23 August 2010

Critical Infrastructure Resilience: Put On a "Black Hat"...

Why is a data-centric network like AboveNet, Inc. with their high bandwith solutions connecting with Terremark's NAP in the Washington, DC region? Operational Risk and Cloud Computing is the answer. Clients and customers are requesting more secure infrastructure to house and store their growing inventory of cloud-based apps and other data requirements for "Business Continuity", Disaster Recovery and Continuity of Operations.

Built to accommodate five 50,000-square-foot independent data centers and one 72,000-square-foot office building, Terremark's NAP of the Capital Region exceeds Federal standards for a carrier grade data communications and hosting facility. Customers in the Terremark NAP of the Capital Region now have access to AboveNet's high bandwidth connectivity solutions for all business data communications needs. AboveNet currently serves Terremark customers at the NAP of the Capital Region, and also connects to Terremark data centers in Miami, FL, Dallas, TX, and Santa Clara, CA.

AboveNet has the expertise and high bandwidth connectivity solutions to meet your specific business needs. Customers use high bandwidth solutions to enable their mission critical applications

  • Major Broadcasters use AboveNet’s high bandwidth connectivity solutions to facilitate broadcasting of their live shows and to store historical video content to remote datacenters
  • Pre and Post Film Production Houses are using fiber optic connectivity solutions to provide on lot virtualized post production capabilities for all new films
  • Online Gaming and Social Networking customers use AboveNet services to support content delivery for their end users
  • Online Communication, Content and Product providers use fiber networks to provide content for their on-line products such as MSN, Hot Mail, etc
  • Major Financial Institutions use WDM fiber optic connectivity to achieve their Financial Transaction Processing and Business Continuity needs
  • Hedge Funds use Ethernet networks to connect to the likes of NASDAQ and AMEX and move trading data between their offices
  • Oil and Energy customers use WDM networks to support their Geo Thermal Mapping Disaster Recovery needs
  • Internet Sales customers use high bandwidth network solutions to boast the efficiency of their sales and service

Critical Infrastructure solutions in the global economy require a robust combination of bandwith and data centers. The Virtual Corporation and the Blur of change in the connected enterprise requires that the servers that are the "life blood" of the business be available, fast and assured. Business agreements that improve the capabilities of vital critical infrastructure organizations is a vital facet of prudent Operational Risk Management. Why?

These servers are often underutilized, tying up capital in unneeded software licenses, half-empty drives and idle processing capacity. Long deployment times limit your ability to respond rapidly in an on-demand world. And dedicated servers are expensive to replace, leaving you tied to older models while new advances pass you by.

A true utility computing solution should solve both the economic and capacity-on-demand shortcomings of traditional infrastructure, allowing you to pay only for the resources you need while enabling the rapid deployment of new capacity. And it should do all of this without any performance compromise, in a secure, highly available enterprise-class environment.

The Operational Risks of owning, operating and maintaining your own computing infrastructure are growing. The risks of new threats to embedded systems is also increasing in the transportation industry. The safety and security of the traveling public is being compromised by computers that control braking on a Metro train and the proper position for the wing flaps on a departing commercial airliner:

Authorities investigating the 2008 crash of Spanair flight 5022 have discovered a central computer system used to monitor technical problems in the aircraft was infected with malware.

An internal report issued by the airline revealed the infected computer failed to detect three technical problems with the aircraft, which if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais.

Flight 5022 crashed just after takeoff from Madrid-Barajas International Airport two years ago today, killing 154 and leaving only 18 survivors.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board reported in a preliminary investigation that the plane had taken off with its flaps and slats retracted — and that no audible alarm had been heard to warn of this because the systems delivering power to the take-off warning system failed. Two earlier events had not been reported by the automated system.

The malware on the Spanair computer has been identified as a type of Trojan horse.

Are you investing as much in the safety and security of your computing infrastructure as you are in the preventative maintenance of your vehicles, rail cars or aircraft? When was the last time you took them offline and audited these systems for the possibility of infections or just incorrect or outdated updates to the software?

The facts are that you don't have the proper manpower or resources to keep up with the "Blur of the Connected Economy" in the transportation or information technology sectors. Your Operational Risks are increasing by the day, minute and second as a result of your ignorance to the Single-Points-of-Failure in the design, implementation or configuration of your systems.

So what is on the minds of those interested in your own self-defense? See Blackhat Briefings from last month and see what might impact you and your organization.

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