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CSP: Achieve Stronger Defenses for NonStop Solutions with Zero Trust



Tales from the days of chivalry have been handed down through the ages. Dramatic stories of knights defending their masters or embarking on crusades bring up images of metal-clad warriors bent on ensuring the safety of those in their care. Reflecting more recent times, who can forget the image of Lord of the Rings wizard, Gandalf, as he slammed his staff to the ground, shouting, “You shall not pass!”

But times have changed even if the storyline continues to follow age-old precedents – attacking the vulnerable in times of change. With as much coverage as is given to the digital transformation underway across the IT landscape, it has become apparent that there are more vulnerabilities than we thought. The list of security holes only seems to get longer over time.

However, it is not just digital transformation at work here but how it has accelerated the acceptance of hybrid IT. The times when enterprises relied on a single vendor for all of their IT solutions have long passed, and in their place is a heterogeneous mix of what has emerged following the pursuit of “best-of-breed.” What many IT professionals may have viewed as simple holes in their architecture have been proven to be easily accessible gates.

In the days of knights and wizards, the common belief was that nobody could be trusted. Every appearance at the gates of the kingdom had to be challenged. Anything suspicious was turned away often with prejudice. When it comes to IT, and specifically to the HPE NonStop platform, the need for a similar mistrust is deemed a necessity. Zero Trust has emerged as a popular model for ensuring just scenario can be enacted – you shall not pass!

The TechTarget Security publication, Ransomware trends, statistics and facts in 2023 by Sean Michael Kerner, provided the tagline of Supply chain attacks, double extortion and RaaS were just a few of the ransomware trends that plagued 2022 and will continue to disrupt businesses in 2023. This publication also called out how “2022 was a breakout year for ransomware as the cybersecurity attack vector wreaked havoc on individuals and organizations around the world.”

“Ransomware didn’t start recently, and it won’t end anytime soon either. Ransomware will likely continue to evolve in a few different ways,” wrote Kerner. “Organizations and individuals can take steps to mitigate ransomware attacks. But there is no silver bullet that will solve or defend against ransomware. What’s needed is a multilayered approach to improve IT security overall.” 

In the previous article published in the December 2022 issue of NonStop Insider, reference was made to a post by blogger, Melissa Palmer, Should you Trust Zero Trust? “There’s no inherent trust as a user carries out their activities throughout the environment, they work in,” wrote Palmer. “I’ve got a single word for you to show you why you need to pay attention to Zero Trust – ransomware.  Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to any environment today and something the business is absolutely paying attention to.”

Multilayered approach? No silver bullet? No inherent trust? It all seems obvious, yet it does not call for a massive overhaul of the entire IT deployment. Instead, the strategy revolves around employing a multilayer defense. “A zero-trust security model can improve an organization’s overall security position, especially when dealing with mobile workforces or hybrid workspace environments,” said CSP General Manager Henry Fonseca, as he referenced the CSP website. “The basic principle of a zero-trust security model is to avoid blindly trusting every element within the corporate network. Organizations should always authenticate users, applications, and devices that try to access the network, whether internal or external to the organization.”

A typical zero-trust model for NonStop systems might include validating identity, aligning appropriate access management, and implementing technologies such as multi-factor authentication. “This is becoming better known across the NonStop community,” said Henry Fonseca, reflecting on messages provided at the recent NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2022. “To this end, CSP provides CSP Authenticator+®

And yet, there is more to addressing ransomware and ensuring that zero trust is established. CSP acknowledges that it will need additional engagement with the NonStop community. “What we know is that defeating Ransomware requires cooperation among several vendors, where no single vendor can address all the issues.” said Henry Fonseca. “Such cooperation is the foundation for a software ecosystem where participants share the pursuit of a common goal – the overall application and data integrity through the security of NonStop. And work has already begun in establishing a working partnership between many NonStop vendors.”

There can be no inherent trust for any NonStop user, just as there are no silver bullets or “one product does it all.” Similarly, there was never a single knight who could repel a concerted attack through passageways unknown to them. However, where CSP is tracking is to ensure NonStop users that with solutions focused on Zero Trust, as is the case with CSP Authenticator+® – a multi-factor authentication for NonStop servers, supporting various authentication methods – the most obvious opportunity open to any attacker is well defended.

CSP is gearing up for several events, including SunTUG in Tampa, FL (Mar 3, 2023), ATUG in Atlanta, GA (May 3, 2023), and eBITUG in Edinburgh, Scotland (May 15 – 17, 2023). We will also attend NonStop TBC 2023 in Denver, Colorado (Sept 12 – 14, 2023). Wherever you see us and whenever you have an opportunity, make sure you come to talk to us. We would be only too happy to talk about zero trust, ransomware, and the developing ecosystem we believe will have the potential to become that protective knight you realize is up to the task o defending your enterprise.

To learn more about our NonStop security solutions, check out our website and watch for further updates and useful articles in this publication as well as others including Connect Now and The Connection.

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The CSP Team
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