virtual-security-croppedMany TAG Cyber customers are wasting their money. And yes, I hear you laughing—but no, they are not wasting money on our services. Instead, they are wasting money doing technology tasks others could do better. Sometimes this involves running servers. Other times it involves coding apps. But it almost always involves trying to manage – and secure – data networks with insufficient staff, budget, and resources. We see this every day.

One good solution is to find a partner to help. From a security perspective, this means finding someone to cover the day-to-day challenges of maintaining up-to-date network software, implementing patches to network elements, reviewing and optimizing address and routing information, and on and on. This is non-trivial work, but for teams with expertise and tools, it can be routine, especially at ISO Layers 1 through 3.

I spent time last week with New Jersey-based TenFour, and our discussion hit front-and-center on this issue of supporting routine data network operations at the lower layers of the protocol stack. As you likely already know, TenFour provides subscription-based network services and the cyber security implications are excellent for its customers. Specifically, TenFour covers network security, so that its clients can focus on their applications.

“The costs associated with network security are increasing,” explained Bruce Flitcroft, who runs the firm. “And such costs cannot be avoided. If you neglect the basics of software update and security patching, for example, you might save on day-to-day support costs, but you’ll end up spending ten times that amount on response. So, we work hard to help our clients prevent problems at the lower levels of their network infrastructure.”

TenFour’s network security-as-a-service includes the controls required in a modern enterprise. This includes network access controls, network admin, network firewalls, on-premise firewalls, IDS/IPS, DNS security, malware filtering, and VPN. Each protection is embedded into the underlying network infrastructure, thus freeing the enterprise team from labor-intensive support activities.

Modern enterprise security teams recognize that network protections must be constructed on a strong foundation. Even the most security-feature-rich applications can be compromised if they are hosted on an insecure base. Every day, for example, the TAG Cyber team watches as businesses try to install applications onto poorly managed servers on even more poorly-managed networks. This is a familiar recipe for getting your business hacked.

“Our goal is to make sure the network just works,” Flitcroft said. “We fully understand that for most businesses and agencies, their applications and proprietary data are their primary focus areas, especially for cyber security. So, we try to make things easier by tending to the underlying network infrastructure in a world-class, professional manner, so that they don’t have to do this work.”

This idea of partnering with a professional networking shop should resonate with enterprise teams, simply because it is adjacent to the common decision to work with a professional cloud shop for application hosting. As such, I would expect that the TenFour approach will continue to grow in popularity, especially as business and government migrates to virtual, software-defined services.

So, if you are wasting money—and, again, I mean wasting money running a network with no capability to do so, then consider rethinking that approach. TenFour's approach to underlying network operations and security is an attractive option, and one that will allow you to direct your time and funds elsewhere. (Perhaps to buy more TAG Cyber services!) As always, after you reach out to TenFour, please share what you’ve learned.