Strategies Blog

F5 BIG-IP ASM

Netstrategies utilises the F5 BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM) to protect solutions against threats.

The Application Security Manager, managed by Bulletproof Networks, protects the applications your business relies on with an agile, certified web application firewall and comprehensive, policy-based web application security.

BIG-IP ASM integrates with a range of vulnerability scanners - including WhiteHat Sentinel, Cenzic Hailstorm, IBM Rational AppScan, and QualysGuard Web Application Scanning - to give you the most advanced application assessment and threat protection.

SendGrid

Netstrategies utilises SendGrid for transactional and marketing email sending. SendGrid solutions are built upon the world’s largest email delivery infrastructure, providing you with the industry’s best reliability, scalability, and email deliverability.

Netstrategies' SendGrid email solutions provide:

  • Delivery Optimisation
  • Reputation Monitoring
  • Scalability and Reliability
  • Spam Filtering Testing

Why we selected Bulletproof

When we started Netstrategies in 1998 we decided to manage our own server infrastructure.

Over the next ten years we added more and more application and database servers, switches, routers, firewalls and load balancers to accommodate the rapid growth of our business.

We liked cutting edge tech and took delivery of some of the first Dell Blade Servers in Australia. We were early tenants in Exodus giant new Sydney data centre - by 2001 standards atleast, and then Optus's Ultimo facilities.

You could say we were heavily invested in our own infrastructure.

But all that hardware meant endless management, monitoring and plenty of midnight maintenance.

So when our long-time infrastructure manager announced he was moving to Apple, we weighed up our options.

The stand out in 2010 was Bulletproof Networks, who that same year also made the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia.

Bulletproof offered us flexible managed infrastructure with a level of support that matched anything we did ourselves and were used to from our North American providers.

The change wasn't without a few challenges - what transition comes without surprises - but the result has exceeded our expectations of reliability, performance and support.

And the strategic kicker - no more midnight maintenance means uninterrupted focus on delivering Smart Solutions. Made Simple.

Are your user passwords secure enough? 

Password strength is an essential element in keeping your site safe. OpenDNS, one of suppliers, has posted a good article about the importance of strong passwords. It's a quick read for the 'non-technical' and I'd encourage you to read it. There's some good suggestions about how you can decide on a strong password and why it's important to update them regularly. 

You might also want to consider these additional points, some of which are taken from the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards guidelines:

  • Minimum length: eight characters (PCI DSS 8.5.10 requires seven)
  • Maximum lenght: twenty characters
  • Character-set criteria:
    • must contain alpha-numeric characters
    • must contain both upper-case and lower-case characters
    • must contain both alpha and special characters (PCI 8.5.11)
    • no contiguous characters (e.g. 123abcd)
    • not more than two identical characters in a row (1111)
  • Change your passwords at least every 90 days (PCI Requirement 8.5.9)
  • Do not use a password that is the same as any of the last four passwords you have used. (PCI Requirement 8.5.12 )
  • These are good principals to apply not just at work but for your personal passwords too.