Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

2/22/2008
01:57 AM
50%
50%

At Del Monte, New Apps Open a Can of Worms for Remote Access

Package of Cisco products helps food giant resolve security conundrum

The cracks were quickly becoming clearer in Del Monte’s remote access system. Tried and true solutions, such as Microsoft IP Sec Tunneling and Point-to-Point tunneling, were no longer a match for emerging Web 2.0 applications. Users were grumbling when they could not access needed data from home and sometimes livid when their network connection suddenly dropped. A change was needed, and fast.

The onus for fixing the problem fell to Dennis Tokarski, manager of telecommunications and network operations at Del Monte. At the start of 2007, he began to search for a new remote access solution for one of the country's largest and best known food suppliers.

The company, which has 3,000 employees, has developed many well established brands, including Del Monte, StarKist, Contadina, and Kibbles 'n Bits. The conglomerate, which generated $3.4 billion revenue in 2007, operates 40 remote sites across the US, Latin America, and South America. At those locations, hundreds of road warriors work from sales offices, regional headquarters, factories, and distribution centers to keep products moving from Del Monte farms to customers’ kitchens.

But problems arose as employees began working with modern networks and applications. Emerging high speed broadband networking technologies, such as Verizon’s FiOS, did not work with the established tunneling protocols. Sophisticated peer-to-peer applications required more bandwidth than the protocols typically could deliver.

As a first step, Tokarski turned to Gartner analysts to provide the food producer with a list of possible solutions. By the spring of 2007, Array Networks, Checkpoint Software Technologies, Cisco Systems Inc., F5 Networks, and Juniper Networks were called in to outline how their products could help solve Del Monte’s problem.

Cisco’s ASA 5580 security appliance was chosen as the best fit at the start of the summer. The commands needed to set up and manage the device were familiar to Del Monte network technicians. The company relies heavily on the network equipment vendor to support its networking needs, using Cisco 2600, 2800, and 3800 routers; Catalyst 2950 and 3750 switches; and Cisco’s Call Manager VOIP unified messaging package.

“We wanted to make sure that our VOIP connections could be secured,” Tokarski explained.

In addition, the food supplier found the remote access appliance’s teleworker features attractive. A small ASA device could be installed quickly in a small branch office or an employee’s SOHO. Plus, IT administrators at the food producer found it easy to customize the device’s portal.

Del Monte encountered a few bumps during the ASA 5580's deployment, which was completed by the end of August and cost approximately $100,000. “The ASA’s integration with Java could have been tighter,” Tokarski explained. “Our applications rely on different versions of Java and a few of them would not load.” The company worked with The Presidia Group, a Cisco reseller, to solve the problems.

Also, the security appliance’s flexibility presented a challenge. Users can be granted access to or restricted from working with virtually any application.

“We are still tinkering with some of our policies and trying to determine which applications different types of employee should be able to access,” Tokarski explained.

Despite these issues, the food producer feels good about its decision. “Moving forward, we are in a much stronger position now than we were a year ago, in making sure that our employees have safe, secure access to corporate information,” Tokarski said.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
    DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
    Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
    Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
    Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
    TPM-Fail: What It Means & What to Do About It
    Ari Singer, CTO at TrustPhi,  11/19/2019
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
    Latest Comment: -when I told you that our cyber-defense was from another age
    Current Issue
    Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
    In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
    Flash Poll
    Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
    Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
    Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2019-5541
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
    VMware Workstation (15.x before 15.5.1) and Fusion (11.x before 11.5.1) contain an out-of-bounds write vulnerability in the e1000e virtual network adapter. Successful exploitation of this issue may lead to code execution on the host from the guest or may allow attackers to create a denial-of-service...
    CVE-2019-5542
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
    VMware Workstation (15.x before 15.5.1) and Fusion (11.x before 11.5.1) contain a denial-of-service vulnerability in the RPC handler. Successful exploitation of this issue may allow attackers with normal user privileges to create a denial-of-service condition on their own VM.
    CVE-2010-4660
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
    Unspecified vulnerability in statusnet through 2010 due to the way addslashes are used in SQL string escapes..
    CVE-2011-0529
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
    Weborf before 0.12.5 is affected by a Denial of Service (DOS) due to malformed fields in HTTP.
    CVE-2019-10765
    PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
    iobroker.admin before 3.6.12 allows attacker to include file contents from outside the `/log/file1/` directory.