The most exciting part of my job occurs when I have the opportunity to visit with a new client organization and help its leaders assess their security infrastructure and remediate any vulnerabilities. I enjoy being able to examine the current state of their cybersecurity programs and help them redesign elements to better address the modern threat environment.
Recently, I had the opportunity to engage in this type of work with one of CDW’s customers — the government of a midsized county. As we worked through the assessment, we identified two core issues that required immediate attention. First, the county’s network firewall platform was quite outdated, running technology that was over a decade old. The devices still functioned, but they were designed to protect against the threats of 10 years ago, not today’s advanced persistent threats. Our first core recommendation was that the county replace this aging firewall infrastructure with a modern next-generation firewall (NGFW) designed to stymie today’s attackers.
We also realized that the core of the county’s network lacked essential security controls. If someone gained physical access to the building and connected any device to the network, the attacker would have open access to all types of resources. There was no internal access control restricting the devices that could connect to the network and limiting the authorization of those devices based on the identity of the user. The county urgently needed a network access control (NAC) solution to address these risks and protect its network.