Three steps to get ahead of a data breach

Data BreachData breaches have basically become daily news. It is not an overstatement. With the recent Equifax breach, it’s also accurate to say that data breaches have the potential to affect almost every person in the country, and beyond.

Keeping your company safe from data breaches probably keeps your chief information security officer (CISO), and everyone in IT, up at night. Getting hacked and having your data breached doesn’t just result in bad publicity, it means lost customer confidence, compromised data (of course) and potentially lost business.

To add to the stress levels, the potential for data breaches is only growing. As more corporate users become mobile, more and different devices are connecting to your network. A less discussed corollary to this is that, with mobile users, your corporate devices are connecting to the Internet through more networks — coffee houses, clients, etc. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2021, fully 25 percent of a company’s data traffic will bypass the network perimeter altogether.

It’s a scary thought, and really brings home the fact that perimeter security, while important, just can’t fully protect your organization anymore. With this in mind, we wanted to highlight a particularly interesting solution from our partner, Cisco. Delivered via the cloud, and completely open, Cisco Umbrella serves as a first line of defense against data breaches — beyond perimeter security. Here are three ways Umbrella can help your organization navigate the potential pitfalls of your mobile user base, and maybe get your CISO a couple extra hours of sleep at night.

Complete visibility

With users scattered everywhere, and logging onto the internet from places you can only dream of, visibility into those connections is your first line of defense. Umbrella gives you complete, instant access to all the internet activity of your user base, no matter what device they’re using or where they’re logging in from.

Umbrella learns from the patterns of your users’ internet activity to uncover threats like malicious infrastructure designed for attacks and blocks requests to potential attackers’ sites before a connection to your endpoints can even be established.

OpenDNS-level protection

We all know that OpenDNS links IP addresses to domain names. This makes it a potentially valuable tool for network security, one that Umbrella uses in many ways. When an OpenDNS request comes to Umbrella it determines whether it’s safe, malicious or risky. Malicious requests are automatically blocked, safe requests are routed to their destination.

It’s risky requests — those from domains that have legitimate and malicious content — where Umbrella shines, however. Umbrella routes those risky requests to its cloud-based proxy, where it is analyzed thoroughly, using Cisco Talos web reputation and other third-party tools. Each risky request is then blocked or routed, all in less than the blink of an eye.

Preemptive attack protection

Stopping attacks before they happen, before your users even know about them, is the ultimate goal, right? Umbrella works towards this goal with its global network, the very network its recursive DNS service we talked about above is built on. Every day it resolves literally billions of requests, made by literally millions of users. This provides a wealth of valuable data that can be used to suss out patterns and discover attackers’ infrastructure.

Of course, if this analysis isn’t real-time, then you lose ground to hackers, so Umbrella has security researchers constantly analyzing the data stream, while Cisco Talos intelligence is doing the same — a powerful combination of human learning and machine learning.

Check out our Cisco partner page to learn more about how we can help with your business continuity needs, beyond your endpoints, no matter where your users log on.


To see how Umbrella can help you, contact us.


Drew Woods
Senior Marketing Communications Manager
Key Information Systems