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Application Delivery

SCADA Part 3: Mission critical, highly vulnerable, almost un-protectable.

March 23, 2017 — by Daniel Lakier0

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I’m back with another exciting installment on SCADA security. Today I want to cover authentication and System redundancy.

It should be obvious, but authentication takes on an even more important role in securing SCADA environments. If you can’t protect the traffic coming in, you should at least ensure that the traffic is coming from a trusted source. This is one of the most emphasized points in the U.S. governments’ SCADA compliance (we see different countries having similar requirements for the SCADA/PCD environments throughout the world). I’m also glad to say that this is one part of compliance that most customers comply with because it’s easy and there is no business risk. You can send out a token and presto! Two-factor authentication is in place. That’s what the law requires and that’s what most companies that need to comply do. Yes, I was very specific in my wording. They send out one token to each of their component manufacturers set up one shared account for each of their equipment suppliers. In other words, they comply but completely miss the point.

Application DeliverySecurityService Provider

Mobile World Congress – Is It Over Yet?

March 14, 2017 — by Louis Scialabba0

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Four Days. Four days is what is takes for 108,000 technologists to gather in the enchanting city of Barcelona to tell the world what they can expect to experience in the future of mobile communications. Four days is also about the number of days it takes to recover from sleep deprivation, work backlog, and the general buzz that one experiences by being part of the spectacle as grand and electrifying as Mobile World Congress.

The nice part about reflecting on MWC 2017 is that it is very easy to select a handful of themes that permeated throughout all the exhibition halls, keynotes, and hallway chatter. For me, this is the list: IoT, 5G, Virtualization, and Artificial Intelligence.

Application DeliveryHacksSSL

Network Security Does Not Matter When You Invite the Hacker Inside

March 9, 2017 — by Frank Yue0

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We build security solutions to protect our networks from the rest of the internet, but do we do anything to protect the network from our own employees and users?  The first line of protection for your networks is not the firewall or other perimeter security device, it is the education and protection of the people that use the network.  People are concerned about having their apartments or homes broken into so they put locks on the doors, install alarm systems, or put surveillance equipment like security cameras around the property.  They are vigilant about making sure that an unauthorized intruder cannot enter the home easily without detection and alarms being raised.

Application Delivery

Visibility is Key When You Make Apps Go

February 22, 2017 — by Frank Yue0

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The automobiles in the late 19th and early 20th century did not have a complex dashboard displaying a multitude of information like we have today. The industry was very young and the inventors and technologists focused on making sure that these ‘horseless carriages’ went from point A to point B. Builders and consumers did not have the time and capacity to incorporate extensive diagnostics and metrics to understand the state and performance of these vehicles.

As the automobile technologies matured, dashboards were put in place to give people information about how the vehicle was performing. Speedometers tell us how fast we are going. Oil and temperature gauges give us insight into the health of the engine. Air pressure monitors let us know when to add air to our tires. Today, we even have built-in compasses and GPS systems that can pinpoint our location on the planet within a few meters.

Application Delivery

SCADA Part 2: Mission critical, highly vulnerable, almost un-protectable.

February 16, 2017 — by Daniel Lakier0

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Hey folks, I’m back with my second installment on protecting the un-protectable:

Last week we discussed the SCADA environment and some of the unique business and technology challenges we face when trying to secure it both from availability and cyber security hazards. The questions you are all asking yourself now are “how did we get here?” “Why would anyone build anything this insecure?” The answer is so simple … we never anticipated these networks would communicate with the outside world. PCD and SCADA environments were meant to be “closed loop” and therefore air-gapped (If you’re air gapped, you don’t need security, right? Ask Iran about the Natanz nuclear facility). If you think about it, that was a perfectly good assumption. Why would factory machinery ever need to access the internet, or a power plant, or an oil rig… I could go on and on. However, this paradigm changed for two reasons.

Application Delivery

When the Application Stops Flowing, What Next?

February 14, 2017 — by Frank Yue0

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Don’t you hate it when you have a problem, but have no idea what is causing it? The water in my house stopped running recently. I have a well with a pump and a fairly complex system of pipes going through a water filtration and softening system. I had no idea why the water was not flowing, but it was obviously a major issue.

I checked the pipes and they all seemed ok. I cleaned the filter, and verified that the water filtration system was in good order. While I cannot physically inspect the pump because it is dozens of feet down a 4-inch well shaft, I did power-cycle it to ensure that it seemed to be working properly. Ultimately, I had to call a plumber/well specialist who, after inspecting the entire system, determined that my water pressure tank and switch needed to be replaced.

Application Delivery

Use Application Delivery Technologies to Accelerate and Automate the Boring Tasks

February 8, 2017 — by Frank Yue0

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Playing a stringed musical instrument like a guitar means that the different strings need to be regularly adjusted to play the correct note. Guitar players tightened and loosened the strings to tune the guitar. The strings were tuned by ear, which meant that the person tuning the guitar had to know what sound each string had to make with considerable accuracy.

With modern technology, there are tuners that can generate tones so one no longer needs to know exactly what each note sounds like. And, today, there are tuners that will automatically adjust the tension in the string to create the right tone with no human intervention. This is a great benefit for guitar players because they like to play music, and not spend a lot of time and effort tuning their instrument every time they wanted to play.

Application Delivery

SCADA: Mission critical, highly vulnerable, almost un-protectable.

February 7, 2017 — by Daniel Lakier0

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In today’s world when most of us think about IT infrastructure, we think about the traditional environments that have firewalls, switches, routers, standard operating systems and all the associated security. We think of internet applications like Facebook, LinkedIn, eBay, SalesForce and Amazon, etc.

What we don’t think of is the SCADA environment; Networks and systems that are embedded into all our critical infrastructure, transportation systems, power plants, water treatment facilities, all factories, mining, oil production, etc. Most of us just assume these networks are like all other IT environments, that they face the same risks and deal with that risk in the same way. I’m here to tell those of you who think that way, that they don’t and they can’t. There are technical reasons why they can’t and business reasons why they won’t. They are, to some extent, the un-protectable networks.

Application DeliveryVirtualization

Application Virtualization – Seeing the Forest Instead of Trees

February 2, 2017 — by Frank Yue0

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Virtualization of the application environment is on every business’ mind. Terms like hypervisors, virtual machines, and software defined [insert your own popular term here: networks|data centers|storage] are being thrown around the technology industry like hot potatoes. While IT organizations focus on virtualizing specific applications, they often forget to see how this component fits into the overall trend to virtualize the entire IT infrastructure.

Application DeliverySecurity

Web Internet Companies and Carriers are Deciding to Just be Friends

December 22, 2016 — by Mike O'Malley0

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As the Carrier vs. cloud competitor discussion has raged over the past few years, it seems there has been a truce called in the last few months.  Rewind back a few years ago and the Web Internet Companies (WICs) and Carriers were mortal enemies fighting over the same space.  As such, Carriers moved to buy or build their own Cloud data center operations.  Verizon buying Terramark for 1.4B in 2011 being just one such example.