Most IT experts know that the easiest way to access confidential data is not by breaking into a LAN or figuring out flaws of a multitier system, but rather to hack into a mobile device. Hackers know this quite well, and today, it's hotels and conference halls that are the sweetest spots for hacking.
VARs interested in offering this remote security service will find that many network access control (NAC) solutions cannot function outside corporate LANs, so mobile users are left vulnerable. Moreover, VARs will find it challenging to enter this business because large infrastructures are required to provide remote security services.
The MSP security model is, therefore, the way to go—and Blue Bell, Pa.-based Fiberlink Communications Corp. offers the right combination of a hosted model and a NAC solution for mobile devices. To help VARs ease into its security plan, Fiberlink's MSP program provides a margin of 15 percent of the overall total contracted value of its Extend360 hosted solution. Fiberlink also has an elaborate deal registration process that eliminates competition between its direct sales team and channel team.
Know Your Hosts
For more than a decade, Fiberlink has been working on mobile solutions, and even coined the phrase "mobile blind spot"—the inability of IT departments to pass on threat updates and policies to mobile users out in the field. Sadly, the current method that most small and midsize companies use works this way, and notebooks that are not connected to LANs in some way cannot be protected from new malware threats. The longer the notebooks stay disconnected from LANs, the harder it is for administrators to clean up any messes created by malware.
Extend360 relies on best-of-breed anti-malware providers to assess vulnerabilities. In addition, the Extend360 agent is able to enforce security policies that are created by administrators and remediate problems that occur on remote machines.
What's more, the Extend360 agent is designed to enforce conditions that limit access to external USB drives, Wi-Fi connections and other peripherals.
Like most anti-malware, as soon as users turn on a notebook, the Extend360 agent begins monitoring network access. Once an Internet connection is established, the agent looks for signature updates for antivirus packages by connecting back to Fiberlink's MSP networks.
Fiberlink is a strategic partner of IBM Corp.'s Internet Security Systems (ISS) and has incorporated ISS' policy technology into the Extend360 platform. While the ISS technology does not prevent every attack, the Extend360 policy engine does seek out any behavioral changes to the core programs that protect a system.
The agent provides zero-day heuristics monitoring by sensing changes to registry keys or to key areas of operating systems and blocks the nefarious behavior on the spot. The agent also can restrict access to networks, monitor and tear down VPNs, and control application executions. Last, the agent does not require VPN connections to update software, so it can enforce zero-day protection at all times.