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Preventing Zero Day attacks and cyber threats using a layered approach to network security

A Network Security White Paper

In the wake of the recent and highly publicized Java zero-day vulnerability, Systems Engineering is reinforcing the need for a layered approach to network security to prevent and manage a wide variety of cyber threats quickly and efficiently.

“Zero-day vulnerabilities are software vulnerabilities for which there are neither patches nor updates available from the vendor,” said Jim Woolverton, Head of Managed Services for SE. “In many cases the vendor doesn’t know of the vulnerability until it’s been exploited.”

Zero-day exploits are cyber threats that can take advantage of the zero-day vulnerabilities to gain some kind of advantage like elevated privilege, information access or to deny access to resources. In many cases they can pose a network security risk so severe or so widespread that they must be addressed immediately. The recent Java threat was labeled a zero-day exploit because it took advantage of a previously unknown Java vulnerability to install malware without user knowledge or consent.

The Java vulnerability affected hundreds of thousands of users running Java 7 on their computers. As part of this zero-day exploit, Java 7 users were enticed to visit a malicious website, which installed malware. Once installed, the malware allowed the attackers access into the victims’ computers. Threats like these are highly dangerous for everyday users, small business and larger corporations due to the vulnerability of sensitive and personal information.

To prevent such attacks, SE employs a managed, layered approach to security that focuses on limiting exposure to threats, blocking malware and viruses, and containing security breaches quickly and efficiently.

The first layer of security is an acceptable use policy, which controls browsing habits to limit risk exposure. The perimeter security layer involves firewalls, outbound filtering, botnet filtering, automatic updates and intrusion prevention services (IPS). The LAN (local area network) security layer provides web content filtering, spam, virus and email filtering, operating system and application patching. SE EventWatch®, a specialized service designed to monitor repeat threats, contains cyber threats and alerts the SE security team to take action against persistent threats.

All together, these layers of security provide complete protection that has reduced the number of security breaches dramatically among SE customers. For more information about managed security services at Systems Engineering, and how you can better protect your business, contact SE for a network security assessment.


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