Five Network Infrastructure Considerations For Optimal SAN Storage Security

Your Data is Always at Risk. Stay Prepared With Robust Storage Security.

We think it’s important for our customers to know that not all thieves wear masks. In today’s digital landscape, enterprise data centers are at an increased risk of attack from anonymous, inconspicuous sources.

To protect your sensitive data, you need to analyze, familiarize and organize. Having an in-depth understanding of your infrastructure and its possible weak points is crucial for being prepared. You also need to be aware of everything that your SAN storage solution is doing to protect your data for you.

When it comes to storage security, the old adage is true…“The best defense is a good offense.”

Five Areas of Consideration For Optimal SAN Storage Security

1. Network

Ask Yourself:

  • How many users are on your network at any given time?
  • Do they all have access to the same files?
  • Are there files on their same storage devices that they shouldn’t access?
  • How sensitive is your data?

By taking inventory of your network’s traffic, you can have a good idea of who’s using it where and when. A key component in securing it is to make sure that users are only aware of and accessing files that your permit.

There are several ways to protect your network from the inside, and how you decide to do it will depend largely on your specific IT infrastructure needs. A few popular methods are:

  • Fabric Configuration Servers

              1. One or more switches designated as a trusted zoning device

  • Switch Connection Control

              1. Accomplished through PKI technology, designated certificates within a switch can authenticate new switches and grant them permission to join the fabric.

  • Device Connection Controls

              1. ACLs lock certain WWNs to specific ports.

2. Deployment

Ask Yourself:

  • How much downtime can you afford if any?
  • What is your ideal solution uptime?
  • How flexible is the SAN storage solution you are looking to deploy?
  • Do you need to hire outside engineers or can deployment be taken care of in-house?
  • How does your solution handle disaster recovery?
  • How are you protecting your data for a successful migration?

Downtime equals death for many large corporations in today’s constantly-connected environment. Fear of downtime is so great that some companies put off a needed data migration or new solution implementation in light of possible complications.

Luckily, most enterprise SAN storage solutions on the market today are highly flexible, working with legacy infrastructures for seamless deployment that leads to virtually no downtime.

By virtually, we mean that popular solutions like Nimble Storage’s allow for >99.9999 availability. That’s nearly 100% uptime for critical business applications.

Seamless deployment is crucial for network security, however any migration can lead to weak points in your infrastructure, creating fertile territory for unmasked thieves to attack.

3. Management

Ask Yourself:

  • Who has access to SAN management?
  • Where do you keep administrative passwords?
  • Where is there potential for unauthorized users to access management controls?
  • How and when are control policy and zoning changes made? Is there potential for servers or switches to gain access to a SAN at these times?

Management access needs to be under lock and key, literally. Your SAN’s integrity can be compromised unintentionally from the inside as not all breaches are intentionally dangerous. It’s important to protect against any network compromise, intentional or otherwise.

One nice way to do this is to make sure passwords are secured on certain interfaces between the security management function and a switch fabric.

Management affects security policies and the overall design of the entire SAN fabric so administrators can use access controls to work with security management operations. Plus, administrative-level fabric password access offers singular control over security arrangements.

4. Endpoints

Endpoints, the mobile devices, laptops, etc. that connect to your network and access the storage, can create obvious weak points in security if not properly managed.

With so many endpoint security solutions in today’s market, it is easy to wonder why cyber attacks are still on the rise. Unfortunately, malware is evolving in ways that evade the traditional protection paradigm of many solutions.

That’s why we’ve taken a new approach. Working with Cisco AMP and Palo Alto Traps, CTC Technologies implements a bulletproof endpoint security solution for clients to stop cyberattacks in their tracks with a three-fold solution that:

  • Mitigates Exploits.
  • Prevents Malicious Executables.
  • Is Lightweight and Comprehensive.

With a complete endpoint security solution, you can ensure that your network is secure end-to-end, greatly reducing your risk.

5. Future Changes and Challenges

New technology is the name of the game. As SAN capabilities become more flexible, continuous and secure, attackers will have to work harder and harder to break new encryptions and other protections.

And, they will. As long as there is data to be had, attackers will be waiting to take it. It’s an unfortunate truth.

However, storage solutions will never stop fighting to keep data where it belongs, and new technology is constantly emerging that promises to create a more challenging security environment.

Such technology includes:

  • Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI)
  • Fibre Channel over Internet Protocol (FCIP)
  • Internet Fibre Channel Protocol (iFCP)
  • And more….

Experience End-to-End Security Through CTC Technologies, Inc.

Our engineers have deployed SAN storage security solutions for a multitude of enterprises, including Fortune 500s and federal/state governments.

We have extensive experience in sectors such as automotive, construction, engineering, education, healthcare and manufacturing, meaning we’ve worked with numerous companies that hold storage security as their highest priority. We understand this importance.

If you’d like to speak with one of our team members today about the future of your SAN storage security, give us a call at 734.408.1993 or fill out our contact form, and we’ll get in touch with you shortly.

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