Network security isn’t just about devices or hardware. While it’s easy to think that one tool will solve your security burden, the reality is that cyber criminals are determined to get into your network, steal data or disrupt performance.
By constantly evolving their methods, hackers often find new vulnerabilities to exploit. For that reason, the tool that works today will likely be much less effective tomorrow. And beyond that, every network is different. What might make sense for one might not make sense for another.
To help businesses learn to adopt lasting mindsets to keep their networks safe, David Lissberger, chief executive officer at Sentinel IPS, outlined seven strategies businesses must adopt as guiding principles when designing and building a network’s architecture.
David Lissberger is chief executive officer at Sentinel IPS, a managed service that relieves the burden of network security for businesses with its threat management system based on active threat intelligence.
7 Must-Adopt Security Strategies
Click through for seven strategies organizations should adopt as guiding principles when designing and building a network’s architecture, as identified by David Lissberger, chief executive officer at Sentinel IPS.
Make It Difficult
Make it harder to exploit your network.
Most security breaches don’t occur because someone has discovered a way to take advantage of a network vulnerability. Instead, most unwelcome visitors enter the data center through legitimate methods, like simply typing in an active username and password. Take the time to educate your employees on hacking tactics like social engineering, because being able to spot and avoid these scams means fewer unwanted visitors.
It’s critical to do these three things consistently with your staff:
- Preach rock solid login security with great passwords.
- Lock down application logins as much as possible to prevent brute force logins.
- Reinforce the importance of not being casual with login information.
Layer security across your network.
As the traditional idea of a network begins to change, layered security is only going to become more important. The SANS Institute reminds us that there is no such thing as a silver bullet, and it takes many technologies and processes to provide comprehensive risk and security management.
These layers traditionally include:
- An IPS and firewall at the perimeter
- Antivirus protection at the endpoints
- Smart switches and a SIEM to collect and monitor the data inside your network
Never assume you are safe; instead, be proactive by developing comprehensive layers of protection and by continually checking your systems to adjust as needed.
Create a Baseline
Create a baseline for your network so you know what’s normal.
After building layered security into your network, you’ll also need to establish a baseline to measure against so you know when something is potentially wrong.
There are several tools that can help monitor the amounts of traffic traveling over certain ports. Who’s talking to those assets? When, why, and how much? This baseline will give you a yardstick to measure future traffic against.
Act on what your data tells you.
Layered security creates a lot of data, and the more data you have, the more difficult it is to act on it. Prioritizing your important assets can help you sift through the data, but in today’s world, it’s not enough to act only when you see something is wrong.
The data you are collecting becomes even more valuable when you can use it to be proactive about threat protection. Use this data to stop individuals before they do anything by placing reputation information into your firewall or your IPS, or having that information in your SIEM.
Implement Threat Intelligence
You don’t have to try and tackle network security in a vacuum. It’s common for businesses to share their latest threat information with others, and often for free. To make your network defenses stronger, use this information whenever possible.
Some free threat intelligence resources include:
- Emerging Threats (Proofpoint)
- Center for Internet Security
- AlienVault’s Open Threat Exchange
- Sentinel’s CINSscore.com
Stay current on the latest threats and trends.
It’s important to know the latest threats and trends, and now with social media, it’s easier than ever before. Sign up with Twitter and start following these top sources for network security news.
Suggested Twitter resources:
Prepare for the Worst
Adopt the “assume breach” mentality.
Planning for network security should start from the assumption that you’re going to be breached. Thinking your business isn’t important enough or is too small to hack is one of a few security attitudes you need to change. Even if you’re a small organization, you have assets that may be important to somebody. Prepare for the worst by focusing on visibility across your network, putting in reliable backups and implementing a solid disaster recovery plan.