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Security is a major concern for IT admins and if you’re responsible for important workloads hosted in Azure, you need to know your security is as tight as possible. In this free webinar, presented by Thomas Maurer, Senior Cloud Advocate on the Microsoft Azure Engineering Team, and Microsoft MVP Andy Syrewicze, you will learn how to use Azure Security Center to ensure your cloud environment is fully protected.

There are certain topics in the IT administration world which are optional but security is not one of them. Ensuring your security knowledge is ahead of the curve is an absolute necessity and becoming increasingly important as we are all becoming exposed to more and more online threats every day. If you are responsible for important workloads hosted in Azure, this webinar is a must!

The webinar covers:

  • Azure Security Center introductions
  • Deployment and first steps
  • Best practices
  • Integration with other tools
  • And much more!

Being an Altaro-hosted webinar, expect this webinar to be packed full of actionable information presented via live demos so you can see the theory put into practice before your eyes. Also, Altaro put a heavy emphasis on interactivity, encouraging questions from attendees and using engaging polls to get instant feedback on the session. To ensure as many people as possible have this opportunity, Altaro present the webinar live twice so pick the best time for you and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you like!

Webinar: Azure Security Center: How to Protect Your Datacenter with Next Generation Security
Date: Tuesday, 30th July
Time: Webinar presented live twice on the day. Choose your preferred time:

  • 2pm CEST / 5am PDT / 8am EDT
  • 7pm CEST / 10am PDT / 1pm EDT

Click here to save your free seat Now!

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Cisco announced a major update to their CCNA, CCNP and CCIE certification program at Cisco Live last week, with the changes happening on the 24th  February 2020.

  CCNA and CCENT Certification

The 10 current CCNA tracks (CCNA Routing and Switching, CCNA Cloud, CCNA Collaboration, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCNA Data Center, CCNA Industrial, CCNA Security, CCNA Service Provider, CCNA Wireless and CCNA Design) are being retired and replaced with a single ‘CCNA’ certification. The new CCNA exam combines most of the information on the current CCNA Routing and Switching with additional wireless, security and network automation content.

A new Cisco Certified DevNet Associate certification is also being released to satisfy the increasing demand in this area.

The current CCENT certification is being retired. There hasn’t been an official announcement from Cisco yet but rumours are saying that we might be seeing new ‘Foundations’ certifications which will focus on content from the retiring CCNA tracks.

CCNP Certification

Different technology tracks remain at the CCNP level. CCNP Routing and Switching, CCNP Design and CCNP Wireless are being consolidated into the new CCNP Enterprise, and CCNP Cloud is being retired. A new Cisco Certified DevNet Professional certification is also being released.

Only two exams will be required to achieve each CCNP certification – a Core and a Concentration exam. Being CCNA certified will no longer be a prerequisite for the CCNP certification.

If you pass any CCNP level exams before February 24 2020, you’ll receive badging for corresponding new exams and credit toward the new CCNP certification.

Click to Enlarge

CCIE Certification

The format of the CCIE remains largely the same, with a written and lab exam required to achieve the certification. The CCNP Core exam will be used as the CCIE Written exam though, there will no longer be a separate written exam at the CCIE level. Automation and Network Programmability are being added to the exams for every track.

All certifications will be valid for 3 years under the new program so you will no longer need to recertify CCIE every 2 years.

How the Changes Affect You

If you’re currently studying for any Cisco certification the advice from Cisco is to keep going. If you pass before the cutover your certification will remain valid for 3 years from the date you certify. If you pass some but not all CCNP level exams before the change you can receive credit towards the new certifications.

We've added a few resources to which you can turn to an obtain additional information:

The Flackbox blog has a comprehensive video and text post covering all the changes.

The official Cisco certification page is here.

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In our previous article we explained how a Netflow Analyzer can help you gain visibility into your user traffic, application traffic and data flows while at the same time analyze traffic patterns, detect unusual traffic, verify bandwidth availability, detect Quality of Service (QoS) problems and a lot more.

In this article we will introduce Network Analyzer - a bandwidth and traffic analysis tool that helps you monitor the bandwidth utilization in your network and analyze the who, when, what of your network traffic. It uses flow technology to give you real time visibility into your network and supports all major flow formats such us netflow, sflow, jflow, IPFIX, and appflow.

Network Analyzer helps you to drill down into interface level details to discover traffic patterns and monitor device performance, recognize and classify Non-Standard Apps that hog your network bandwidth, and detect security threats. Using a network bandwidth monitoring tool like NetFlow Analyzer allows you to monitor all these critical parameters in real-time.

Here is what we'll be covering in this article:

Easy Installation

NetFlow Analyzer is available for Windows and Linux platforms. For information on supported versions and other specifications, look up System Requirements.

Installing NetFlow Analyzer

Windows:

  1. Download  NetFlow Analyzer for Windows
  2. Double-click it to start installation. Follow the instructions as they appear on screen to install NetFlow Analyzer on to your machine successfully. NetFlow Analyzer supports both, PostgreSQL and MSSQL as database. Select the desired database and click Next.

Linux:

  1. Download NetFlow Analyzer for Linux
  2. Assign execute permission using the command: chmod a+x ManageEngine_NetFlowAnalyzer_xxxx.bin where ManageEngine_NetFlowAnalyzer_xxxx is the name of the downloaded BIN file.
  3. Execute the following command: ./ManageEngine_NetFlowAnalyzer_xxxx.bin

Note: During installation if you get an error message stating that the temp folder does not have enough space, try executing this command with the -is:tempdiroption parameter where is the absolute path of an existing directory:

./ManageEngine_NetFlowAnalyzer_xxxx.bin -is:tempdir

For non-x11 machines, use the following command:

./ManageEngine_NetFlowAnalyzer_xxxx.bin -console

Follow the instructions as they appear on the screen to install NetFlow Analyzer on to your machine successfully.

Once you have successfully installed NetFlow Analyzer, start the NetFlow Analyzer server by following the steps below.

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Network security scanning is now possible on all versions of Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner, making this much easier and much more efficient to run both web security scans and network security scans at the same time. This is possible thanks to the seamless integration of Acunetix with the powerful OpenVAS security solution. There are many advantages of running network security scans in Acunetix - Click here to find out more.

Additional features supported by the latest version include:

  • Full support for IPv6
  • Improved usage of machine resources
  • Added support for Selenium scripts as import files
  • Multiple vulnerability checks for SAP
  • Unauthorized access detection for Redis and Memcached
  • Source code disclosure for Ruby and Python

For those interested, Acunetix is available as a free download.

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Monitoring network traffic & bandwidth usage via Netflow is mandatory for any type and size network. Gaining visibility into user traffic, application traffic and data flows allows network engineers, administrators and security specialists detect bottlenecksnetwork congestion, unusual traffic patterns, monitor SLA agreements with providers, verify bandwidth availability, detect Quality of Service (QoS) issues, Wi-Fi Network monitoring, plus much more.

Here’s what we’ve got covered in this article:

Netflow: Discovering & Monitoring Your Network Traffic

Netflow is a network protocol developed by Cisco used to collect IP traffic information and monitoring network traffic. It’s used and supported in almost any network and has become the de-factor industry standard.

Other vendors support similar flow technologies, here are a few examples:

  • HP/3Com, Dell and Netgear: s-flow
  • Juniper: Jflow
  • Ericsson: Rflow
  • Alcatel-Lucent: Cflow
  • Huawei: NetStream

IT infrastructure has become much more sophisticated in the last decade and equally complicated. With the market growing every day, customer expectations are higher than ever. Networks are no more limited within a firewall. Now it extends to public and private clouds, and SaaS. This makes it more important for network admins to ensure faster connectivity between the user, and the public and private clouds or data centres.

The primary objective of bandwidth analysis is to monitor the performance of your network, and this can include different types of bandwidth utilization such as application traffic, wireless network, Wide Area Network (WAN) or Local Area Network (LAN) utilization, etc., where every device, service, and individual user is competing for their share of bandwidth. While the immediate solution for traffic congestion could be increasing your bandwidth capacity, the challenge is in realizing if your enterprise even requires that extra bandwidth. And in case you find yourself unable to provide sufficient bandwidth to users based on their needs or unable to control non-business traffic, you are not alone.

Network admins cannot manually keep track of everything going on in your network 24x7, and according to reports and surveys conducted by Packeteers, at least sixty to seventy percent of network managers don’t know what is traversing their networks. Your network is prone to various attacks, and congestions or spikes in your network could be caused by internal or external threats that can vary from DDoS attacks to your own business-critical applications.

As we can appreciate, it is extremely important the network tools used are capable of providing enough information and visibility so we can monitor, identify and troubleshoot effectively and efficiently as possible.

A common question is what capabilities should the bandwidth monitoring tool provide?

Important Features in a Netflow Monitoring Tool: Visibility
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With so much enterprise network traffic now destined for the cloud, backhauling traffic across an expensive MPLS connection to a data center to apply security policy no longer makes sense. Software-defined WANs (SD-WAN) promise lower transport costs with direct, higher-performing connections to cloud and Internet resources. But what are the security implications of moving traffic off of private MPLS VPNs and onto public broadband links?

This article tackles the above and many more questions around enterprise WAN network connectivity options and the different type of SD-WAN network implementations along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Here’s what we’ve got covered for you:

Directly connecting branch offices to the cloud increases your exposure to malware and Internet-borne attacks, expanding your attack surface across many sites. If not adequately addressed, these risks could outweigh the cost and performance benefits of SD-WAN. Let’s take a look at the SD-WAN options for securing your sites.

SD-WAN Deployment Options

There are a few SD-WAN options available. Each requires a different approach to branch security:

  • Do it yourself (DIY): It’s possible to build and manage your own SD-WAN by deploying firewalling and unified threat management (UTM) capabilities yourself at each branch site. You can install separate physical appliances for each type of security you need or run the security tasks as virtual network functions (VNFs) in software. VNFs usually run in a special CPE appliance, but it may also be possible to run the VNFs in your branch router, depending on which router vendor you use.
  • Telco managed SD-WAN services: This option mirrors the DIY approach above; however, a telco resells the needed SD-WAN appliances and software to you and manages the installation on your behalf. The SD-WAN setup is the same but lightens the load on your IT staff and reduces the need for specialized SD-WAN skill sets in-house.
  • SD-WAN as a cloud service (“SD-WANaaS”) from a software-defined carrier (SDC): With this option, most SD-WAN functions run as a distributed, multi-tenant software stack in a global, private cloud maintained by your SDC. The provider integrates multiple levels of security into the network in the cloud, and your traffic traverses the SDC provider’s own IP backbone, avoiding the risk and best-effort performance challenges of the public Internet.

Let’s take a closer look at each approach.

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There are two primary approaches to web application security testing. Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), also called black box testing, imitates an attacker.

The application is tested from the outside with no access to the source code or the web server. Static Application Security Testing (SAST), also called white box testing, imitates a code reviewer. The application source code is analyzed from the inside.

Before we dive deeper into these interesting web application testing and vulnerability scanning technologies, let's take a quick look at what's covered:

Analyzing Dynamic Security & Static Application Security Testing

Both of these methods have lots of advantages. The DAST approach is very practical and has huge coverage. You can run a black box test on an application written even in the most exotic technology or language. Its coverage is even bigger because detected vulnerabilities can be caused for example by bad configuration and not by mistakes in the source code.

On the other hand, SAST can let you discover some things that are not obvious when seen from the outside. For example, additional URLs or parameters. With white box testing, you also know immediately where the problem is located in the source code so it speeds up fixing.

IAST provides precision web vulnerability scanning

Imagine how effective a security scan can be if you were to join the two methods together! And no, this is not just theory, it actually exists. The merger of these two approaches is called Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) or gray box testing and is available for example in Acunetix (thanks to its AcuSensor technology).

A free trial Web Vulnerability Scanner can be downloaded from: Acunetix

What Can You Do with IAST?
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Implementing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a great way of streamlining and optimizing your IT environment by utilizing virtualized resources from the cloud to complement your existing on-site infrastructure. It enables a flexible combination of the traditional on-premises data center alongside the benefits of cloud-based subscription services. If you’re not making use of this model, there’s no better opportunity to learn what it can do for you than in the upcoming webinar from Altaro: How to Supercharge your Infrastructure with Azure IaaS.

The webinar will be presented by Thomas Maurer, who has recently been appointed Senior Cloud Advocate, on the Microsoft Azure Engineering Team alongside Altaro Technical Evangelist and Microsoft MVP Andy Syrewicze.

The webinar will be primarily focused on showing how Azure IaaS solves real use cases by going through the scenarios live on air. Three use cases have been outlined already, however, the webinar format encourages those attending to suggest their own use cases when signing up and the two most popular suggestions will be added to the list for Thomas and Andy to tackle. To submit your own use case request, simply fill out the suggestion box in the sign up form when you register!

Once again, this webinar is going to presented live twice on the day (Wednesday 13th February). So if you can’t make the earlier session (2pm CET / 8am EST / 5am PST), just sign up for the later one instead (7pm CET / 1pm EST / 10am PST) - or vice versa. Both sessions cover the same content but having two live sessions gives more people the opportunity to ask their questions live on air and get instant feedback from these Microsoft experts.

Save your seat for the webinar!

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Acunetix has just released their annual Web Application Vulnerability report which aims to provide security professionals, web application developers, system administrators, web server administrators and other interested parties with an analysis of data on web application vulnerabilities detected the past year via scans run on the Acunetix Online platform.

The extensive report has been compiled from scans performed from more than 10,000 targets and reveals some very interesting results about today's security threats and the percentage of organizations that correctly deal with their vulnerable web applications and exploits. From SQL Injection vulnerabilities to Cross-Site-Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, popular CMS platform vulnerabilities to remediation steps and more.

Here are some of the report's highlights that will surely interest every IT security professional and web application developer

  • 46% of websites scanned contained high severity vulnerabilities
  • 87% of websites contained medium severity vulnerabilities
  • SQL Injection vulnerabilities have declined slightly
  • 30% of websites contained Cross-Site-Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities
  • 30% of websites had vulnerable JavaScript Libraries
  • 30% of websites were WordPress sites with a number of vulnerabilities

The free to download report is a great opportunity for professionals to learn more about the latest and greatest vulnerabilities circling the web and proactively take measures to ensure their own websites and web applications are properly tested and patched against popular vulnerabilities and attacks.

Here’s vital security information the 2019 Web Application Vulnerability Report contains:

  • Vulnerabilities that are rising and falling in frequency
  • Vulnerability findings by type and severity
  • Changes in the threat landscape from both clients and server sides
  • The four major stages of vulnerability analysis
  • Detailed analysis of each discovered vulnerability – how it works, pointers and remediation steps
  • Current security concerns – increasing complexity of new applications, accelerating rate of new versions and the problem of scale
  • Vulnerabilities that are major to the security of all organizations, regardless of their size and location.
  • Plenty of useful information and advice aimed for network security professionals, web application developers, IT Managers, security auditors, application architects and more.

The 2019 Web Application Vulnerability Report is offered completely free to download and is used by leading security professionals and web application developers to help understand how to protect network and applications for the latest security threats and web vulnerabilities.

Click image to download

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Altaro, a global leader in virtual machine data protection and recovery, has introduced WAN-Optimized Replication in its latest version, v8, allowing businesses to be back up and running in minimal time should disaster strike. Replication permits a business to make an ongoing copy of its virtual machines (VMs) and to access that copy with immediacy should anything go wrong with the live VMs. This dramatically reduces the recovery time objective (RTO).

Optimized for WANs, Altaro's WAN-Optimized Replication enables system administrators to replicate ongoing changes to their virtual machines (VMs) to a remote site and to seamlessly continue working from the replicated VMs should something go wrong with the live VMs, such as damage due to severe weather conditions, flooding, ransomware, viruses, server crashes and so on.

Drastically Reducing RTO

"WAN-Optimized Replication allows businesses to continue accessing and working in the case of damage to their on-premise servers. If their office building is hit by a hurricane and experiences flooding, for instance, they can continue working from their VMs that have been replicated to an offsite location," explained David Vella, CEO and co-founder of Altaro Software.

"As these are continually updated with changes, businesses using Altaro VM Backup can continue working without a glitch, with minimal to no data loss, and with an excellent recovery time objective, or RTO."

Click here to download your free copy now of Altaro VMware Backup

Centralised, Multi-tenant View for MSPs

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can now add replication services to their offering, with the ability to replicate customer data to the MSP's infrastructure. This way, if a customer site goes down, that customer can immediately access its VMs through the MSP's infrastructure and continue working.

With Altaro VM Backup for MSPs, MSPs can manage their customer accounts through a multi-tenant online console for greater ease, speed and efficiency, enabling them to provide their customers with a better, faster service.

How to Upgrade

WAN-Optimized Replication is currently available exclusively for customers who have the Unlimited Plus edition of Altaro VM Backup. It is automatically included in Altaro VM Backup for MSPs.

Upgrading to Altaro VM Backup v8 is free for Unlimited Plus customers who have a valid Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA). The latest build can be downloaded from this page. If customers are not under active SMA, they should contact their Altaro Partner for information about how to upgrade.

New users can benefit from a fully-functional 30-day trial of Altaro VM Backup Unlimited Plus.

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