Cisco Umbrella – Protecting your Users in a Remote World

by | May 26, 2020 | Cloud

Many organizations, especially in these days of COVID-19, are looking to protect their users operating in-home networks.  These home networks are connected to our corporate networks, and corporate IT needs to provide continuity in security no matter where the remote worker is connecting.  Whether at home, in a coffee shop, hotel, or on any wireless connection outside the control of the corporate technology group, these security and information technology groups need to provide a security that is always on.  One such technology is Cisco Umbrella. 

What’s in it for the remote worker? 

  • The user will have always on protection. The Umbrella roaming client operates continuously on the user’s computer.  This computer could be a corporate asset or a personal computer accessing corporate resources.  This does not mean that they should not be vigilant on where they browse or what they click on, but Umbrella provides a safety net for the user. 
  • The Umbrella client operates transparent to the user, protecting behind the scenes.  The user can know that the technology has their back when on the internet. 
  • The user is informed in the browser when hitting a malicious site through a custom browser screen.  Additionally, the internet filtering protects the user from inadvertently going to websites that are malicious or contain non-approved content. 
  • The user will have protection from inadvertent web site searching by others within the household on corporate equipment or from personal browsing by the user.  Many public sites contain malicious code and ads that can provide a conduit for would be attackers. 
  • The computer at use on the corporate network can be protected from other equipment in use in the home network, allowing you to stop traffic traversing the VPN to the corporate network. 
  • The user desires to be a good stewarof the company’s data and network assets.

Umbrella is a more than just DNS based security. It provides: 

  • Flexible security protection on and off network. 
  • DNS layer security preventing malware and web content early in the security chain; the user never reaches the malicious website. 
  • A Secure Web Gateway and Firewall, especially where users may not have appropriate security controls during time of internet access like the home or remote situations. 
  • Consistent security and filtering policies across all user-based locations, known and unknown – hotels, coffee shops, home, or in any less secure location. 
  • Insight into bad activities and an investigative tool for your IT team. 
  • Improved visibility to worldwide security incidents leveraging global Cisco Talos network. 

There are a couple of Umbrella versions that can operate within the extended network, each with increasing functionality.  Peters can additionally offer Umbrella as a managed service, where we help your organization manage the product and call attention to anomalies with your network team and users. 

 Cisco Umbrella Versions:   

  • DNS Security Essentials and Managed Services offering of Insights: Provides the base Umbrella functionality of threat/malware protection, policy enforcement, and reporting. 
  • DNS Security Advantage: Allows for everything in essentials plus an investigation console based toolset providing valuable data to your network teams. 
  • SIG Essentials: Provides everything in advantage plus the ability for a secure web gateway with L3-L4 firewalling and acting as a cloud access security broker (CASB).  Additionally, this version includes SSL decryption, file analysis, granular app controls, and integration with other security products.

All versions can provide DNS protection on network or through the use of a roaming client, which is always running on the device. 

Cisco Umbrella is one of those critical tools in your security arsenal that helps to protect the user and in turn your network, no matter where they are since they are on the frontlines of your network.  It gives your IT team invaluable insight and ability to protect the network from one of the weakest links, everyone operating on the network itself.  The most seasoned user can make an ill informed decision in a weak moment.  I have seen this occur firsthand when users are digging through email or on the web for information, especially in those busy moments within each of our workdays.

Peters & Associates is pleased to offer a proof of concept for Cisco Umbrella. Please reach out to us at info@peters.com or give us a call at 630.832.0075