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Network Security

With today's explosive growth in the use of computer networks, web-based applications, the Internet, intranets, extranets and other computer related applications, hacking is becoming commonplace. High levels of reliability, availability and security are being demanded in order to meet business objectives. Network security is the first step to providing secure and reliable networks.

The cornerstone of an organisation's network security is a firewall. This is a device which sits on the perimeter of a network protecting the internal resources of the network from outside attacks and regulating what traffic flows in and out of the network. However security does not stop at just firewalls since many threats also come from within an organisation. We will evaluate the risk to your network and propose the best policy to detect and prevent security breaches. This may involve an intrusion prevention solution or other similar measures. PlanNet21 support a range of security products from Cisco Systems, including Firewalls, Intrusion Prevention, Network Access Control, Encryption, Authentication and many others.

Protecting Resources

The data and resources of an organisation are constantly under pressure from attack and misuse. We will examine the threats to the organisational resources and propose a solution to prevent these threats. The choice of a good anti-virus solution is the first step. Since viruses are mostly spread by email, we recommend a solution whereby email is scanned for viruses before it enters or leaves the organisation. Confidential material needs to be protected for industrial espionage and accidental disclosure. Email encryption is one method of ensuring that confidential documentation remains confidential. Cisco Ironport email security appliances provide all the above email security features.

Poor productivity due to staff surfing the Internet is a sticky problem for many companies. Solving this problem means implementing a system where staff cannot access web sites that are not directly related to work. This involves placing a URL filtering device between the corporate LAN and the Internet. By implementing a solution to protect resources, organisations can prevent catastrophic network outrages, save money on lost productivity and prevent legal challenges due to misconduct of employees. PlanNet21 recommend Cisco Ironport web security appliances for URL filtering requirements.

Secure Remote Access

Being able to work away from the office is one of the great benefits of the Internet revolution. The challenge is to allow access to resources for staff, without compromising the network security of the organisation. Examples of how Secure Remote Access can benefit an organisation are; sales people accessing information and uploading orders while travelling, employees working from home, branch offices accessing data and resources located in a central office and partner companies sharing information. Secure Remote Access is implemented by utilising the VPN features of a firewall. A secure encrypted tunnel is created between the firewall and a specific endpoint. This endpoint can be another firewall, a router, or a laptop running the VPN client. Significant cost saving can also be achieved by utilising a VPN. Encrypted tunnels through the Internet can be used as a substitute for expensive leased lines. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) provide both IPSEC and SSL VPN features.

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