Two highly publicized security bugs shook up the computing world in 2014. Concern among businesses was understandable.
Heartbleed was widely detected in April and Shellshock in September. Anyone who uses the Internet could have exposed passwords and other private information to cyberthieves controlling the bugs.
The technical experts at SDN Communications in Sioux Falls were among those who quickly and effectively responded to the threats and helped make sure that clients’ systems were protected.
“We didn’t really have to scramble. We have the resources and information to counter threats,” says Adam Tischler, a managed services engineer at SDN who specializes in firewalls. “It’s what we do.”
Company data indicates that during the month of October, SDN blocked 2,225 attempted Shellshock intrusions and 48 attempted Heartbleed intrusions.
In addition, SDN blocked 391 viruses and stopped 1.5 million entries to malicious sites.
Heartbleed and Shellshock might have challenged the performance of SDN equipment and the ability of the company’s staff to respond quickly and calmly, but they passed the tests.
“They’re both good examples of how we reacted to a vulnerability and how we protected customers,” Tischler says.
SDN teams with Fortinet Inc., a prominent supplier of network security products, to offer FortiGate threat-detection and intrusion-prevention equipment.
Fortinet, a California-based company, is an acknowledged national leader in unified threat management in its ability to execute and in the completeness of its vision. The “Gartner Magic Quadrant” for 2014, a market research report published by Gartner Inc., ranks Fortinet as the top in both categories.
“Vendors in this quadrant lead the market in offering new safeguarding features, and in enabling customers to deploy them inexpensively without significantly affecting the end-user experience or increasing staffing burdens,” according to Gartner, an IT research and advisory company.
Responding to attacks
Typically, within a day of the detection of a new, serious threat, electronic signatures are available to block attacks.
SDN essentially took a two-step approach in reacting to Heartbleed and Shellshock:
- SDN had to make sure that its hardware was not vulnerable to attack.
- Then the company had to make sure its customers were protected.
“Just like Fortinet was good in communicating with us, we communicate with our customers,” Tischler says.
To complement Fortinent products, SDN offers round-the-clock firewall management and monitoring services.
SDN Managed Firewall clients pay a monthly subscription fee, based on the level of service they want. In exchange, SDN provides the necessary hardware at no upfront cost and replaces or updates the equipment as needed.
The service allows clients to take advantage of the expertise of SDN staffers as well as state-of-the-art equipment.
One of the key benefits of Managed Firewall Service is that clients’ electronic configurations are backed up daily so that the information can be restored, if necessary, Tischler says. In addition, firewall traffic is logged and available for review by the customer, and SDN keeps replacement parts on hand for quick installation.
SDN Managed Router Service can similarly reduce capital costs and equipment hassles for clients. With SDN taking care of equipment upkeep, clients can focus more of their attention on operating their core business operations. They don’t have to spend much time worrying about the next cyberthreat.
Managed hardware services are a particularly attractive option for small and midsize businesses that might not have a well-trained IT staff of their own. SDN has six Fortinet Certified Network Administrators on its staff. Four of them also are Fortinet Certified Network Professionals.
With cyberattacks increasing in frequency and severity, protection of electronic data has become more important.
In addition to providing broadband connectivity to businesses, SDN offers a variety of communications products and services to transport, store and protect electronic information. The company’s experienced and well-trained staff can help organizations make sure that they have updated equipment and adequate network protections in place.
Businesses and institutions interested in a consultation should contact an account executive or technical support staffer at SDN. For more information, call 800-247-1442 or use the contact form on the SDN Communications website.
SDN's Adam Tischler was also recently featured in a Cybersecurity report by KSFY News. Watch the video below