Press Release

First Communications Resources

First Communications & I.T. Security Leader Fortinet Partner to Launch Advanced Managed Network Security Solution

Date: 18.02.2015

Akron, OH: First Communications – a leading provider of data networking and managed services to businesses throughout the United States, is pleased to announce that it has partnered with data security industry leader Fortinet to launch its First Managed Security service.  First Managed Security is designed to cost effectively help organizations meet constantly evolving security challenges, which include:

  • Increasing varied and complex cyber-security threats.
  • Heightened compliance requirements, under HIPAA, GLBA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and numerous other industry requirements.
  • Exponential growth of cloud computing, remote and mobile users, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and Internet of Things (IoT), all of which can create a number of network management and security challenges.
  • Shortage (or lack of) dedicated in-house security expertise, and difficulty and keeping levels of protection current due to constantly changing threat profiles.
  • Budgetary constraints, and difficulty demonstrating ROI until after security issue has surfaced and it’s too late.

“It seems like every other day, there is a story in the media about a major security breach at a large US retailer or other organization.  You don’t even hear about the more common incidents that impact smaller organizations” said Margi Shaw, President of First Communications. “By combining Fortinet’s industry leading security platform with First Communication’s in-house network management expertise, we can now provide our clients with a very powerful security tool that is custom configured for each client, and gives high degree of control and peace of mind that is difficult to achieve without very specialized IT resources.”

The high visibility of recent breaches and cyber-theft of customer data that recently occurred at Target, Home Depot, and JP Morgan Chase have made organizations acutely aware of the high cost of security breaches, both in terms of the high dollar cost of remediation as well as the more difficult to quantify damage to brand reputation and loss of customer trust.

The Advanced Managed Network Security solution is based on the industry leading FortiGate™ Firewall, and encompasses four building blocks of network security protection, which are:

1.  Firewall – the first building block in the network security infrastructure, the firewall is hardware blocks unauthorized sources from accessing your network based on a set of rules established by and custom configured for the customer.

2.  Intrusion Detection (IDS) – the second building block, the IDS inspects inbound and outbound activity allowed through the firewall, and identifies suspicious activities and patterns that cannot be detected by the firewall’s rules.  Provides alerts when suspicious activity is detected, and produces logs and reports which can be used for audit trail purposes.

3.  Intrusion Prevention (IPS) – the IPS is the third building block of network security.  The role of the IPS is to automatically defend against threats identified by the IDS.  The Intrusion Prevention System is the enforcer of rules set by the network owner, automatically disabling threats with no human intervention.  The IPS also produces audit trail reporting for compliance and forensic purposes.

4.  Antivirus (AV) – Antivirus is the 4th building block of network security, and protects the edge of the network in real time.  Protects both inbound and outbound Web (HTTP), file transfer (FTP), email (SMTP, POP3, IMAP) and VPN traffic against viruses, worms, and Trojans. Reporting on antivirus activity is also available, which is required to meet many regulatory requirements.

Each of the four building blocks play a key role in preventing, detecting, and providing reporting on attempted intrusions and attacks. In addition to the valuable security functionality of the four building blocks, there is advanced functionality available, including Application Control, URL Blocking, and Auto Content Filtering, which can reduce the risk of risky or unauthorized employee activity, as well as help achieve other practical objectives at various organizations.

The configuration, monitoring, and reporting is managed at the First Communications Network Management Center (NMC) in Lombard, IL.  The proactive monitoring occurs around the clock, and is managed by highly trained and certified network engineers.  “What makes our Managed Network Security solution unique is our great team, and their ability to tailor customize solutions to suit the diverse needs of our customers” said Margi Shaw, President of First Communications.  “It is definitely not a one size fits all solution, but one that is much more valuable and effective when customized and monitored by the same group of professionals”

Advanced Managed Network Security is designed to can be deployed with premise based equipment, as well as with a cloud based model. It is now available to First Communications business customers.