SpartanTec, Inc. Wilmington NC

(910) 218-9255

zero trustIn today’s ear that’s defined by mobility and the cloud, the traditional perimeter based security is no longer enough. Firewalls are not sufficient either when it comes to protecting the information of a company. That’s where zero trust comes in.

Data moves around a lot and it’s possible to be going back and forth to the cloud because it is going to be within your walls. That’s why companies are concentrating on multipronged methods to defend themselves against cyberattacks that come from various vectors.

If you consider the appropriate security architecture and methods to protect data, many of it just comes down to executing the basics appropriately, restricting access to only the ones that need it most, putting extra protection on the most confidential data, and ensuring that you know who is accessing what.

Security managers, unfortunately, continue to grapple with the complexity that comes from cobbling various cyber defence methods for network security. SOCs always scramble to stay on top of the alerts that streams across the consoles from various technologies.

Such solutions have to be combined and make sure that they work well with each other. Otherwise, there’s no way for the modern SOC manager to prevent the coming of silos while keeping themselves sane.



Understanding the Basics of Zero Trust

Zero trust network can help you with your company’s network security problems. It is an architectural and conceptual model that governs how security teams have to redesign their network. The zero trust model promotes a more holistic method to data security and adds more focus on the technologies and processes. The objective is to create secure micro perimeters, stronger data security through obfuscation methods, limiting the risks linked with too much user access and privileges, and enhanced security detection as well as response with automation and analytics.

It involves looking for cybersecurity solutions with certified integrations and automated orchestration abilities that will lower the operation problems on your team. You require tools that will inform one another without the need for human intervention that could detect threats correctly across the whole environment including all of the devices, the cloud, and your network.

Why Should Your Company Embrace Zero Trust

Zero trust will give full breadth of services and products across cloud, network, and endpoint, needed to protect business from the kinds of advanced threats that are targeting them daily. And when threats are determined, orchestration abilities will simplify the task of responding them on all linked devices including mobile. This type of platform could either prevent a breach well before it takes place, or at the very least, identify it quickly and set in place the appropriate mitigation steps.

It aligns with the reality that data could be everywhere. Apart from the conventional data center and network, it could be in the cloud SaaS apps, Azuer, mobile devices, and even both personal and corporate, and thumbdrives.

Given the stringent compliance requirements especially after the pass of GDPR in Europe, platforms offer significant help here if to comes to enforcing identity, securing data, and access controls on network and devices, segmenting workloads and networks.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now for more information about zero trust and our managed IT services.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 218-9255

Serving: Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Florence

Zero trust accessWith an ever-expanding digital infrastructure, an increasingly sophisticated cyber threat landscape, and a growing cybersecurity skills gap, IT and OT leaders are facing pressure daily to establish and maintain trust in their networks. Furthermore, the situation has become even more challenging in recent months with the need to secure remote work around the world. Zero trust Access (ZTA) addresses these concerns by providing full visibility and dynamic control over devices on the network.

To find out more about the challenges of securing network access, we met digitally with two of Fortinet’s Field CISOs: Alain Sanchez and Courtney Radke. We discussed the need for implementing Zero-trust Access in today’s evolving networks and expanding cyber threat landscape.

Q: Can you share some perspective on why Zero Trust Access is more critical than ever?

Alain - The sophistication of the cyber threat landscape has extended to new classes of attacks that aim to inflict damage while remaining silent. They are targeting IT and OT devices, and the industrial systems that manage production in segments such as manufacturing, energy, and pharmaceuticals. And the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for full automation of production.

As production relies more and more on sophisticated regulation, no sensor, application, or user should by default be allowed to influence the running of any critical infrastructure or process. Due to the precision and speed of production required, any malicious order or fake value sent into the process can have devastating effects.



Network access can be compared to the physical access to a controlled building. The default state of all entry doors needs to be set to “closed,” and not "open." Access rules need to be dynamically refreshed with real-time authentication systems. An individual’s credentials should not just be established at the exterior door, but throughout the building. And the overall behavior of that individual while inside the building should be monitored against a machine-learning baseline profile so that if an individual begins behaving badly, actions can be taken.

This holistic vision of a trust that is continuously earned rather than granted once for all access requires a full integration of the entire security ecosystem. The moment you have a subcomponent that can’t be pinged and dynamically compared to a model of how it is supposed to behave, you’re in danger of breaking the security chain. As CISOs discover these types of weak links within their controlled systems, they have to make hard decisions about who is allowed to do what. The best solution is to opt for a scalable security system that can establish and monitor a zero-trust access model.

Q: The growth of devices is key to the need for Zero Trust Access. Can you share some best practices for managing this exponential growth in terms of security?

Alain - Act quickly, never hastily. ZTA is about knowing and controlling who and what is on your network. Exponential growth should not be a reason for trading security for speed. Of course, the CISO must be the guardian of this principle. Even if enterprises have to catch up on months of production and backorders, security must remain a priority.

The second ally of the security team is automation. Automation is an outgrowth of proper planning and can save precious time in detecting and responding to cyber threats. Once a zero-trust model has been designed and adapted to the level of risk that your business is comfortable with, the deployment then needs to be orchestrated to reach the level of scalability required in large infrastructures.

Q: What are the areas or technologies that provide the most "bang for your buck" with regards to securing organizations' network access using the zero trust model?

Courtney - Maintaining a strong perimeter is a key to success, although most would have you believe the perimeter no longer matters or is too undefinable to control. Has it expanded and grown more complicated? Absolutely. But it is by no means uncontrollable, nor should it be ignored. Aligning to the zero-trust model means implementing a least access policy that grants the user the minimum level of network access required for their role and removing any ability to access or see other parts of the network. The sharing of information and the building of context and baselines of your users, devices, and networks becomes pivotal to the success of a zero-trust model. It also allows for easier implementation of multifactor authentication (MFA), which is another key technology. MFA is the basis for Network Behavior Analytics (NBA) and User and Environment Behavior Analytics (UEBA) technologies, both of which are designed to protect a network from harm and allow for quicker identification and remediation once harm has been done.

Let me give a retail example. Retail is something we all understand since we all experience retail on a daily basis. As a tangible example, given the nature of retail today where omnichannel is the norm, implementing a zero-trust model is more challenging than ever.

For those unfamiliar with the term, omnichannel is a cross-channel content strategy that organizations use to improve user experience and drive better relationships with their customers across multiple points of contact. The purpose of providing omnichannel experiences is to unlock doors to the consumers and remove barriers wherever possible. It enables retailers to expand to new demographics and open up new revenue streams through technology, which is now required to remain competitive in today's market. Unfortunately, however, every door you open to better enable customer engagement also provides new opportunities and new attack vectors for threat actors to compromise your business. Protecting these solutions requires carefully controlling who and what has access to internal systems, data, and devices.

Q: Is there anything about Zero trust Access that some CISOs may not have considered?

Alain - The zero-trust model is a strong concept that moves cybersecurity away from implied trust that is based on network location.. It's a necessary approach as more and more business-critical and life-critical processes become fully digital. However, for people not versed in cybersecurity, the word might carry negative connotations. Wrongly interpreted, it might resonate as if the network, the PC, the applications, or in fact the entire digital ecosystem will stop recognizing its users. It can be seen as a barrier to productivity.

But nothing could be further from the truth. ZTA is a foundational pillar of any effective security strategy. It actually enables the right person to have immediate access to the resources they need to do their job, while also eliminating the risks and downtime that can result from unauthorized access. However, to advocate for the adoption of necessary security solutions such as this, especially as the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, CISOs need to do more communication and education. They will find themselves not only needing to explain what needs to change and why, but more importantly, how these changes will benefit the organization. This communication is particularly important to those teams that have until now been managing user network access based on a legacy notion of implicit trust.

Q: How does Zero trust Access relate to VPNs and the increase in remote work?

Alain - The rise in remote working has put a spotlight on the limitations of VPNs that take a perimeter-based approach to security. Users connect through the VPN client, but once they're inside the perimeter they often have broad access to the network, which exposes it to threats.

Unlike a traditional VPN-based approach, which assumes that anyone or anything that passes network security perimeter controls can be trusted, the zero-trust model takes the opposite approach: no user or device can be trusted to access anything until proven otherwise. A zero-trust network access (ZTNA) solution allows organizations to extend the zero-trust model beyond the network. The terms zero trust access (ZTA) and zero trust network access (ZTNA) are often used interchangeably, however, there is a difference. Whereas ZTA focuses on role-based access control to the network, ZTNA relates to brokered access for users to applications.

Unlike a traditional VPN tunnel that provides unrestricted access to the network and applications, ZTNA connections are granted to individual applications per-session. Access is granted only after both the device and user have been verified. Because location is no longer a reliable indicator for access as it is with a VPN, ZTNA policy is applied whether users are on or off the network.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you want to learn more about IT services and how our team can help improve your company's cybersecurity.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 218-9255

Serving: Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Florence

cybersecurityToday’s enterprises are dealing with constant change affecting different parts of their business. And far too often, the various solutions to these new realities do not align. This is especially true of business goals and cybersecurity policy. Traditionally, as your customers have maneuvered simultaneously to address rapidly changing business and consumer demands along with security threats, a compromise was made at the expense of cybersecurity.

However, as new threats evolve with enormous consequences for the bottom line, board members and C-level executives are shifting their focus to recognize the critical role network security must play in business, but without impacting either profitability and accessibility.



Competing Business Trends Facing Your Customers

This is easier said than done, as your customers need to be able to address several competing trends with a single solution. Speed, profitability, and business growth often appear to be at odds with compliance and security. However, for your customers to be successful, each of these trends must be addressed without hindering another.

  1. Speed & Profitability

Profit is the main objective of each business unit, and today it is increasingly achieved through speed, either in terms of responding to customer needs, managing inventory and production, or delivering critical services. This is why trends such as digital transformation and agile development exist. The consumers your customers serve expect instant accessibility and information.

  1. Business Growth

If the profitability opportunity is met, the next challenge that your customers’ will face will be growth. In today’s digital business environment, this means that the infrastructure they have in place must be both scalable and elastic. Otherwise, growth and speed will be hindered, ultimately impacting both profitability and viability. To achieve this, infrastructures are being reworked to handle the increased traffic every couple of months, often through a combination of new technologies such as IoT, cloud-based infrastructure or services, and expanded data center resources and throughput.

  1. Security

With new, sophisticated cyberattacks targeting businesses of all verticals, especially targeting the constantly expanding attack surface, the nature of the security infrastructure cannot be ignored. A successful data breach can cause severe reputational damage; ransomware and DDoS attacks can knock organizations offline; and sensitive customer can be stolen, resulting in severe liabilities. Any of these will impact the bottom line. As a result, your customers need security solutions that enable growth and profitability, while securing their network and data. They just may not know where to look.

  1. Compliance

As your customers leverage new tools, such as connected devices and applications, they are collecting more consumer data than ever. As a result, a number of regulating bodies across the world have begun imposing strict new standards for data storage and protection. To avoid the fines and penalties that accompany non-compliance, your customers need security controls that ensure they meet these standards.

Security and Velocity

For security and compliance, the easiest solution would be to decrease network accessibility. However, this would be at direct odds with their business goals and needs. Network accessibility is integral to digital transformation efforts and employee efficiency. Similarly, security has often been seen by business units to be a hindrance to innovation. Part of the reason is that IT support teams typically add one-off isolated point solutions to the network to address the ‘threat of the day.’ However, the lack of communication between these devices can result in decreased network accessibility and visibility, as well as security efficiency, ultimately compromising performance. Ath the same time, however, C-level executives increasingly acknowledge the importance of mitigating data breaches and remaining compliant.

As a result, a recent study found that 43 percent of cybersecurity professionals agree that aligning the goals of the IT teams with those of business units is the most beneficial investment organizations can make. With Fortinet, it is now possible for your customers to align these four conflicting goals using an integrated Security Fabric approach to achieve both security and velocity without compromise either one.

Align Business and Cybersecurity Policy with the Security Fabric

The Security Fabric is an architectural approach to cybersecurity that provides comprehensive network protection without inhibiting business operations.

The Security Fabric allows your customers to deploy leading security solutions across their distributed environments that are also designed to communicate with one another in order to detect, prevent, and respond to threats in a coordinated fashion, regardless of where they occur. This broad network of solutions extends from the network perimeter, with next-generation firewalls and endpoint protection, into the cloud, with application security, CASBs, and more, and deep into the core of the network through dynamic network segmentation and powerful data center security technologies. Each device that makes up the Fabric is also regularly updated with the latest threat intelligence from FortiGuard labs, ensuring an automatic response the moment a threat or threat trend is detected. This comprehensive, intelligent security approach enables the network accessibility organizations need, and at the speeds they require, allowing genuine requests to pass through uninterrupted while stopping those that are suspicious.

The Security Fabric is also highly scalable. This means that as your customers’ business and networks grow, their cybersecurity policies and protocols will grow with it. Additionally, the Fabric is designed to evolve alongside emerging networking trends. So as new approaches such as intent-based networking gain traction across your customers’ organizations, the Fabric promises to deliver intent-based security to complement and protect those advanced network architectures.

Final Thoughts

Your customers need to be able to provide a seamless experience to their users, while meeting compliance standards and securing their network from data breaches through effective cybersecurity practices and zero trust network. While many of today’s traditional security solutions do not provide the flexibility and performance to meet these conflicting goals, the Fortinet Security Fabric offers intelligent and comprehensive security that allows for unprecedented growth, speed, profitability, and compliance.

For more information on current promotions, events, and product updates contact your Fortinet representative, or refer to the Fortinet Partner Portal.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now for more information about cybersecurity and zero trust network.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 218-9255

Serving: Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Florence


zero dayzero day attack occurs when hackers exploit a vulnerability in hardware or software that is unknown to the vendor. An attacker discovers the vulnerability, swiftly creates an exploit, and uses it to launch an attack. Zero-day attacks are severe security threats with high success rates as businesses do not have defenses in place to detect or prevent them.


A zero-day target attack typically goes after vulnerabilities in web browsers or Wi-Fi networks. It can also be launched via email by attaching files that exploit software vulnerabilities, such as Microsoft 365 applications and Adobe Flash Player. An attack will commonly target major enterprises, government departments, senior executives, hardware, and connected devices, as well as home users that operate a vulnerable system to compromise machines and build botnets.


Where Does the Term "Zero Day" Come From?


A zero-day attack is so-called because it occurs before the target is aware that the vulnerability exists. The attacker releases malware before the developer or vendor has had the opportunity to create a patch to fix the vulnerability.


However, the term "zero day" comes from the world of pirated digital media. A pirated version of a movie, music, or software is referred to as "zero day" when it becomes available at the same time or before the official release. In other words, the pirated version is published zero days after the official version.

Therefore, a zero-day vulnerability is a security risk in a piece of software that is not publicly known about and the vendor is not aware of. A zero-day exploit is the method an attacker uses to access the vulnerable system.



What is the Timeline After Exploitation?


A zero-day attack begins with a software developer releasing vulnerable code that is spotted and exploited by a malicious actor. The attack is then either successful, which likely results in the attacker committing identity or information theft, or the developer creates a patch to limit its spread. As soon as a patch has been written and applied, the exploit is no longer referred to as a zero day exploit.

The timeline of zero-day exploitation has been split into seven separate stages by security researchers Leyla Bilge and Tudor Dumitras from vulnerability introduction to security patch. They are as follows:

Stage 1
Vulnerability introduced: A developer creates software that, without them realizing, contains vulnerable code.

Stage 2
Exploit released: A malicious actor discovers the vulnerability before the developer realizes it exists or before they have been able to fix or patch it. The hacker then writes and deploys an exploit code while the vulnerability is still open.

Stage 3
Vulnerability discovered: The vendor becomes aware of the vulnerability but does not have a patch available.

Stage 4
Vulnerability disclosed: The vendor and/or security researchers announce the vulnerability publicly, which advises users and attackers of its existence.

Stage 5
Antivirus signatures released: If attackers have created zero-day malware targeting the vulnerability, then antivirus vendors can quickly identify its signature and provide protection against it. However, systems may remain exposed if there are other ways of exploiting the vulnerability.

Stage 6
Security patch released: The vendor releases a public fix to close the vulnerability. How long this takes to arrive depends on the complexity and how much of a priority it takes in their development process.

Stage 7
Security patch deployment completed: Releasing a security patch does not provide an instant fix as it can take time for users to deploy it. For this reason, organizations and individual users should switch on automatic software updates and take notice of update notifications.

Systems are vulnerable to attack through the entire process from stages 1 to 7, but a zero-day attack can only occur between stages 2 and 4. Further attacks can occur if the vulnerability remains unprotected. Zero-day attacks are rarely discovered quickly enough to prevent substantial damage. It can typically take days, months, and even years before a developer realizes the vulnerability existed and led to an attack and data breach.


Examples of Famous Zero Day Attacks


A zero-day attack can happen to any company at any time, often without them realizing. High-profile examples of zero-day attacks include:

  1. Sony Pictures: Potentially the most famous zero-day attack took down the Sony network and led to the release of its sensitive data on file-sharing sites. The attack, in late 2014, saw the leak of information around upcoming movies, the company’s business plans, and personal email addresses of senior executives.
  2. RSA: Another highly public zero-day attack saw hackers use an unpatched vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player to gain access to the network of security firm RSA in 2011. The attackers sent emails attached with Excel spreadsheets, which contained an embedded Flash file that exploited the zero-day vulnerability, to RSA employees. When employees opened the spreadsheet, it gave the attacker remote control of the user’s computer, which they used to search for and steal data. That information turned out to be related to its SecurID two-factor authentication products that employees use to access sensitive data and devices.
  3. Operation Aurora: In 2009, a zero-day exploit targeted the intellectual property of more than 20 major global organizations, including Adobe Systems, Blackberry, Dow Chemical, Google, Morgan Stanley, and Yahoo. It exploited vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, various other Windows software versions, and Perforce, which Google used to manage its source code. The attack aimed to gain access to and modify source code repositories at high-tech organizations.


How to Protect Against Zero Day Attacks


Fortinet protects businesses against zero-day attacks by helping them prevent known threats, then detect and mitigate potential unknown malicious activity.

Our products provide advanced threat detection technologies that examine network traffic, users, and content to identify unknown threats. For example, sandboxing enables the observation of potentially malicious software without affecting the network, while botnet detection flags patterns that could suggest command-and-control activity.

While a zero-day attack, by its very definition, is impossible to patch, there are methods that allow organizations to defend against them.

  1. Vulnerability scanning: Solutions that scan for vulnerabilities can simulate attacks on software code, review code for errors, and attempt to find new issues that have been introduced in a software update. However, this approach will not detect all zero-day exploits, and scanning alone is not enough. Businesses need to act quickly on the results of a scan and review code to prevent an exploit.
  2. Patch management: Deploying software patches as soon as possible after discovering a software vulnerability can reduce the risk of an attack. However, it cannot prevent an attack if the hacker creates their exploit quicker than the patch is deployed. The longer the patch process takes, the higher the risk of a zero-day attack occurring.
  3. Input validation: Input validation, or data validation, is the proper testing of any input supplied by an application or user to prevent improperly formed data from entering a system. It protects organizations through the vulnerability scanning and patch management process and enables them to respond to new threats in real time. One of the best ways to prevent zero-day attacks is to deploy a web application firewall (WAF) on the network edge to review incoming traffic and filter out malicious inputs that could target security vulnerabilities.
  4. Zero-day initiative: The zero-day initiative is a program that rewards security researchers for disclosing vulnerabilities rather than selling them on the black market. Its aim is to create a community of vulnerability researchers who discover software problems before hackers do. In addition, organizations also offer bug bounty programs that compensate individuals for reporting vulnerabilities to them.


Types of Strategies


To remain vigilant against the threat of zero-day attacks, businesses must have a strategy in place. The key elements of this strategy need to be:

  1. Stay informed: Being proactive and staying informed on the latest risks in the threat landscape is a vital first step in preventing zero-day attacks. This includes deploying comprehensive security software that will block known and unknown threats. It also includes employees practicing safe and secure online habits and configuring security settings for their browsers and systems.
  2. System updates: Ensuring systems are up to date is crucial to protecting a business from the risk of zero-day attacks. This includes having the latest features installed, removing outdated or defunct features, updating drivers, fixing bugs, and filling potential holes in security.
  3. Fortinet next-generation firewall (NGFW) product: Traditional antivirus software cannot effectively protect businesses from zero-day threats. Instead, businesses need to look for solutions that block unknown zero-day malware. The Fortinet NGFW does this by combining deeper inspection capabilities that identify advanced attacks, malware, and threats. It not only blocks malware but also provides the flexibility to evolve with the threat landscape and keep organizations’ networks secure as new threats emerge.


How SpartanTec Inc. can Protect Against Vulnerabilities

SpartanTec, Inc. helps businesses remain secure against the unknown of zero-day attacks in the modern threat landscape. It provides an integrated security solution that spans the entire distributed network environment and offers deep integration required to automatically respond to new threats.

The SpartanTec, Inc. enables businesses to defend against zero-day risks with input validation and sanitization and prevent attacks at the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) level. The SpartanTec, Inc. computer security - Wilmington NC team is committed to discovering new and emerging threats and delivering instant protection solutions before such threats pose a security problem for organizations.

SpartanTec, Inc. products can be configured to receive automatic updates every time our team identifies a new threat.


Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you want to know more how we can help protect your business against zero day attacks and other types of online threats.


SpartanTec, Inc.
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 218-9255

Serving: Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Florence


zero dayYou’ve probably heard about zero day vulnerability but do you have any idea what it is? It’s actually a software security flaw, which the software vendor knows, but can’t fix it since there’s no available patch to fix it. It’s easy for cybercriminals to exploit it.

During these modern times, vulnerabilities are flaws that were not intended and are discovered in operating systems and software programs. Vulnerabilities could be the consequence of incorrect security or computer configurations as well as programming mistakes. If they aren’t addressed, the vulnerabilities will open up security holes that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

Why do zero day vulnerabilities threaten cybersecurity?

Hackers create codes that will target a certain security weakness. They will add it to a malware that is referred to as zero-day exploit. This malicious software will make the most out of the vulnerability so as to cause a certain unintended behaviour or to compromise a computer system. In many instances, a patch that comes from the software developer will be able to fix this.



What if your computer is infected? An exploit malware could easily steal your data, which will allow hackers to have an unauthorized control over your computer. Software could also be used in different ways that they weren’t supposed to do in the first place.  These includes the installation of other malware that could corrupt your files or access the contact list and then send some spam messages using your account. It may also install spyware that’s designed to steal confidential information from your computer.

If you are an avid computer user, a vulnerability will have serious cybersecurity risks since exploit malware could infect your computer through the harmless activities you do when browsing the web such as when you’re viewing a website, playing a compromised media, or opening an infected message.

How do you know if the vulnerability is a zero day?

Zero-day is a new software vulnerability. It simply means that the software developers have zero day to fix the problem since they don’t have the means to do so even if they know that the flaw exists. This is why it can easily be exploited by cybercriminals.

When the vulnerability becomes known in public, the vendor need to work right away to repair the issue in order to protect the users. However, the software vendor might fail to provide a patch before cybercriminals may manage to take advantage of the security hole. That’s referred to as the zero day attack.

How can you protect yourself against zero day vulnerabilities?

Zero-day vulnerabilities will present serious risks to Computer security – Wilmington NC. If you encounter it, you’ll end up dealing with possible damage to your personal data or your computer. If you want to keep your computer safe, then you have to go for a more proactive zero-day managed IT services.

Use an in-depth security software that will protect your system against unknown and known threat. If you don’t have the time or if you don’t know how to do it, you can always consider IT outsourcing.


Call SpartanTec, Inc. now and learn more about our co-managed IT services and for a free assessment.


SpartanTec, Inc.
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 218-9255

Serving: Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Florence


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