I had the opportunity to communicate with Dr. Omar Caban, CEO of Best Growth Stock and learned more about how the company is using security products from Dome9. Thanks, Dr. Caban, for taking the time.
Please introduce yourself and your companyMy name is Dr. Omar Caban. In 2007 I founded Best Growth Stock to provide investors with the most current stock market information, news, and investment analysis. Since then, we have grown the company into a premier financial analysis and content provider, servicing thousands of customers and partners, including Reuters. We provide real-time financial information through our website, which receives more than 20,000 visitors a day.
What are you doing that needed this technology?We run data repositories with millions of pieces of important trading information and analysis on our virtual infrastructure. If stolen or altered, it could prove lucrative for hackers, and disastrous for our business. We know that ensuring that the virtual environment is secure and available, especially during trading hours, is critical to the success of our company.
Up until a few months ago, hackers averaged more than 50 attacks a day on our site, requiring 4-6 hours a day and hundreds of dollars a month for managing the firewall services that protect our virtual environment.
Most attacks to our virtual environment targeted administrative, email systems and root ports left open on the largely Linux CentOs and Microsoft Windows-based machines, which are used to remotely manage our virtual cloud infrastructure. Hackers used port scanners to detect these openings and brute force attacks to access the virtual servers.
What products did you consider before making a selection?We’ve used a variety of security tools, but the attacks on our virtual environment persisted for years. Since the firewall is the front-line defense, up until recently we had invested significant time and resource shoring it up and managing it, including manually adding in hacker and attacking IPs and setting up complex firewall rules. We also moved our Web infrastructure away from the rest of our network and infrastructure.
Despite these efforts, our virtual servers were continually subjected to attacks, and we were forced to divert a lot of resources to securing our virtual environment, resources we wanted to invest in growing the business.
Why did you select this product?We are a CloudFlare customer, and heard about their partnership with Dome9 to secure virtual environments. Once we signed up for the Dome9 service, the hacking immediately stopped, and we were sold. We used to log more than 50 attacks every day, but once we turned on Dome9 they stopped completely. We saw how Dome9 made not only our virtual cloud invisible to the hackers, but also made our virtual environment faster and more responsive. Selecting this product was a no-brainer.
What tangible benefits have you received through the use of this product?Now we are more secure, and have saved a significant amount of money. Since Dome9 is a SaaS solution, it eliminated the capital, support, and hosting costs of our previously deployed static firewall service. And Dome9’s easy-to-use policy controls and built-in automation saved us time over managing static firewall configuration, and manually opening and closing ports both on the virtual host and network firewall. Our most tangible result, however, is that we’ve seen huge productivity gains because instead of fighting off attacks for hours at a time, we now focus on supporting the growth of the business. In addition to the productivity gains, our servers are running faster and at optimal conditions since they are not responding to hackers’ activities anymore.
Specifically, we’ve been able to reduce our virtual security costs by 20 percent less than what they were previously. And now we have been able to re-architect and consolidate our virtual environment to save us even more money so we can invest in more content.
What advice would you offer to others?I think my biggest piece of advice is to not let the past hold you back.
When we moved to the cloud we first attempted to apply the security we had previously used in our data center – set up a dedicated firewall around the servers and manually manage its policies. But as we quickly learned, that model doesn’t work in the cloud. It doesn’t fit, it doesn’t scale, and frankly technology has advanced so you can do a lot more with less, so why not? After all, the whole point of moving to the virtual cloud is to gain efficiency and flexibility. Security should not be an inhibitor to either.