We recently interviewed Terry Duchcherer, CEO of NETAGO, a successful internet service provider based in Alberta that provides consumers and businesses alike with reliable broadband connectivity, along with value-added services like Voice Over IP (VoIP) and IPTV. NETAGO invested in CIRA’s D-Zone DNS Firewall to help protect their customers from the rapidly growing threats posed by all forms of malware.
How do you approach the issue of security and protecting your network and your customers?
In general, our approach at NETAGO is to try and control as much as we can right at our gateways. We try to mitigate any type of known DDOS or other attack before it ever gets to the customer routers. As much as it’s possible, we try to focus on perimeter security.
We’re an internet service provider and I believe we’re one of the first ISPs to use the D-Zone Firewall product. Prior to us becoming a customer it was mainly deployed by schools and other institutions.
So, our perspective is maybe a little different from those kinds of organizations because we’re providing consumer and business clients with internet access and related services like Voice Over IP. The one thing that I’ve seen over the last few years – obviously, malware has become rampant – is that the average consumer has no idea what’s going on in their network. When we know a customer has a malware infection, and we get in touch with them, they often have no idea what we’re talking about.
Our motivation for going to the D-Zone Firewall was basically trying to eliminate as many of those problems as possible before they become a concern.
What kind of threats do you have to protect yourself against?
Fortunately, we haven’t had many serious threats, other than occasional denial of service attacks against our customers. One of the reasons for this is that we have enough public IPs to be able to assign one to each of our customers.
There are a lot of other ISPs who don’t have enough public IPs for their customers and therefore have to NAT their customers behind a single IP. These ISPs tend to have a lot more problems with denial of service attacks than we do, so we’ve been quite fortunate in that respect.
Have you had any critical attacks?
Fortunately, there’s nothing that really stands out in terms of specific incidents. Probably the largest security threats we see on an ongoing basis are the phishing emails our customers get that appear to be coming from us.
The emails prompt our customers to click a link in an attempt to collect their user names and passwords. In fact, a lot of the ransomware threats we see today are coming through emails like these. Phishing attacks are probably one of the weakest security links in the internet. In our experience, people will click on just about anything that appears to be from their ISP.
To address this, we run very tight security on our on-site email servers. One of the first things we do if we see that there’s a phishing email that appears to be coming from us, is to block all the URLs in the email to make it impossible for our customers to click on the links.
What role does D-Zone play in helping you implement your defensive strategy against hackers?
The biggest thing that D-Zone does for us is that it stops all the malware from being able to do DNS lookups. This prevents the malware program from being able to communicate with its command and control servers.
The detailed reports that we get from the D-Zone system show that it’s preventing most of the malware attacks from doing what they’re supposed to do. So, it’s definitely working as expected.
To learn more about the D-Zone DNS Firewall and to start a free 30-day evaluation period please visit the product page.