Blog , 28 Feb 2017

How To Make Network Abuse A Priority In Your Service Provider Security Portfolio

Tobias Knecht,

Founder and CEO, Abusix

Service providers have a responsibility to their customers and the wider Internet to control and prevent network abuse. Network abuse is on the rise and service providers are prime targets for cyber attacks. A survey done by the Internet Services Providers Association reported that over 90% of service providers come under some form of attack, and 85% of those surveyed said it was their responsibility to take a “proactive role in cybersecurity”.

Making network abuse a priority in service provider security can bring many benefits, including lower costs, improved efficiency, and happier customers. To make handling network abuse a priority in your business, you need to implement a network abuse security policy and acceptable usage policy (AUP).

See also: Network Providers: How Abuse Handling Fits Into Your Security Concept

How To Make Abuse Part of Your Security Policy

In order to protect your own assets and network, you need to make abuse handling part of your security policy. The added advantage is that as your service provider becomes known for effective abuse handling, you will become known as a responsible service provider in a very competitive market place. As your reputation grows, you will attract more customers looking for efficiency and security.

To raise the profile of network abuse in your service provider, you need to do the following:

  • Make network abuse a constant topic of discussion by informing everyone about the abuse problems your service provider is facing, what you need to fix them and how you plan to fix them
  • Explain the bottom-line revenue benefits for your service provider if you handle abuse efficiently within 24 hours
  • Discuss the creation of an Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) and get general buy-in on the rules of your AUP. For example “No illegal content should be hosted on our network and your internet connection should not be used to attack or spam other people”
  • Get general agreement that your AUP is a standard policy and should not be tweaked or compromised for special customers

See also: The Importance Of Network Security In Any Organization

The Role Of An Acceptable Usage Policy

One of the most important components of every network service provider security policy is the AUP, which clearly defines what subscribers are allowed to do on the network.

An AUP serves as a valuable guideline for all your customers (and employees) to follow and refer to. If there are any violations, these are often evident in the abuse reports. Spammers specifically seek hosts with no AUP or one that is badly written, because it means they can abuse the network and threaten the service provider when they try to get rid of them. The worst case is being a ‘Bullet-Proof Hoster’ and looking forward to serving customers with illegal intentions. In addition, always have a written policy that you can refer to while you are talking to abusive customers. A comprehensive AUP should clearly define the following:

  • Resource policies: This should define the acceptable use of your network and its services. It should clearly define the consequences of any deviations violations. It should outline the responsibilities of all subscribers and employees to conduct themselves in an ethical manner and abide by the security policy and local laws.
  • Technical policies: This should define the acceptable use of any equipment, and allowed software. It should cover issues relating to what types of systems and software is allowed to run in your environment. Some Service Providers actually state that they are not okay with running open proxy servers or as another example open WiFi hotspots.

How To Prioritize Network Abuse

Protecting your network from abuse is an on-going task for even the most vigilant abuse desk team. To help teams gain clarity and take faster action, AbuseHQ from Abusix makes network abuse a service provider priority by integrating into existing infrastructures and performing continuous integrated continuous abuse and threat processing both in real-time and retrospectively. This allows you to gain insights buried deep inside your noisy network’s abuse data regardless of the network resources your customers are using. To find out more about how AbuseHQ can help abuse desks perform at their best, arrange a demo or trial today.

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