Advantage adds local flavor to international security solution

Bringing the adage “more is more” to life, managed IT and security services provider Advantage has integrated the Government Communications and Security Bureau’s Malware Free Networks feed into its Netskope threat protection and monitoring platform. . The result is arguably an unparalleled offering in the Security Service Edge environment, according to Steve Smith, regional manager for Advantage Auckland.

He explains why: “Integrating Malware Free Networks into Netskope SSE increases and improves end-user protection by including local threat intelligence in a global product. Typically, cloud solutions only have international streams.

The concept of SSE, or Security Service Edge, emerged quite recently (2021) as a necessary way to secure access to websites, Software as a Service and private applications. Distinct from the perhaps more familiar Secure Access Service Edge (which targets network access issues with a single brokerage structure), SSE includes a set of integrated, cloud-centric security features. These features include multiple “feeds” for threat intelligence; as Smith noted, in services from global providers such as California-headquartered Netskope, streams come “from anywhere but little old New Zealand.”

Until now, of course.

GCSB’s Malware Free Networks are New Zealand’s small contribution to data security – which is, after all, an issue with no geographical boundaries. As a threat detection and disruption service, Malware Free Networks is delivered via a curated threat intelligence feed from a variety of sources, including NCSC’s international cybersecurity partners (we note the emerging paradox, as this jeopardizes local claims) and information from the National Cyber ​​Security Center’s Cyber ​​Defense Capabilities. According to the GCSB, Malware Free Networks “provides near real-time threat intelligence reflecting current malicious activity targeting New Zealand organisations.”

In his implementation of Security Service Edge, Smith explains, netscope ‘protects users from bad URLs, malware, and other threats no matter where they connect from’, and reduces the requirement for VPN rules and data loss prevention to protect data from the company. In other words, it makes it easier to work from anywhere from a security and access perspective, as the comforting days of “everything behind the firewall” fade away and people work at home, in cafes and bus stops.

Smith says Advantage wasted no time getting involved with Malware Free Networks, start integration in December 2021 with the task completed in February this year. And Advantage didn’t stop at netscope, or by integrating the GCSB feed into its security information and event management platform, managed firewall, email filtering, managed detection and response services. Yes, as well as its Netskope-based Secure Access Service Edge and Secure Web Gateway platforms.

Of course, Advantage wasted no time in bringing the solution to market. One example is a win with MSP partner Xuba: “We deployed Netskope as a data loss prevention solution for New Zealand’s largest credit union,” says Jarrod Dowd, Managing Director of Xuba. “We now have transparency with our cloud environment and can prevent data from crossing cloud platforms with alerts of any possible data breaches. Our overall security levels have increased significantly.

“Since integrating Malware Free Networks, we’ve disrupted thousands of potential attacks on all of our products,” Smith said.

Advantage Managing Director Brad Pearpoint is understandably pleased with the results Advantage has achieved in integrating GCSB flow and delivering a Netskope service incorporating Kiwi ingenuity. “The guys went to great lengths to get this delivered quickly over the holidays, no less,” he says. “It’s the kind of agility that has kept us at the forefront of IT services for over 35 years.


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