Cybercriminals have been altering and ramping up efforts to steal data for much of the past decade. Once thought to just be a nuisance, now it has become evident that the cost of doing business now includes comprehensive network security strategies, designed to keep threats from affecting your business’ ability to create revenue. Let’s take a look at a working cybersecurity strategy.
Before we go into depth about network and cybersecurity, we’d like to point out just why they are so important. You invest a lot of time and money into making your business what it is. You pay a lot of money for hardware, software, services, and time to give your business a chance to succeed. The act of protecting your business, its staff, vendors, and clients is one that should be taken seriously, because if any are compromised, your business is in trouble.
Today’s business uses a computing infrastructure that is much larger and complex than most and includes considerations outside the physical confines of the network. Cloud services have become a very popular product for businesses and individuals alike. Cloud services are hosted in some other place, and by companies that have taken great diligence at securing their solution. For obvious reasons, you can’t guarantee that your cloud-hosted data is 100% secure, but logic suggests that a company offering computing services over the Internet would be in serious trouble if they were to have their security compromised.
These services all have dedicated access control systems that are designed to only let authorized users in. Some organizations also require their staff to utilize two-factor authentication to secure the solutions further.
This brings us to the perimeter of the network. Regardless of a company’s ineptitude with cybersecurity, there is typically some form of firewall that stands between the Internet and the company’s network. If the firewall is properly maintained with threat definitions, it will stop a good amount of unwanted traffic. It’s just not enough. With the immense amount of attack vectors threats are coming from nowadays, a stand-alone firewall is like a single sheet of flypaper in front of a window.
In order to keep their business’ data and infrastructure safe, many organizations have begun to utilize Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). These systems include Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), software that attempts to block determined threats, and logs network traffic so that IT professionals can go in and see the current state of the network.
For years, this would have been enough technology to keep most threats out. Nowadays, however, it’s really just getting started being vigilant. If you consider your network to be like an onion, you need to understand that each layer needs to have its own set of security protocols that typically come in the form of a dedicated access control system and a firewall. This way, every “layer” is protected from its perimeter, to the applications, to the databases that hold all your data. This tiered access control system is designed specifically for your needs and is in place to do one thing: protect your assets.
It also works to protect your business against the biggest digital threat on the Internet: phishing attacks.
A phishing attack is where someone outside your network tries to infiltrate it by passing off some form of correspondence as legitimate. It’s all a fraud. Verizon, who does an annual study of cybersecurity, found that around 90 percent of all network attacks are the result of successful phishing attacks. Unfortunately, there is no piece of software out there that will make phishing attacks completely benign. That is why training is so important.
Training your staff about phishing (and cybersecurity in general) has to be a priority. You’ve spent a lot of capital and time building what you have, and the thought of losing it because you bullheadedly forged ahead without getting your staff trained up properly could be thought of as shortsighted.
A phishing attack is now the preferred method of hacking. Since security systems have evolved to be hard to crack, hackers now look to use your staff’s legitimate credentials to gain access to your network, applications, and databases. By training your staff about phishing, specifically what to look for, how to react when they come across phishing attacks, and what the consequences of a phishing attack can mean for your company, you should be in a better position to protect your network, infrastructure, and data against the onslaught of outside phishing threats.
To learn more about how to secure your network, train your staff, and acquire the technology you need to protect your business, reach out to k_Street Consulting, LLC today at (202) 640-2737.