May 4, 2017
Today CBC News reported, a Russian website was broadcasting live pictures of Cape Breton School children. It brings home all of our fears – kids, Russia (or any untrustworthy 3rd party) and the Internet. When network security comes to our own back yard, it makes it real.

Why would anyone be interested in kids walking the halls in Iona? Probably nobody, or nobody that could bring immediate harm. So why? The Russian Internet company is simply trying to generate revenue. If you look on their site, there are ads for Internet security companies, among other advertisers. Similar to how YouTube sells ads using other people’s content. Pretty simple really.

BUT – nefarious individuals can troll those images looking, waiting, for something. Or they can also gain access to the internal network through the live feed of the cameras to access more valuable information. So, like an iceberg, there can be something much, much larger going on below the surface.

Like most organizations, network security is a serious issue but it is a complex solution to navigate. For large data centres and network operators, the cost, complexity and effort to implement effective network security goes with the territory. It’s what they do. Regardless of the value one puts on the children’s safety, these solutions have not been available to the smaller scale operation. (such as a school board)

What can be done? Firewalls are not enough. Border protection works up to a point but requires significant day to day resources. It can be a full-time task. User behavior like changing factory set passwords on Internet connected devices is key (see our Blog on some simple things you can do).

The bigger issue is with the rapid growth of all things connected; companies, school boards, municipalities, Internet Service Providers, data centres, etc. just do not have the resources or staff to put in traditional security products.

School Boards like the one responsible for Iona School and most companies have IT staff that are already stretched beyond capacity – they need tools that can automate their specific security needs.

Mimir’s platform would have picked up that Iona was “talking” to Russia. The MIMIR networks solution affordably brings a “data centre like” protection platform to organizations of the size of a school board. The fully automatic detection algorithms detect unusual activities, such as the action of this Russian site, and block them automatically, offering peace of mind, privacy and security.

Security has traditionally been expensive and hard, but it doesn’t have to be. We can protect our children and all our privacy without cost and manpower being limiting factors.