Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jul 27

Support Diversity in Tech: Start with Female Veterans

By | Managed Services News

It’s time to rally around women, and the Women’s Veterans Interactive is designed to do just that.

Ridge Innovative's Nancy Ridge

Nancy Ridge

We are living in a liminal time today; at least, that is my hope … a hope that as a nation we will cross this threshold from a place of discrimination, shame and darkness to one of inclusion and unity in diversity. As finally, tragically, our attention and intention has focused on Black Lives Matter, my personal grief keeps turning to the women of color.

To the mothers in particular. I simply cannot imagine what it’s like to be a Black mom. To try and imagine it or relate to it strikes me as a form of arrogance; there is just no way. I’ve been dedicated to helping women and girls over the years; in my work life, in my community, at my church — and of course in my home with my own daughter. Through the nonprofit, the Alliance of Channel Women, I got to meet some extraordinary women.

One in particular is Ginger Miller, CEO of Women Veterans Interactive. She came to an ACW event a few years ago as an honored guest with a number of female veterans. Our purpose was to offer these women the opportunity to experience community with ACW and meet executives from the various telecom and IT companies, with the hope of creating connections that would lead to jobs. It was a successful event.

Women Veterans Interactive's Ginger Miller

Women Veterans Interactive’s Ginger Miller

In speaking with Ginger I’ve learned the organization – like many others – is in transition. They are learning how to transform from an event format for fundraising and networking to a virtual format. (LogMeIn, the provider of SaaS and cloud-based remote connectivity services, signed on to sponsor the event.) In this time of COVID-19, unprecedented unemployment in an uncertain economy is a challenge to distinguish the need associated with these women. Although I can’t relate, I do have observations and statistics I’ve learned over the years.

Women Veterans by the Numbers

First of all, one in three (34%) of our female veterans is a woman of color. In the latest totals from the Joint Economic Committee, about 220,000 women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. About 40% of those active-duty women – or almost 85,000 –  are mothers. Of those, at least 30,000 are single moms. And many of them find themselves homeless and struggling to re-enter civilian life.

Channel Partners and Channel Futures are dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion in the channel and the technology community as a whole. Thus, we are featuring news articles, first-person accounts and strategies around topics of race, diversity and inclusion to spur discussion of these important subjects. Visit our webpage dedicated to the topic.

It’s time we rally around these women and the Women’s Veterans Interactive is designed to do just that. Many organizations, including well-known and honorable veterans’ associations, are competing for donations in this time of need. My plea is to recognize that being a woman, a single mom or primary breadwinner, being Black or Asian or Latino and being a veteran warrants special attention, today more than ever. Not only does our support lift them up, these deserving women — but it also impacts the next generation. If we are to cross this threshold, to make use of this liminal time for good, then we must distinguish the importance of giving them whatever we can.

In the tech community of which I’m a part, we have much to give. We have in-kind donations of the technology itself, platforms — both virtual and social, expertise and managed service support, as well as opportunities for jobs and lasting careers. If you are willing to step up and say, “I support female veterans,” then reach out to Ginger Miller. She is a passionate steward and advocate. May our next steps express our gratitude as well as a small measure of restitution.

Jul 27

Salesforce Officially Releases Service Cloud Voice, Integrated with AWS

By | Managed Services News

Channel partners have a new cloud telephony option to sell.

The cloud sector is once again bustling with activity after a second quarter slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This roundup showcases three announcements – most notably, Salesforce’s Service Cloud Voice – that partners may have missed from big names.

Salesforce Launches Service Cloud Voice

Salesforce channel partners now may sell Service Cloud Voice, which features integrated cloud telephony through AWS and its Amazon Connect contact center platform.

First announced at Dreamforce 2019, Service Cloud Voice puts phone, digital channels and data from Salesforce into a single console. So that means agents no longer have to jump among systems to handle customer inquiries; plus, managers may listen to calls in real time.

Service Cloud Voice offers channel partners more opportunities to help enterprises with clients. So says Emily Kofsky, senior director of product marketing at Salesforce.

“Adding voice to your service dashboard enables service agents and managers to view a complete profile of the customer, including previous calls and chat history,” Kofsky told Channel Futures. “Having this important data easily available helps service agents create better solutions faster, leading to a more efficient service organization.”

And thanks to Amazon Connect, Service Cloud Voice also supports remote work. That’s a critical capability for organizations letting employees work from home during, and after, COVID-19.

In terms of training, Kofsky recommends partners start with Trailhead and then rely on Salesforce release notes while implementing Service Cloud Voice.

Bill Patterson is executive vice president and general manager, CRM applications at Salesforce. He says the company integrated Amazon Connect first because its technology stood out.

Salesforce's Bill Patterson

Salesforce’s Bill Patterson

“The phone has been the last piece of customer service technology to modernize,” Patterson wrote in a Salesforce blog. “We’ve seen the rise of digital, which includes online, social media, email and modern messaging channels like chat or Twitter. But the phone has largely stayed stagnant, which is surprising because it’s still the primary way most customers prefer to get support — especially for highly personal interactions. We saw Amazon transform telephony infrastructures to be powered by the cloud, giving organizations access to high-quality, consistent voice services across different contact centers regardless of where the customer service agents were located. It just made sense for us to partner with Amazon, as both companies had a joint vision of helping customers modernize the contact center.”

SADA-MadHive Deal Proof of Partners’ ‘Tremendous Value’

Managed service provider SADA, which teams exclusively with Google Cloud Platform, has taken its relationship with MadHive to a new level.

The companies recently sealed a five-year, $50 million deal for MadHive to expand its over-the-top advertising platform. MadHive and SADA have worked together for three years. Now, they’ll continue that momentum for another five.

Tony Safoian is SADA’s CEO. He told us the commitment from MadHive “is one of the biggest of its type with a Google Cloud MSP.”

SADA Systems' Tony Safoian

SADA’s Tony Safoian

“It proves that partners like SADA offer tremendous value to enterprise companies, over and above simple implementation, with ongoing technical advisory and services,” he added. “And, by the way, we’re going to see plenty more big-ticket deals like this in the future. [That’s] because innovative enterprises understand how channel leaders can play a critical role in helping them scale their businesses.”

SADA first helped deploy MadHive’s advertising platform on Google Cloud in 2017. Because MadHive uses cryptography, blockchain and AI, it needed a cloud vendor that would support low latency, while supporting fast development and deployment, as well as machine learning. The technical progress and cost savings MadHive has achieved prompted it to put more load on Google Cloud, with SADA’s help.

Aaron Brown, chief scientist at MadHive, said Google Cloud has proven itself the ideal environment, and SADA the ideal partner.

MadHive's Aaron Brown

MadHive’s Aaron Brown

“SADA has been instrumental in helping us through even our most nuanced and sophisticated technical needs,” he said. “With their help, we move from research to deployment, sometimes within the very same day.”

Equinix Broadens Access to Alibaba Cloud

Data center provider Equinix has extended access to Alibaba Cloud.

Channel partners now can take advantage of Equinix’s reach in 17 more metro areas. Those include Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

Equinix said the expansion is bolstered by its API integration with Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric. So it allows organizations to privately connect to Alibaba Cloud on Platform Equinix.

According to Gartner, Alibaba Cloud ranks as the third-largest global IaaS provider — and the largest in Asia Pacific. Furthermore, Gartner analysts say worldwide IaaS spending will reach $62 billion in 2021.

Alibaba and Equinix first joined forces in 2015.

Jul 24

VMware Cloud on AWS Gains More Features Focused on DR and Data-Intensive Workloads

By | Managed Services News

VMware Cloud on AWS improves partners’ ability to help customers address their needs for disaster recovery and migrating data-intensive workloads to the cloud.

We’re excited to share an update on the new capabilities delivered by VMware Cloud on AWS that will further improve your ability to help your customers address their needs for disaster recovery and migrating their data-intensive workloads to the cloud. This latest release includes two major enhancements: support for Amazon EC2 i3en.metal and general availability of 2-host configuration, as well as a number of other improvements in scale, resiliency and ease of operations.

Prior to this announcement, most VMware Cloud on AWS customers were running on Amazon EC2 i3.metal. With this latest release, your customers can experience improved security and higher performance for data-intensive workloads at approximately half the cost per GB of raw storage per host on average when they run on VMware Cloud on AWS with Amazon EC2 i3en.metal, as compared to running it on i3.metal instances. Further, each dollar investment in i3en.metal can potentially yield a 22% increase in performance value over i3.metal. In the context of VMware Cloud on AWS, the i3en.metal performance value is determined by computing average of the per TB, CPU and RAM unit costs and comparing with the same costs for VMware Cloud on AWS running on i3.metal. The i3en.metal instance, which runs on second generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, offers 30% more logical cores, in-flight and at rest data encryption, 1.5x more RAM and 4x more raw NVMe SSD storage capacity (as compared to i3).

The second major announcement is the general availability of the 2-host configuration. In May, the 2-host configuration was made available in preview. Now, we’re happy to let you know the 2-host configuration is generally available.  The main difference between preview and general availability is the service level agreement (SLA). The 2-host configuration is now offered with the same SLA that is offered on the 3+ host configuration.

The 2-host configuration allows you to offer your customers a lower entry price for VMware Cloud on AWS, 33% lower than the 3-host configuration. This makes it more affordable for your customers to get started. If you had customers in the past who showed interest in VMware Cloud on AWS, but the initial cost was too high, now is a great time to reach out to them with this new, lower cost configuration. Also, the 2-node configuration is eligible for the Jump Start discount program, which is a limited time, 30% discount for product demos, development, testing, solution validation and internal training.

This release also includes a number of other new capabilities for VMware Cloud on AWS–including one-click activation of VMware vRealize Automation Cloud for VMware Cloud on AWS, enhancements with VMware Site Recovery and new capabilities with VMware vRealize Log Insight Cloud. For more details, read the latest post: What’s new with VMware Cloud on AWS – New instance type and more capabilities for automation and ease of operations.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Jul 24

Twitter Cyberattack Could Prompt Surge in Similar Hacks

By | Managed Services News

Companies need a strong, layered defense to thwart such attacks every time.

Cybersecurity experts are concerned the recent Twitter cyberattack is just the beginning of a surge in similar attacks.

In last week’s attack, malicious hackers went after dozens of high-profile accounts to promote cryptocurrency scams. According to Twitter, it was a coordinated social engineering attack. And it was by people who successfully accessed internal systems and tools by targeting Twitter employees.

The FBI has launched an investigation.

The Twitter cyberattack appears to be the largest and most coordinated in Twitter’s history, according to NPR. It raises questions about the vulnerability of the platform.

NuData's Robert Capps

NuData’s Robert Capps

To find out more about the danger of attacks similar to the Twitter cyberattack, we spoke with Robert Capps, NuData Security’s vice president of market innovation, cyber and intelligence solutions, and Jimmy Jones, cybersecurity expert at Positive Technologies.

Channel Futures: What was most significant and alarming about the Twitter cyberattack?

Robert Capps: Concerns go beyond the attacks Twitter experienced recently. The use of internal administrative tools to launch attacks, instead of attacking individual account holders, has broad value to cyber criminals, because they are so powerful. Once access has been obtained, it’s generally very little extra work to launch broad attacks against compromised systems versus a one-by-one attack against individual accounts. Without proper protections, this may become a new favorite attack vector for cyber criminals.

Jimmy Jones: The global visibility of Twitter made this incident unique. Companies are hacked every day, but the results are normally only felt within that organization, whereas this incident had wide-reaching effects. Publicly disclosed events are very few and far between because no organization will advertise they have been breached if they don’t have to.

CF: Why would the Twitter cyberattack be the start of a surge in similar attacks? What would be the characteristics of such attacks?

RC: Access to administrative interfaces and tools have been a concern of many security industry practitioners for years, as has been social engineering against staff who have access to such tools. Adversaries need to be right just once to gain access — tricking one employee to give up their credentials to allow access to sensitive tools that in a number of cases may allow access to customer accounts that have strong authentication technologies deployed, such as one-time passwords or biometric authenticators.

Companies need a strong, layered defense to thwart such attacks every time. Attacks generally start as phishing emails or malware infections that allow for the theft of valid user credentials or access to the high-value administrative tools. When bad actors use these credentials to access a system, if the verification tool doesn’t also evaluate the user’s behavior and only looks at the credentials or other basic information such as IP and connection, they will be able to access the account as if they were the legitimate user. Once they gain legitimate access, it can be sold, or it can be used directly in the form of an attack. There is also the risk of …

Jul 24

Microsoft to Partners at Inspire: Teams a ‘Must-Win’ in Competitive Industry

By | Managed Services News

Microsoft is making Teams more extensible and ramping up on partner enablement.

When it comes to Microsoft Teams meetings, the company’s message this week was clear: it intends to win.

The software giant gave that directive to its partners and field sales force at its respective Microsoft Inspire and Microsoft Ready conferences.

“First and foremost, we have to win with meetings,” said Nicole Herskowitz, general manager of the Microsoft Teams marketing group. Speaking during a Microsoft Inspire session, Herskowitz said Microsoft gave that same mandate to its salesforce at its Ready event.

“In the world of remote and hybrid work, keeping employees productive, connected and safe is the top priority for our customers,” she said.

It was a theme consistent in all talking points during the fiscal year kickoff that came from the top.

COVID-19 and Microsoft Teams

CEO Satya Nadella emphasized the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the growth of Microsoft Teams.

Satya Nadella Ignite Keynote

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

“The past few months have served as the largest at-scale experiment the world is seen for remote work,” Nadella said.

There are now 75 million Microsoft Teams subscribers, according to the company. That’s triple the number than at the beginning of the pandemic.

Over the past few months, Microsoft said 34,000 customers moved to Teams to enable their remote workforces to collaborate. From the outset of COVID-19, Microsoft has studied the rapid rise of Teams and the Microsoft 365 platform. Its studies led to its understanding of meeting fatigue, which prompted new Teams features such as Together Mode. Set to roll out imminently, Together Mode aims to reduce fatigue by making large group meetings appear more natural.

Making Teams Meetings More Extensible

Teams now is evolving into a digital workspace for collaboration, incorporating more tools for communications and sharing information.

“We also know that while meetings are important, they take place in the context of broader collaboration and workflow,” Nadella said. “Teams, the hub of teamwork in Microsoft 365, helps people to be more productive and collaborative before, during and after meetings.”

To make Teams more extensible, the company will bring more of its own apps into the workspace. For example, Microsoft is readying its new Power BI app for Teams to let meeting participants collaborate on data visualizations.

Likewise, Microsoft is working with ISVs to provide meeting extensibility. The company announced its first six Teams Meeting Extensibility Partners, including surveyors Polly and Open Agora, virtual recruiters Hire Vue and iCIMS, and whiteboard collaboration provider Miro.

“We expect that there will be a lot of creative ideas here for really making the most out of meetings,” ecosystem marketing director Mike Ammerlaan told Inspire attendees.

Power Platform

Microsoft is extending its Power Platform tooling to Teams, making it easier for partners customize to extend the meeting environment. The new Power Platform for Teams will let partners embed apps, workflows and create chatbots in Teams.

The Power Platform is for those with minimal or no development skills. It includes tools that let them build these apps with …

Jul 24

Cloudera Channel Program to Help ‘Invest in Each Other’s Success’

By | Managed Services News

The new head of the company’s channel program talks about plans for partners selling cloud data analytics.

Cloudera this week officially announced that Gary Green has joined the company as vice president of strategic partnerships, to lead the Cloudera channel program.. He came to the cloud data analytics company earlier this year from bare metal automation vendor Packet. Green has served in his new role since March.

Cloudera's Gary Green

Cloudera’s Gary Green

Green’s history with the indirect channel dates back to the beginning of his sales career. That’s when he worked as an account executive for Mentor Graphics and Synopsys. He says he learned early on that teaming with partners results in greater reach and success. Green’s interaction with the channel ramped up in 2002 when he joined VMware as employee No. 103, and vice president of strategic alliances. Green developed VMware’s global partner strategy.

Now, Green has taken charge of Cloudera’s global partnership program. In this edited Q&A with Channel Futures, he discusses his approach to the channel and what partners can expect, particularly as Cloudera prepares to release the private version of its data platform.

Channel Futures: What is your philosophy about the partner channel and its place in tech sales?

Gary Green: There is a saying that no man is an island. It is, I believe, the same for tech vendors and B2B sales. No matter how big the opportunity is in the marketplace, a company like Cloudera needs a very strong partnering strategy to scale and grow sustainably. That some of the biggest tech companies in the world have accelerated their growth through the channel is no accident.

But I really believe that a partnering strategy is one that’s based in intrinsic value; one plus one doesn’t equal two, it equals three: It’s a “better together” solution. The benefit has to be mutual; you’ve got to invest in each other’s success, be willing to collaborate with and learn from one another. We are not the only company out there that the channel has the opportunity to partner with; therefore, we’ve got to ensure we’re helping our partners and their customers tackle their most strategic business challenges. I believe that Cloudera Connect program enables that today and we will continue to invest and evolve to ensure that it does so tomorrow.

CF: What changes to the Cloudera channel program can partners expect with you in charge?

GG: The foundation was there before I came on board; we’ve always had a strong partner ecosystem. It simply needed to be strengthened and focused for continual evolution. That’s why at the end of last year, we did a complete revamp of the Cloudera channel program to make it a truly world-class program — Cloudera Connect. This enhanced program with new cloud reselling models, market development funds and solution competencies connects Cloudera partners to new business opportunities and accelerates adoption of the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP).

We have a diverse partner network, full of VARs, ISVs, SIs, hardware vendors, cloud partners and more. Our program as it stands now ensures that all of these partners have what they need, enabling …

Jul 24

DNS Requests: DoH Can Help Balance Privacy, Control & Visibility

By | Managed Services News

DoH, applied across the entire system, helps ensure privacy over DNS requests while maintaining control and visibility into network activity.

While the proliferation of encrypted DNS is being driven by consumer privacy, businesses will want to take notice. Encrypted DNS–also known as DNS over HTTPS, or DoH–obscures internet traffic from bad actors. But it also has the potential to decrease visibility for IT admins whose responsibility it is to manage DNS requests for their organizations. So, what’s the solution? Strangely, DoH.

As previously mentioned, DoH is now the default for Mozilla Firefox. It’s also available in Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers. This is a win for consumers, who have newfound control over who can see where they’re going on the internet.

However, by surrendering control over DNS requests to the browser, IT administrators lose the ability to apply filtering to DNS requests. Encrypted DNS that skirts the operating system eliminates the visibility that IT admins need to ensure security for internet traffic on their networks. It also prevents the business from being able to run threat intelligence against DNS requests and identify dynamic malware that could circumvent consumer DoH implementations. This leads to gaps in security that businesses can’t afford.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

There is a way to ensure privacy over DNS requests while maintaining control and visibility into network activity. The solution is to apply DoH across the entire system, not just browser activity. By wresting control over DNS requests from the browser, the agent can instruct Firefox not to engage its DoH feature. The same holds true for Chrome users running DoH. These requests are passed back through the operating system, where the DNS solution can manage them directly. This helps support both filtering and visibility.

An advanced agent will manage DNS requests on the device securely through DoH so the requests go directly to the server with no other entity having visibility into them. At the same time, the agent can apply threat intelligence to ensure requests aren’t resolving to malicious destinations. Admins have visibility into all DNS requests, and the requests are encrypted.

When the agent detects a prohibited resource, it returns the IP address of a block page. So, if there’s a virus on the system and it’s trying to access a command and control server to deliver a malicious payload, it won’t be able to. It also prevents botnets from being able to connect since they also leverage DNS. For any process that requests something from the internet, if it doesn’t get the resource that it’s requesting, it’s not going to be able to act on it.

Privacy Plus Security

The novel coronavirus didn’t start the mobile workforce phenomenon, but it certainly has accelerated it. The traditional perimeter firewall with all systems and devices living behind it no longer exists. Modern networks extend to wherever users connect to the internet. This includes the router someone bought from a kid down the street, as well as the home network that was set up by a consulting company 10 years ago and hasn’t been patched or updated since.

When people open a browser on their home network and go to their favorites, they’re not expecting to get phished. But if they’re resolving to an alternative IP address because DNS is not being managed, is broken or is being redirected, they may be exposed to phishing sites. Enter encrypted DNS as another layer of protection within your cyber resilience portfolio. It starts working against a higher percentage of threats when you stack it with other layers, reducing the likelihood of being infected. It also addresses a blind spot that allows exploits to go undetected.

Embracing DoH

Privacy is the main driver for DoH adoption by consumers, while business agendas are generally driven by security. As a business, controlling DNS requests allows you to protect both the business and the user. If you don’t have that control and visibility, the user is potentially more exposed. And, if you don’t apply threat intelligence and filtering to DNS requests, a user can more easily click on malware or land on a phishing site.

To learn more about encrypted DNS read the whitepaper or review the FAQs.

 Jonathan Barnett is a Product Manager for Webroot’s business network solutions. With 20 years’ experience as a Network Engineer and MSP, Jonathan has a deep understanding of both the technical and business challenges of the SMB and MSP market. Jonathan currently leads Webroot’s DNS Protection solution, which he has helped guide and shape since its release in 2017.

Jonathan Barnett-Webroot

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Jul 24

Unified Next-Gen Protection: An MSP Guide to Selling Cybersecurity as a System

By | Managed Services News

MSPs who use a single cloud-based management console realize immediate benefits of next-gen protection.

Managed IT services, just like the technologies they utilize, need to be efficient and effective in order to complete tasks and sustain growth.  To that end, many MSPs know that it is a challenge to find a cost-effective solution to secure their clients that is easy to manage, reliable and provides superior protection. That’s why Sophos Central is purpose-built as a complete next-gen protection system to help MSPs provide better control over network and device security while allowing for the flexibility required to meet the varying needs of the businesses they serve. Sophos Central harnesses the patented Synchronized Heartbeat technology, allowing endpoint and network activity to communicate with each other to discover and respond to threats. This synchronization provides the world’s most comprehensive cybersecurity system and provides increased automation.

Benefits of a Unified Platform

Hackers and malicious actors continue to prove that small and midsize businesses are most vulnerable to attacks, with 76 percent of SMB’s reporting a cyberattack in 2019.1  To get to these businesses, the attackers use a variety of tools and systems of their own to gain access. Traditionally, MSPs employ a range of disparate tools from different vendors to combat these threats. However, adding more tools and additional billing cycles dramatically decreases productivity and thus the overall quality of services. Sophos Central is a unified management console that allows MSPs to utilize a range of proven next-gen cybersecurity tools efficiently without disparity.  MSPs who use a single cloud-based management console realize immediate benefits, as it allows them to be more predictive, adaptive and synchronized when applying security services.

Sophos Next-Gen Protection 1Sophos Next-Gen Protection 1

Systems are defined by four key elements: central management, integrated components, automated action and extendibility. These four elements are what transform disparate point products into a system. The stronger each of these components, the stronger the system. A system with deep integration will outperform one with weak integration. These same principles apply to cybersecurity when the aim is to protect and scale your solutions to your clients.

Predictive

Sophos Central is backed by the power of artificial intelligence and made even more robust with the inclusion of SophosLabs data scientists. This team is composed of cybersecurity experts that continually analyze our AI and machine learning models, which increases the performance of Sophos products. The capabilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning models are able to decipher anomalies in IT infrastructure quickly and precisely. This allows MSPs to better protect clients by offering cybersecurity that can predict threats and attacks before they happen, allowing your clients to be much more resilient to a cyberattack.

Central Management

What good is lightning-fast technology if it is intrusive to manage and laborious to implement? Sophos Central is a highly intuitive single pane of glass dashboard that installs quickly. It provides a clear picture of clients that you manage and their environments. With Sophos Central, MSPs can easily secure and report on client endpoint, server and network health (Intercept X & XG Firewall), while seamlessly deploying automated phishing emails (Phish Threat), secure cloud environments (Cloud Optix) and much more. Beyond the control, MSPs also benefit from the visibility that allows them to easily cross-sell/upsell into accounts. This scalability and breadth of protection is unmatched in the industry.

Sophos Next-Gen Protection 2

Adaptive

Combining the efficiency of a centralized management platform with evolving AI models, Sophos Central gives you the benefits of one of the most intelligent cybersecurity platforms in the industry. Sophos Adaptive Learning capability allows the Sophos Central platform to communicate items such as application usage and threat data to Sophos. This intelligence allows the platform to

Jul 24

DNS Requests: DoH Can Help Balance Privacy, Control & Visibility

By | Managed Services News

DoH, applied across the entire system, helps ensure privacy over DNS requests while maintaining control and visibility into network activity.

While the proliferation of encrypted DNS is being driven by consumer privacy, businesses will want to take notice. Encrypted DNS–also known as DNS over HTTPS, or DoH–obscures internet traffic from bad actors. But it also has the potential to decrease visibility for IT admins whose responsibility it is to manage DNS requests for their organizations. So, what’s the solution? Strangely, DoH.

As previously mentioned, DoH is now the default for Mozilla Firefox. It’s also available in Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers. This is a win for consumers, who have newfound control over who can see where they’re going on the internet.

However, by surrendering control over DNS requests to the browser, IT administrators lose the ability to apply filtering to DNS requests. Encrypted DNS that skirts the operating system eliminates the visibility that IT admins need to ensure security for internet traffic on their networks. It also prevents the business from being able to run threat intelligence against DNS requests and identify dynamic malware that could circumvent consumer DoH implementations. This leads to gaps in security that businesses can’t afford.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

There is a way to ensure privacy over DNS requests while maintaining control and visibility into network activity. The solution is to apply DoH across the entire system, not just browser activity. By wresting control over DNS requests from the browser, the agent can instruct Firefox not to engage its DoH feature. The same holds true for Chrome users running DoH. These requests are passed back through the operating system, where the DNS solution can manage them directly. This helps support both filtering and visibility.

An advanced agent will manage DNS requests on the device securely through DoH so the requests go directly to the server with no other entity having visibility into them. At the same time, the agent can apply threat intelligence to ensure requests aren’t resolving to malicious destinations. Admins have visibility into all DNS requests, and the requests are encrypted.

When the agent detects a prohibited resource, it returns the IP address of a block page. So, if there’s a virus on the system and it’s trying to access a command and control server to deliver a malicious payload, it won’t be able to. It also prevents botnets from being able to connect since they also leverage DNS. For any process that requests something from the internet, if it doesn’t get the resource that it’s requesting, it’s not going to be able to act on it.

Privacy Plus Security

The novel coronavirus didn’t start the mobile workforce phenomenon, but it certainly has accelerated it. The traditional perimeter firewall with all systems and devices living behind it no longer exists. Modern networks extend to wherever users connect to the internet. This includes the router someone bought from a kid down the street, as well as the home network that was set up by a consulting company 10 years ago and hasn’t been patched or updated since.

When people open a browser on their home network and go to their favorites, they’re not expecting to get phished. But if they’re resolving to an alternative IP address because DNS is not being managed, is broken or is being redirected, they may be exposed to phishing sites. Enter encrypted DNS as another layer of protection within your cyber resilience portfolio. It starts working against a higher percentage of threats when you stack it with other layers, reducing the likelihood of being infected. It also addresses a blind spot that allows exploits to go undetected.

Embracing DoH

Privacy is the main driver for DoH adoption by consumers, while business agendas are generally driven by security. As a business, controlling DNS requests allows you to protect both the business and the user. If you don’t have that control and visibility, the user is potentially more exposed. And, if you don’t apply threat intelligence and filtering to DNS requests, a user can more easily click on malware or land on a phishing site.

To learn more about encrypted DNS read the whitepaper or review the FAQs.

 Jonathan Barnett is a Product Manager for Webroot’s business network solutions. With 20 years’ experience as a Network Engineer and MSP, Jonathan has a deep understanding of both the technical and business challenges of the SMB and MSP market. Jonathan currently leads Webroot’s DNS Protection solution, which he has helped guide and shape since its release in 2017.

Jonathan Barnett-Webroot

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Jul 24

DNS Requests: DoH Can Help Balance Privacy, Control & Visibility

By | Managed Services News

DoH, applied across the entire system, helps ensure privacy over DNS requests while maintaining control and visibility into network activity.

While the proliferation of encrypted DNS is being driven by consumer privacy, businesses will want to take notice. Encrypted DNS–also known as DNS over HTTPS, or DoH–obscures internet traffic from bad actors. But it also has the potential to decrease visibility for IT admins whose responsibility it is to manage DNS requests for their organizations. So, what’s the solution? Strangely, DoH.

As previously mentioned, DoH is now the default for Mozilla Firefox. It’s also available in Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers. This is a win for consumers, who have newfound control over who can see where they’re going on the internet.

However, by surrendering control over DNS requests to the browser, IT administrators lose the ability to apply filtering to DNS requests. Encrypted DNS that skirts the operating system eliminates the visibility that IT admins need to ensure security for internet traffic on their networks. It also prevents the business from being able to run threat intelligence against DNS requests and identify dynamic malware that could circumvent consumer DoH implementations. This leads to gaps in security that businesses can’t afford.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

There is a way to ensure privacy over DNS requests while maintaining control and visibility into network activity. The solution is to apply DoH across the entire system, not just browser activity. By wresting control over DNS requests from the browser, the agent can instruct Firefox not to engage its DoH feature. The same holds true for Chrome users running DoH. These requests are passed back through the operating system, where the DNS solution can manage them directly. This helps support both filtering and visibility.

An advanced agent will manage DNS requests on the device securely through DoH so the requests go directly to the server with no other entity having visibility into them. At the same time, the agent can apply threat intelligence to ensure requests aren’t resolving to malicious destinations. Admins have visibility into all DNS requests, and the requests are encrypted.

When the agent detects a prohibited resource, it returns the IP address of a block page. So, if there’s a virus on the system and it’s trying to access a command and control server to deliver a malicious payload, it won’t be able to. It also prevents botnets from being able to connect since they also leverage DNS. For any process that requests something from the internet, if it doesn’t get the resource that it’s requesting, it’s not going to be able to act on it.

Privacy Plus Security

The novel coronavirus didn’t start the mobile workforce phenomenon, but it certainly has accelerated it. The traditional perimeter firewall with all systems and devices living behind it no longer exists. Modern networks extend to wherever users connect to the internet. This includes the router someone bought from a kid down the street, as well as the home network that was set up by a consulting company 10 years ago and hasn’t been patched or updated since.

When people open a browser on their home network and go to their favorites, they’re not expecting to get phished. But if they’re resolving to an alternative IP address because DNS is not being managed, is broken or is being redirected, they may be exposed to phishing sites. Enter encrypted DNS as another layer of protection within your cyber resilience portfolio. It starts working against a higher percentage of threats when you stack it with other layers, reducing the likelihood of being infected. It also addresses a blind spot that allows exploits to go undetected.

Embracing DoH

Privacy is the main driver for DoH adoption by consumers, while business agendas are generally driven by security. As a business, controlling DNS requests allows you to protect both the business and the user. If you don’t have that control and visibility, the user is potentially more exposed. And, if you don’t apply threat intelligence and filtering to DNS requests, a user can more easily click on malware or land on a phishing site.

To learn more about encrypted DNS read the whitepaper or review the FAQs.

 Jonathan Barnett is a Product Manager for Webroot’s business network solutions. With 20 years’ experience as a Network Engineer and MSP, Jonathan has a deep understanding of both the technical and business challenges of the SMB and MSP market. Jonathan currently leads Webroot’s DNS Protection solution, which he has helped guide and shape since its release in 2017.

Jonathan Barnett-Webroot

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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