Keeping up with advances in connectivity and the escalating pervasiveness and stealth of modern threats is a constant source of frustration for IT professionals. So is managing the growing complexity of network security infrastructures with their multiple point tools, overlapping internal and external environments, and seemingly limitless number of endpoints.
With so much in flux, modern networks have never been more vulnerable. It seems like not a day goes by without news of another security breach.
Which begs the question: What can you do to prevent your business from becoming the next cyber attack news flash? How can you create an effective, adaptable cybersecurity posture in the face of so much complexity?
A managed IT security services provider that helps customers address these questions every day, we recommend approaching cybersecurity with a streamlined strategy based on four best practices. Our partner, Fortinet, creator of the new ‘security fabric’ (which is making news for all the right reasons), has dubbed these principles the the “4 Ts” of effective cybersecurity.’ Here’s what they entail:
Maintaining updates and patches is critical to thwarting cyber criminals that target vulnerabilities in outdated or flawed security software, operating systems and business applications. Automating monitoring and update reminders in a distributed and orchestrated manner keeps processes on track.
Educating and training users of your system is crucial to security. These are the frontline contacts and often the most vulnerable. Show them how to recognize, avoid and report suspicious behaviors and tactics channeled through phishing emails, file attachments and website links. Provide users with a solid knowledge-base of best practices such as creating strong passwords and avoiding activities that put security at risk — like downloading unapproved apps, using hotspot to connect devices to unsecured networks or surfing social media sites at work. Complement all this education with a culture of tolerance so employees feel comfortable reporting unintended missteps.
Move beyond conventional, perimeter-based firewall-centric strategies to a broader, more cohesive approach that enables multiple security technologies to seamlessly work together and share threat intelligence. A comprehensive solution may include multiple internal segmentation firewalls, next generation firewalls capabilities, an advanced threat protection framework and big data-driven threat intelligence engine. The best results are achieved when all can be centrally managed.
Regularly test your environment to identify new vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. Tests should include network vulnerability scans (for both internet-facing and internal networks), application vulnerability scans to flag common flaws like SQL injection and cross-site scripting, and penetration tests to simulate real-world attacks on network services and applications. While penetration tests can be time and resource intense, they offer the most accurate view of vulnerabilities and defenses, so you can tighten weak links before attackers find them.
A partner of Fortinet, Platte River Networks is well-practiced in the 4 Ts. We can help you apply them in your environment to simplify processes and optimize security effectiveness in the face of complexity. Contact us to learn more.