What is security?
Everybody wants to be secure. You hire a security guard to keep an eye on your physical assets. You invest in a security system to monitor the traffic in and out of your facility. But what do you do for your technology environment? Keep a lackluster firewall? Trust that your overwhelmed IT crew is updating the big box antivirus license you bought a few years ago?
Your digital assets are just as important as your physical ones, which is why it’s important to have an in-depth understanding and definition of security. You need to understand what good security is if you expect your team to be successful defending against any number of different attacks, which are occurring in a high volume, and are increasingly sophisticated.
To make matters even more difficult, these attacks and strategies are evolving all of the time. IT teams today need to update their defenses on a continual basis so that they reflect the current trends. At the moment, some of the top focuses for cyber criminals include botnets, cyrptojacking, mobile malware, and IoT. However, by the time we get to the close of 2019, this will likely have changed.
So it’s critical that all IT teams look at their approach to security. Unfortunately, there is no single defense that covers your organization from all areas of attack, and this is why a layered, robust approach to security is needed.
A layered approach to cyber security
What is a layered approach to data security?
A lot of people think that this just means layering different tools and technology. They will put a number of different security controls in place so that all the separate entryways are protected. For example, deploying secure email gateways, endpoint protection, and a web application firewall, instead of simply relying on traditional perimeter defences only.
While there is no denying that these solutions are an important part of a layered security approach, it’s much more than that. If data security is going to be successful, businesses need to think about how they are going to leverage their processes and people, too.
When combining processes, people, and the right security tools into a single, integrated framework, this overlapping strategy will generate the most successful defenses.
People, processes, and technology
In order to create a layered security environment, there are a number of different tactics IT personnel should consider when it comes to these three key elements. So, let’s take a look…
There is no denying it: your employees are one of the biggest risks to your cyber security. If you take a look at the statistics online, you will see that insider attacks are incredibly common. According to a survey conducted by Ponemon Institute, 54% of IT professionals state that negligent workers are the root cause of cyber attacks.
Yet, with the right information, your employees can also be your first line of defense, proving to be a valuable asset in your fight against cyber criminals. Often, cyber criminals will target workers specifically as part of an attack vector that is based on their lack of knowledge regarding best security practices.
For instance, a cyber criminal could target a worker with phishing emails that have been designed to tempt them to divulge credentials or click on a malicious link.
Because of this, it is vital to make sure that you provide your employees with regular training sessions throughout the year so that they know about potential scams and the different ways their organization could be vulnerable.
You can generate a strong culture of cyber security with training programs like this.
Some of the cyber-hygiene points that IT professionals will want to impart to your employees:
- Immediately reporting any behavior that is unusual or if there is strange behavior on the computer
- Ensuring that operating systems and applications are updated on a regular basis, i.e. as soon as patches are released
- Not clicking links or opening links in suspicious emails or emails that have been sent from someone unfamiliar
- Generating strong passwords that are unique to each account and not used again, ensuring work and personal emails are kept apart
Access management policies should also be used to improve data security. This ensures that someone only has access to data if it is required to do their job.
Next, IT professionals need to make sure that there are strategies in place to proactively stop and respond at a quick pace to any cyber breach.
First, IT teams need to develop a cyber security incident response plan. An effective plan will ensure that an organization has an operational approach and repeatable procedures in place in terms of addressing cyber security incidents so that business processes can be recovered as efficiently as possible.
Proper backups also need to be put in place, and these backups need to be tested on a regular basis. This is vital for ensuring downtime is minimised and that the chances of data recovery are increased.
Next, you must collect research regarding cyber security threats and you need to analyze it thoroughly. You need to use current threat intelligence to develop strategies and make the most of tools.
You also need to make sure you prioritize and set criteria around your assets. IT professionals need to know where all of their assets are, and they need to prioritize them effectively. This is because it is not possible to monitor each area of your network manually.
Finally, we have the technology. Security teams can make the most of many different technologies to deal with all of the different threats they face. However, it is critical that you do not implement isolated point solutions. Instead, you must look at the tools’ ability, and you should integrate and automate to generate a security fabric that facilitates the mitigation of threats and rapid detection.
Aside from this, deception technology and segmentation are two other critical elements. The former makes it more difficult for the adversary to figure out what assets are real and what assets are fake. The latter enables you to have greater control, as if a cyber criminal breaches one element of your company, it does not mean they will get access to the entire network.
If you’re looking for a security provider who can help you implement a layered approach to cyber security, talk to us here at Bitlyft. We provide cloud-based full service cybersecurity that can help you leverage your people, processes, and technology for maximum safety in your tech environment.