If an Englishman’s home is his castle, then your organisation – with all the client data and sensitive information it handles – needs to be an absolute fortress.
Perhaps not in physical terms: unless you’re a really important or covert organisation you’re not going to need the trappings of Fort Knox to patrol the physical movement in and out your offices.
But in cyber terms, you need all the protection you can muster to patrol the traffic entering and exiting your systems, in order to defend the integrity and usability of your networks.
In this week’s blog we’re going to look at the nitty gritty of network security: what the term means, what threats you face without adequate protection, and the steps you can take to ensure you have your perimeters covered.
Forget concrete-lined granite, electric fences, land mines, and radar monitoring. Think firewalls, antimalware, secure access and administration, and constant monitoring and testing – all aiming at preventing attacks from both internal and external sources, safeguarding your valuable systems and data, and ultimately protecting your reputation.
What exactly is “network security”?
As the American SANS Institute puts it: “Network security is the process of taking physical and software preventative measures to protect the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorised access and misuse…” As CSOonline points out, rather than endpoint security, which focuses on individual devices, network security concerns the connective tissue between devices, on which they interact and exchange data.
Basically, you’re protecting the infrastructure that links your devices by controlling what traffic enters and travels around it. This is no mean feat in today’s world, with your corporate network no doubt linked to the internet, myriad cloud services and other partner networks with all sorts of access points, making your network’s perimeter near-impossible to define – there are no entrenched electric fences here.
What every organisation needs therefore - regardless of size, industry, or complexity of IT systems - are some clear rules and policies and effective technical configurations to detect and block malicious traffic wherever it might try to break in.
Letting your guard down
A worrying 9 out of 10 IT professionals are not confident that their network is secured against attacks or breaches. So what could be the risks of not putting up adequate defences? The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre warns of several major potential consequences:
Set out your sentries
So what can you feasibly do to put up strong enough defences against these scary scenarios?
Not a single attack has been attempted on the impenetrable Fort Knox (housing America’s gold reserves) since it opened in 1935. Ramp up your defences for a similar confidence that attackers will never see your network as easy pickings; leaving your systems, data and reputation intact.Back To Blog Page