It was the summer of ‘69. And it was a big year for space travel. Armstrong stepped onto the moon and computer scientists took the first step into cyberspace.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. The computer scientists were far less profound – a single syllable traveled from a computer at UCLA to Stanford:
Not ye olde English kind, as in, Lo! A star! Just a failed attempt to send the word “Login”.
Who’s on the front line of defending cyberspace? Meet the Data Defenders:
1. Palo Alto Networks
The ones checking IDs at the door
Firewalls protect the perimeter of a computer network. And in the world of firewalls, Palo Alto Networks reigns supreme. Gartner, a globally recognized leader in IT research, ranked them as a leader in this space six years running. Their advanced firewall software is designed to let authorized traffic in, and keep unauthorized or malicious traffic out.
2. Cisco Systems
The ones that wrote the book on how to play red light green light
Internet traffic needs highways, roads, signs, on-ramps, signals, and police, just like real-life traffic. Cisco is the company that creates and maintains more than half of the market share for networking hardware like switches and routers. They also write rules and protocol to make it all run smoothly. According to Forbes, Cisco is the 63rd largest company in the world.
The ones who keep building new trophy rooms to house all of their awards
You might know Symantec as the makers of Norton antivirus software – the rest of the business world knows them as the leader in overall security software. They have security products for just about everything a business or individual needs and are consistently ranked as the industry leader year after year. Their security teams are constantly working to stay ahead of the changing landscape of cybersecurity.
The ones that name drop on a regular basis
Nearly 100% of Fortune 100 companies use their virtualization software. VMWare allows companies to create and run multiple virtual machines on a single physical machine – making it cheaper and easier to scale a business. VMWare’s tools allow companies to achieve global growth while still prioritizing data security.
The ones that wear their hall monitor badges with pride
In order to request information on the internet, you’ll need to obtain a hall pass (IP) from the teacher (DHCP) that explains where you want to go (DNS) and what you want to do there. It’s a system that helps good people find the information they’re looking for — but it’s also a major way that hackers exploit and attack servers. Infoblox has tools that function as the hall monitor of the internet, giving companies the ability to secure their servers from these kinds of attacks. In 2015, they had 50% of the market share in this space (no other company had more than 15%).
6. Science Applications International Corp.
The ones with top secret security clearance
When the federal government needs protection for critical infrastructure, they call on SAIC. The country’s most vital assets (think Hoover Dam, EPA structures, and defense information systems) require a strong combination of physical and virtual security. And SAIC provides it.
The ones that prevent grandma from sending cash to “you” while stranded abroad
Perimeters are an important line of defense from cyberattack, but what about threats from the inside? Well-known data breaches (think, Edward Snowden) happened when an employee willingly took information from the inside, but sometimes employees can even do it by mistake (face palm). Imperva’s tools allow companies to defend against insider threats – both the malicious and the careless kind. Their technology allows companies to detect unauthorized web-bots and authorized users behaving inappropriately – and prevents them from stealing, corrupting, or committing fraud with the company’s data.
These Data Defenders are on the front line of cyberspace – protecting individuals, companies, and governments from the threat of cyberattack. Who else is on the front line?
The one with the killer password that’s definitely not 123456 or starwars
In most cases, threats to your own data in cyberspace could be stopped if you just tried a little bit harder with your password. No matter how many times we’re told to avoid using “password” in our password, the message just doesn’t seem to stick. And there’s large amounts of data to prove it. Every time a database is breached and passwords get leaked to the world, a company called SplashData analyzes all of them to see how people are doing. Turns out – we still get an “F” in passwords. “123456” and “password” continue to top the charts as favorite password of the masses.
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