves the back door unlocked by mistake.

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The House Always Wins

My solutions engineering team recently assisted a U.S.-based casino with their installation of WhatsUp Gold network monitoring software. The casino had outsourced network management to a third-party consultant. We got authorization to contact this consultant in order to obtain credentials for the casino’s core router.

The consultant told us he would call us back in two hours. Two hours passed. We waited a bit longer. Still, no call back.

Our concern grew quickly, especially knowing that this consultant had access to the casino’s network, and pretty much all of its assets.

Our solutions engineer took a look at the network and saw that the consultant had configured a back door through the casino’s firewall and core router, exposing sensitive data assets.

We worked with the casino’s IT team to quickly activate WhatsUp Gold configuration management to ensure the network remained properly configured and keep the back door locked.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-3-33-45-pm Watch this short video to see how you can automate network configuration and change management.

The casino’s IT team now archives every network configuration that complies with their internal security policies. They then schedule regular audits to ensure that every compliant network configuration has not be altered.

When WhatsUp Gold network configuration management detects an anomaly, it issues an alert. It then generates a report comparing every running network configuration against every archived network configuration to isolate the specific change. If that change was not authorized, quick action can be taken to protect the keys to the kingdom.

Wherever the broken link in the security chain might be, you’ve got to secure and control your network configurations because, at the end of the day, no one wants to gamble with their data.

Fortunately, the house wins when it has locked every door into its network.

Why IT Teams Use Network Configuration Management

A network configuration management tool reduces the time and costs associated with manual and repetitive configuration and change management tasks. It helps secure a network while complying with a whole host of regulatory compliance standards. For IT teams, network configuration management provides the ability to do the following:

  • Automate configuration and change management for network routers, switches and firewalls
  • Archive and audit network configurations
  • Alert and report on any configuration changes
  • Ensure that all devices are running authorized configurations, to secure the network and comply with regulatory standards

See firsthand if WhatsUp Gold can free up time for your IT team with a free 30-day trial.

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THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY Gregory Tompkins

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