Monthly Archives: September 2015

Twin Networks Sponsoring Amazon’s AWS re:Invent
Sep 30

Twin Networks Sponsoring Amazon’s AWS re:Invent

By Twin Networks Staff | News

ust 4 weeks after returning from Las Vegas for Dell Security Peak Performance, we’re getting right back to The Entertainment Capital of the World to not only attend, but sponsor Amazon Web Services big event: AWS re:Invent. From October 6-9th, we’ll be exhibiting as well at Booth #262, so if you’re there, stop by for some tech goodies, delicious Connecticut roasted coffee beans, and a bit of tech talk. You should also Follow Us On Twitter, to see what the team is saying during the event.

Why we’re sponsoring:

  1. Amazon Web Services is the leader in cloud-computing platforms, with large enterprise clients trusting them to replace their previously enormous in-house server setup.
  2. Cloud is still a bit of a mystery for many clients – they are interested yet apprehensive. We’ve been on board for years, so we’re interested to see how Amazon is converting on such a large scale.
  3. It’s a product we truly believe in. Cloud is absolutely the future of technology, and we are not afraid of being replaced by robots. We love our field because it is always changing, evolving, and we rest assured that we have career longevity.

We’re sure to come back with brand new solutions for our enterprise and small business clients who are eager to learn about, and start making the move to the cloud.

Why we believe in the cloud:

  1. Lowers your total cost of ownership (TCO) by 64% (IDC Research)
  2. Lowers your costs and complexity
  3. Makes your business more easily scalable
  4. Gets you out of the business of running data centers
  5. ROI on cloud is 560% over 5 years (IDC Research)

We plan to add to that list tenfold after our time with the best of the best at Amazon.

Why you should call us for your cloud migration and integration:

  1. Just like Amazon’s Trusted Advisor service, our team is your trusted advisor for all things IT. We’ll be there to help with the tough decisions that impact your businesses bottom line, and we’ll stand by those decisions because we know that your business will benefit.
  2. We eat, breath, and dream about the cloud. We have been integrating large-scale and small-scale cloud solutions for years, and all the while we’ve been hungry to learn more and expand the uses of cloud technology. Cloud is  the future and to us it’s a no-brainer.
  3. We truly believe in the product. We won’t sell it to you because it’s the next best thing, but because it’s the right solution. And if it’s not, we’ll come up with a solution that works for your business, because we believe in your business.

Call today > 

managed IT services
Sep 18

What’s in a Firewall?

By Twin Networks Staff | News

We at Twin Networks understand heartily that the customer comes first. Equipment and vendors cannot be used for name alone, even if they are the best in the market. Ultimately, the best system is the system that works best for the client. Dell understands that as well, as a business partner. Focusing on your concerns, the best decision can be made to bring the best IT network solutions: security, latency, bandwidth, and throughput.

That means that architecting a comprehensive network infrastructure, all of the factors need to be weighed to come up with the custom solution fitting a customer’s needs. Security might not be their number one concern, but as the IT professional, it’s our job to make it top of the list. That said, maybe the customer’s first concern is throughput and productivity. Faster is better in their minds. It’s up to us to make sure that everything else can fall into place, using the best vendors for the job, and giving the customer their business solution that fits.

With all of this talk of threats, risk, hack, and the need for security, we’re trying to bring the focus back on SOLUTIONS over problems. Dell Security Peak Performance centered on their security systems, hardware and software, and namely – their robust and newly upgraded SonicWall series of firewalls. We’re convinced that they’ve got security on lock, but what about the rest of the equation?

From everything we’ve heard and seen – the new SonicWall TZs are the real deal. Dell has told us that they are so confident in this hardware that they encourage you to put at TZ behind your current firewall and let it catch files, viruses, and threats that your current systems are letting pass through. For example, many competitor firewalls have a flaw whereby files larger than a certain size get passed through without full inspection, so as not to slow down bandwidth. That’s unacceptable. Dell’s promised a solution to that, encryption and decryption that does not produce latency or loss of bandwidth.

Dell’s viewpoint is that IT starts with security and all other components fall into place following your security solution. Alternatively, another competitor like Aruba might say that wireless is everything – and security and other factors come after your wireless solution is put into place. The benefit of the SonicWall, one of the most robust and well-performing firewalls on the market today, is that it is backed by an integrated system. Dell’s advantage is that they also offer the 802.11ac package, working seamlessly with the SonicWall TZs, which many firewall vendors cannot say. That’s a definite advantage, and that’s the first step towards a solution, but certainly not the last piece of the puzzle.

managed security services
Sep 14

Can Computer Hacking Be Ethical?

By Twin Networks Staff | News

Dell Security Peak Performance introduced us to a new concept – ethical hacking. We met dozens of “security ninjas” holding the title of certified ethical hackers. These developers are hackers who have made a career of “hacking for the good guys,” or hacking with the intent to find vulnerabilities for other developers to patch before unethical hackers get the chance.

Rob Krug, Senior Systems Engineer at Dell, and Certified Ethical Hacker told us of the times when he’d sit in a Starbucks in full view of all patrons, wearing a T-shirt with the bold word “Hacker,” and no one paid him any mind. Armed with a WiFi “Pineapple” – a small, portable server, he created a duplication of the open coffee shop network. When victims connected, he directed them to fake versions of popular sites like Bank of America hoping to catch someone entering valuable information so he could say to them, “what if I had been a bad guy?” Let’s hope that people get the idea to quit using open networks to share our most private information.

“The World’s Most Famous Hacker” Kevin Mitnick gave a chilling presentation as well about just how easy it is for your personal information to be stolen. Using an inconspicuous piece of equipment, he was able to capture a credit card’s information simply by having it nearby. Hear him on Colbert explaining his past in “phone freaking” and how’s that lead to an ethical present.

He’s made a career of hacking, first, as a criminal, and now after 5 years in prison he’s still up to the same tricks. He used to do it “just for the challenge,” and today he’s still seeking that thrill. The difference now is transparency and who’s asking him to hack. Fortune 500 corporations like Dell want him to find their vulnerabilities FIRST.

The thing is that a corporation’s #1 vulnerability is HUMANS, and that will never change. Kevin spoke at great lengths about “social engineering” as hacking. Without a doubt the most unethical way to mine information, it’s the old-fashioned deception and con. Hackers can call a corporation, a bank, or any system and find a person with an innate desire to be helpful. By sharing the wrong piece of information and perhaps believing the caller when they say they “work in HR,” or some other measure to sound like they are privileged, the one answering the phone has threatened an organizations entire system. As SecuriTay on Twitter says: “Networks are hard, people are soft.” https://twitter.com/swiftonsecurity/status/467122491811307520

The only way to avoid the breech of humans is through training and education. Mitnick suggesting the website KnowBe4.com, and of course having an airtight firewall system. He also suggests a “Social Engineering Incident Response Program” so that an incident can be dealt with, and risk is mitigated. Your employees need to know that every piece of information they give out, if found in the wrong hands, has the potential to breech a much larger system. It’s scary, and yes it should inform how you trust unknown emails and calls, and how customer service is handled.

So, as much as security is about robots speaking to robots, it can be ethical or unethical. Hacking for the good guys is sometimes the only way to know your systems are secure, and understanding that humans are innately involved throughout the process means understanding that human error is inevitable. Humans may be soft, but we can all adapt, learn, and prevent risk just the same with the right tools.

security as a service
Sep 10

Threats, Attacks, and Hacks – If You’re not Up-To-Date, You’re at Risk

By Twin Networks Staff | News

Are you up to date with the latest security hacks and scams? If you haven’t heard of them, you’re at risk for falling for them. New threats appear almost daily, so it’s up to professionals like us to identify risks and prevent security breeches, large and small.

Curtis Hutcheson, VP and General Manager of Dell Security Solutions gave us the current list of scams out there today while at Dell Peak Performance:

Spear phishing–

A more targeted phishing attempt, this comes through email looking just like the brands you know, trust, and interact with daily.

BOTnets–

Hackers take control of your computer, turning your machine into a sort of “zombie” while you unsuspectingly transmit information back to their computers.

DDoS–

DoS, or Denial of Service Attacks render machines incapable of accessing their intended network resources, often with the intent to blackmail. DDos – Distributed Denial of Service means the hacker has launched this attack on a number of unique computers.

Zero Day threats–

Zero day attacks exploit flaws in well-distributed software that go undetected in users and cause major breeches, thus giving developers zero days to fix them. Attackers are the first to recognize the vulnerability, before the developer or the public.

Insider threats & Former employees–

While hackers and securities are getting smarter, the threat of human error and human emotion are stronger than ever. Disgruntled current or former employees, or even employees that just don’t know any better than to click unknown links can be one of the largest threats to your network because they are already granted access to it.

Hackers have a keen sense of vulnerability, either in software, hardware, or human beings. Curtis Hutcheson exclaimed that they are determined to exploit disconnected security, wherever your system is not airtight – you have a vulnerability that could bring you down.

To add to all of this, Dell told us that the FTC, Federal Trade Commission, is now taking legal action against companies that do not secure their data. With that in mind, prevention is the name of the game. Constant security reassessments and updates with top of the line technologies are in the best interest of your company. Take charge of your security and understand that in many cases it’s not if but when.

Just when you thought it’s time to give all technology up and go off the grid, don’t fear and call us instead.

SD-WAN solutions
Sep 09

What We’ve Learned from Dell: Security is #1, Risk is Everywhere

By Twin Networks Staff | News

We’ve just returned from Dell Security Peak Performance in Las Vegas, Nevada! Dell put on quite a show, and we’ve come home with company news, industry know-how, and product technical specs to share with you.

Marvin Blough shared with us that since the last Peak Performance, Dell’s partners have enjoyed an average YOY increase of 40%. That’s absolutely astounding. Just today, Dell also placed favorably in the Gartner Magic Quadrant report. All in all, it’s a great time to be talking to Dell as a business strategy partner and as a software and hardware partner. As expected, their new Dell SonicWall TZ Series was prominently displayed and quite literally torn apart. We’re convinced – this firewall has a lot going for it.

Dell definitely delivered. In just two and a half days of sessions, we heard from top VPs at Dell, Marvin Blough, Tim Brown, Patrick Sweeny, and Curtis Hutcheson, among others. We also heard a talk that blew us away from “The World’s Most Famous Hacker” Kevin Mitnick where he hacked credit cards and a skeptical (but willing) participant’s most valuable personal information. Finally, we heard a moving and motivational presentation from US Navy Seal Commander Mark McGinnis.

The presentations made us think about the bigger picture. More than just choosing vendors and hardware specifications (which there was plenty of), Dell reinvigorated our love for IT. Not to mention, they strengthened our healthy respect for security with several examples of just how easy it can be to get hacked. Luckily, these hacking professionals were certified – “Ethical Hackers” employed and given permission to hack in order to determine vulnerabilities before the “bad guys” got there first.