Part 2: The Changing Face of Malicious Attacks
In my first post on Cradlepoint’s new Internet security solution, “Cradlepoint Partners with Zscaler to Defeat Emerging Security Threats” I talked about what makes branch offices so vulnerable to malicious intrusions. In this post I’m going to talk about the specific threats these offices face, and why Cradlepoint has joined with Zscaler to defeat these threats.
In the not-too-distant past, IT departments focused on email viruses and malware attachments as the major security threats. Today, the bad guys have clearly gone beyond that. One set of Zscaler statistics gives a glimpse of where threats are starting to come from:
In just one month (November, 2014) Zscaler processed over a billion web transactions for one of its enterprise clients with hundreds of branch locations.
Out of that billion web transactions, Zscaler stopped 5 million web-based threats—66% of which came from malicious content.
In that one month, the client’s staff committed 65 million policy violations; surfing gambling sites, adult content, and similar sites prone to containing malicious content.
Hackers know that most corporations have finally implemented robust anti-virus tools so they’ve turned to web-based attacks to deposit malicious content.
Beyond Malicious Web Content
In addition to malicious Web content, we’re seeing botnet calls, cookie stealing, and browser exploits perpetrated on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones – especially with the proliferation of BYOD.
To further complicate network security at the edge, a branch office employee or guest can pick up malware or botnets from locations outside of the branch office or store location, such as at coffee shops or in airports, and bring them back to the branch environment. Zscaler’s job is to block these attacks no matter where they come from.
“The philosophy of security architecture is changing right now,” says Cradlepoint Chief Security Officer Kent Woodruff. “Security used to be managed at a single source—the data center, but with the new realities of mobility, BYOD, and guest WiFi, modern network flexibility has driven security management out to the network’s edge where it’s most vulnerable to threats. Zscaler helps us create that secure environment at the branch office level.”
Zscaler Leads Gartner’s Magic Quadrant
Given this state of affairs; Cradlepoint chose to work with Zscaler due to their leadership among secure Web gateway providers in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Zscaler is also the leader in innovation, and the leader in terms of market share for Cloud security.
Zscaler has more than 12 million users worldwide, now spread across 7,600 organizations. Their proxies run peak traffic in the range of 50 Gbps per second, over hundreds of redundant, highly secure data centers. From a security perspective, Zscaler is doing more than 100,000 security updates per day in real time. Its lists and signatures are always up-to-date, drawing on data from its user network and from the industry’s best malware feeds.
IT Can No Longer Sip From the Fire Hose
With security updates coming in at the rate of 100,000 security updates a day, keeping up with Web security simply can no longer be done on the appliance level anymore. Many of our competitors that are trying to do URL-based filtering or reputation-based listing on their box. It just can’t be done. Every day, Zscaler handles 70 million threats, including 2 million mobile threats. That’s pretty impressive and makes us feel confident that we’re working with the top provider who’s developed an incredible system to handle the scale and the nature of the most dangerous attacks on distributed enterprises.
My next post will lift the hood on Zscaler and show you how its solution protects network security at the branch office level.