Securing small or medium business data has become increasingly challenging as malicious cybercriminals and hackers have become more sophisticated and ubiquitous. Routinely, press articles are releasing stories of data breaches, lost customer records, financial losses due to cyberattacks, and company embarrassment. Additionally, hacking techniques have evolved to multi-stage techniques. This means that an initial system compromise can be used as a staging area for further attacks. With the proliferation of Internet use, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small/medium businesses that maintain confidential business information and have limited IT staff focused on data security.
Utilizing Layered Security Techniques
Consequently, multiple layers of defense are needed to protect against more advanced and complex threat techniques. Layered security is a term that originated from military strategy where multiple layers of defense were utilized to impede rapid penetration by an attacker. As an invasion occurred, progress was slowed until halted and turned back. Another way of looking at layered security is as multiple layers of Swiss cheese, where the risk of a threat passes through “holes” in the defenses. With different kinds of layers and “hole” locations, the layered defenses mitigate the chance of a risk materializing.
Layered security in business has similarities to layered security methods used in the home. Similar to cybercrime, home invasions are growing more and more frequent. Additionally, thieves are using more sophisticated techniques – utilizing technologies such as Google Maps and iPhone applications to facilitate planning and implementing home break-ins. A few examples of security layers applicable to preventing home theft include:
- Outside Layer – Driveway gate; reinforced doors and locks.
- Inside Layer – Alarm system with signs/stickers advertising the system; webcams.
- Personal Layer – Train family members to be aware of surroundings and suspicious activity; never open doors to strangers; protocols on how to handle certain dangers.
Similarly, layered security relative to information (data) addresses not just technical security “tools” – but also encompasses policy, planning, training, and physical access security measures.
Key items to address relative to layered IT security
Here are some key items when it comes to layered IT security:
- Develop a Plan – Assess important assets (including data), identify vulnerabilities, determine most appropriate risk mitigation technologies, and establish a strategy to implement the plan.
- Tiers of Protection:
- Gateway – A gateway is a node (typically, a firewall, modem, or router) in a computer network that is a key stopping point for sending data back and forth – connecting computers to the Internet.
- A firewall is a first tier line of defense for security, acting as a router between internal systems and the Internet — keeping unwanted traffic and outsiders off a private network.
- Antivirus and content filtering at the gateway are solutions that scan and delete mass-mailer worms and quarantine spam. Outgoing mail is also checked to prevent viruses and inappropriate content from being sent.
- Mail servers should also be secured to protect against malicious code and acting as a relay.
- Desktops and laptops are tiers that must be protected with a combination of security technologies. Integrated security suites provide protections such as antivirus, antispyware, firewall, intrusion detection, identity protection, browser, and phishing.
In summary, it is imperative to install security technologies at various levels of the infrastructure such as the gateway, mail servers, desktops, and laptops. As a result, threats that bypass one level can be prevented at another level. In an example scenario, if an e-mail message that gets through the firewall, it will likely get stopped by the mail server’s antivirus. If it makes it through the mail server, then it should be stopped by the workstation’s antivirus. If the workstation gets infected, then this should be detected and remediated by the workstation’s security suites … and possibly in combination with trained IT security technicians.
Additionally, small/medium businesses should keep software and applications up-to-date with the latest patches. Critical data should be securely backed up. As with the home personal layer, employees should be trained to be security-aware. Users should understand and follow best practices regarding computer security for e-mail, passwords, software downloads, file-sharing, and other processes.
Benefits of Computer Network Security Services
Network Security services from powersolution.com can reduce the total costs of your IT issues and the resulting downtime. We can help you every step of the way to make sure your network is secure, and your business data is protected. Our engineers are professional experts in network security solutions, we help you define your specific network security needs, provide with most efficient solution, and take measures to keep the malicious users out of your business computer network and also use control over your users who exhibit risky computer behavior within your organization.We can help you every step of the way to make sure your network is secure, and your business data is protected.
Our local IT experts can provide remote support and on-site visits, offering Network Security and managed IT services.