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The world seems upside down at the moment, and it is difficult not to be anxious and stressed. There were times in my past when during stressful moments, I would take a welcomed trip to the Bronx Zoo.  The escape from the hustle and noise of the city was a welcome reprieve. I quite enjoyed the simplicity of a walk to visit the animals and wildlife. My personal favorite was the rhinos, healthy and fit yet calm and proud.

Keeping the Animals Separate

When you enter the Bronx Zoo in New York City, you will notice that the animals are separate in particular areas. At the southern end of the park, there is the African Plains section with the giraffes and wild dogs, and it’s also where you can see the fierce lions basking in the sun. Over by the Himalayan highlands is where visitors can observe the snow leopard and the red panda.  So awesome those little red pandas. Between the mountains and the plains, you will find playful characters in the baboon reserve.

There is, of course, a separate world of reptiles, the birds of prey, even Madagascar! Where ring-tailed lemurs roam playfully. At the north section of the zoo by the fountain, the circle is the aquatic birdhouse, the sea bird aviary and the birds of prey.  To the east of the main foundation at the Fordham Road gate is where you whisk away to the high plains and see the Bison grazing. Everything in the animal kingdom in its place, everything in order.


Covering over 265 acres, the Bronx zoo is one of the largest in the US and first opened its doors in 1899. Sections and regions are well organized, and every animal, reptile, bird, you name it, is grouped logically together: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. The ordering makes sense, everything is in their natural habitat, and you won’t find an antelope sharing a snack with the penguins. The order of things is intuitive, and the segmentation implemented adds a layer of protection.

Segmentation Keeps Threats at Bay

Segmentation can also help mitigate risk. At the zoo, you can have external threats, bad actors coming from the outside, and causing damage and internal risk when you can have havoc from the inside. In 2001, an otherwise normal man climbed a 20-foot wall entered the gorilla enclosure, and stripped down to his boxer shorts, telling the NYPD later that he wanted to be “one with the gorillas.” In 2007 Javan langurs (an old-world monkey form the colobinae subfamily) was placed together with Oriental small-clawed otters. The monkeys proceeded with well, monkey business, and it didn’t end well for one of them, a tragic example of internal risk.

Likewise, there are external and internal risks that large enterprises deal with every day. From hospitals to banks to retail operations, information is valuable, and hackers will do anything to attack from the outside to get access to valuable information.  An example of internal risk is when compromised employees or vendors go after sensitive information, or if an employee unknowingly grants access to an attacker by clicking on a phishing link in an email.

Similar to the order of things at the zoo, we help organizations segment their networks in a manner that makes sense. We can divide networks granularly down to the workload level and define specific security policies for these specific segments and workloads. So instead of just using gates and fences seen at some local animal farm, it’s a more secure process where movement can be monitored, communications can be traced, and all the animals can roam but stay in their respective regions.

If and when a deviation occurs (a crocodile gets out, or a device in the ER room talks to the finance department), our system can take remedial action right away. If a green peafowl escapes, there is no need to close the entire zoo. Our system is smart enough to contain the bird in the right area.

Segmentation Keeps Red Pandas and Networks Safe

With Ordr, we can help reduce the number of alerts and alarms and act fast when something unexpected happens. We proactively protect the enterprise network, and traffic is analyzed at multiple layers. Our SCE system creates a conversation map called the flow genome for every connected device. We can identify all communications between the various segment and VLANs, and we leverage AI to baseline normal communication behavior and then translates these behaviors into a device-specific security policy. The red panda will be proud.


In the last couple of weeks, most organizations have transitioned to a work-from-home model for the majority of employees. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a rise in cyberattacks such as Coronavirus-themed phishing attacks and ransomware by hackers taking advantage of these circumstances.

It’s important to be extra vigilant as this may be the defacto work mode for the next few months. Here are some of the security best practices not just for IT and security teams that now need to secure their entire workforce, but also for remote employees who need to take their own precautions.

For Employers:

  • If you are deploying VPN’s or remote services for workers make sure these systems have the latest security patches applied.
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication on all portals that allow remote users to access your network and sensitive information.
  • Regularly scan your network perimeter. As more people work from home engineers and power users sometimes open systems and services to the internet that are not protected properly, and that IT isn’t aware of.
  • Make sure your remote workers systems and their security tools are patched and up to date.
  • If Operating System updates are typically downloaded and deployed from internal systems (like SCCM) consider creating an alternate plan that allows remote users to update themselves if a large critical patch needs to be deployed.
  • Roll out applicable work from home security awareness trainings to employees including; Implementing strong passwords, Detecting and Reporting Email Phishing, Social Media usage, and Social Engineering attacks via Phone, Text, and Social Media.

For Employees:

  • Be careful when downloading attachments or clicking on links via email
  • Avoid connecting your systems to open or public wifi. There have been occurrences of logins being stolen and systems being compromised via rogue wireless access points made available in public areas.
  • Make sure your home wifi access point and router are using strong passwords that aren’t the default ones that came with the devices.
  • Make sure your system and security software are updated on all devices.
  • Use a password manager to create and store secure passwords. However, do not store your company’s passwords inside your personal password manager.
  • Unless instructed by your IT team or company, do not connect your personal computers to your company’s network or SaaS services (like Dropbox, Onedrive, Box)
  • Do not allow friends or family to use your work computer.

We’re all in the process of rapidly adjusting to our new normal, finding ways to do our jobs at a high level while remaining physically distanced. But with some foresight and diligence, we can all rapidly return to a high level of productivity without sacrificing security. And if we establish these good practices now, we can be assured that our home environments are secured into the future, for whenever we occasionally need to be productive outside of our offices.