What is network obfuscation and how does it work?
Business communications today are largely conducted over digital channels. Most business tools used by organizations are also digital. With every piece of information and data—along with each application, file, and connected device—the attack surface expands. As the attack surface area expands, there’s an increased risk of a security breach.
Obfuscation on the internet or on a network is a security measure. The security provided by network obfuscation is comparable to a bank vault. Just as the vault hides cash, financial certificates, and personal valuables, obfuscation creates a closed, self-contained, and highly secure environment to hide sensitive or confidential online activity. The technology cordons off user accounts, vital data, records, and applications within an “invisible vault” that keeps external threat actors and internal adversaries from even knowing the digital assets exist.
Network obfuscation hides the presence of end-users, digital assets, and resources on the public internet and within enterprise environments. It does this with an integrated combination of technologies: multi-layered encryption, dynamic IP routing, varying network pathways, and the elimination of source IP addresses. Sensitive and personal information resides on a hidden server that is only accessible through the obfuscation network, so it can’t be seen by unauthorized users.
Benefits of Network Obfuscation
- Eliminates digital footprints. Every digital transaction leaves behind a trail of “digital breadcrumbs” or a “digital footprint” that records every website visited, every form completed, and search history. Cyber criminals go to great lengths to cover their tracks, yet people conducting legitimate transactions don’t generally rely on obfuscation techniques, even when it would benefit them.
- Enhances security and privacy. Organizations conducting highly sensitive research such as fraud investigation, threat intelligence research, or dealing with proprietary data and applications that cannot be leaked will want anonymity and privacy. Network obfuscation helps disguise employee digital identities and hides any identifying information or services running on the network.
- Provides a private space. A dedicated network for obfuscation provides a private space for businesses, not one that may be used by anyone with the requisite software. Only vetted and authorized personnel may access the network, providing an additional layer of protection that doesn’t exist in any other form.
How Organizations Use Network Obfuscation to Secure Their Networks
By implementing network obfuscation, organizations can protect critical assets, operations, and people from discovery in applications and requirements such as:
- Secure remote access: Hide the identity and location of personnel when using the public internet. Techniques include traffic mixing and misdirection, which ensure your online activity remains anonymous and private.
- Endpoint security: Eliminate source and destination IP address information, routing traffic through various complicated routes. Also executes endpoint IP swapping at the user-defined point of presence (PoP) at the edge of the network to make it nearly impossible for attackers to identify the entity based on network-defined or static identity information.
- Data and communications security: Encrypt all data—in transit and at rest—from end-to-end, using multiple layers and types of encryption. This makes it less likely that advanced attackers will decrypt data during any point of the data lifecycle while ensuring data privacy, integrity, and availability along with conformance to Zero Trust.
- Threat intelligence/threat hunting: Provide a “cloak of invisibility” to hide the identities of intelligence and threat hunting personnel as well as their actions on the internet so they can conduct research more freely and extensively.
- Security testing: Hide source and destination information, applying dynamic routing, creating personas, restricting access, and encrypting everything. This ensures red teams, pen testers, and vulnerability scanning won’t be discovered.
- Risk management: Mitigate risk and simplify the enforcement of risk management policies by allowing users and their actions on the internet to remain private and undetected. Details associated with users, device types, files accessed, locations, and network pathways are all concealed or removed, preventing unauthorized users from identifying rich targets for compromise.
Network obfuscation also seals off servers, applications, and unified mobile communications from the enterprise network. Even if attackers gain access to parts of an enterprise, obfuscation prevents them from finding people and resources within the network.
Use Cases for Network Obfuscation
By aligning with the principles of Zero Trust, network obfuscation goes beyond conventional enterprise security to help you secure your legacy systems, IoT devices, remote access, endpoints, data, and communications across a wide range of use-cases. Here are a few examples:
Telos Ghost® Network Obfuscation as a Service
Telos Ghost® Network Obfuscation as a Service provides a dedicated, separate network that offers a private space accessible only to your vetted and authorized end-users. The network sits between the public internet and any other network, service, or application for an additional layer of protection that doesn’t exist in any other form.
The cloud-based network enables organizations to hide their most critical assets, data, devices, and user identities from adversaries by providing several key capabilities:
The solution can also be used in parallel with enterprise VPN and Zero Trust architectures to provide an additional layer of security for sensitive data and assets. With network obfuscation capabilities offered as a managed, hybrid or private network, enterprises can own a hidden, anonymous network without all the ownership and maintenance costs.