Consumerization of IT gives information security personnel headaches

In order to address the challenges, companies need to have an understanding of what devices are connected to the network and enforce an enterprise-wide security policy for those devices, explained Scott Gordon, vice president of worldwide marketing at ForeScout.

“Companies have made investment in security, such as anti-virus software, but they can’t in real time get an assessment of whether the security investments at the end points are active or have a conflict”, Gordon told Infosecurity.

Also third parties, such as guest and contractors, bring devices into the corporate environment. “How can we enforce a policy for the integrity of that endpoint and for what resources folks can access?”, he asked.

“It is very difficult to have broad security coverage and be able to manage violations in a way that is not disruptive for the end users and in a way that is cost effective for IT security departments with limited personnel”, Gordon noted.

Employees, guests, and contractors want to use their personal devices to get better connectivity and more convenient applications. “Once these devices get on the network, they might not have the same security provisions as traditional systems”, he noted.

A key issue is getting visibility of all those devices on the network and enforcing an acceptable use policy on them.

The ForeScout CounterACT product enables companies to have a more uniform approach to apply security controls, Gordon said. It provides an integrated solution for network access control, mobile security and endpoint compliance that overcomes the complexity, administrative burden and constraints of network infrastructure and endpoint protection approaches, he explained.

“If you were attempting to control all of these devices with a traditional security infrastructure, you have different switches, different access points, different firewalls, you have basically different levels of security defenses, each of which may be managed by different people and have different means to enforce policy”, Gordon continued. “It gets very unwieldy and cumbersome to try and manage these components and different team members”, he added.

One of ForeScout’s clients is Daktronics, which designs, manufactures, and installs digital billboards, scoreboards, and large-format LED displays. Its network spans several countries, 26 remote offices, and over 7,500 endpoints.

Daktronics wanted to get visibility and control over that network and all those endpoints. “What impressed me [about ForeScout CounterACT] was the visibility it gave you into the network….You basically see everything on your network in a short time”, said Philip Egeberg, IT security manager at Daktronics.

“If you don’t know what is on your network, how are you going to protect against it. And that is the reason we went with the ForeScout….It gives you that visibility”, Egeberg said in an interview with Infosecurity.

“One of the nice thing about the product is that it is behavior based. So if somebody starts to do a port sweep or a port scan, ForeScout will identify that malicious behavior…and block it from the network”, he explained.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?