Cybercrime is an ever-present, ever-growing threat to businesses of all sizes, regardless of industry. Even the smallest vulnerability can devolve into a huge problem for organizations if sensitive data is stolen or mission-critical operations are held ransom by bad actors.
Network security is at the forefront of preventing the myriad of potential problems posed by cyberattacks — and the best approach to safeguarding access is a multilayered one. It’s not enough to rely on strong passwords or a robust firewall. True network security comes from a zero-trust, broad-surface strategy to installing safeguards.
Adopt a zero-trust philosophy
Adopting a zero-trust philosophy is a fundamental principle of a multilayered network security approach. This mindset recognizes trust cannot be solely placed on users or devices within the network. Instead, it emphasizes a comprehensive methodology for cybersecurity. By implementing a zero-trust strategy, organizations can ensure each aspect of their network is scrutinized and protected. This generally involves:
- Least privilege: Grant users and devices only the minimum necessary access.
- Microsegmentation: Divide the network into isolated segments to contain breaches.
- Identity-based access: Implement stringent authentication and authorization processes.
- Continuous monitoring: Employ real-time threat detection and response mechanisms.
- Encryption: Protect data in transit and at rest through encryption.
- Access control: Dynamically enforce access controls based on the user and device.
- Secure remote access: Enable secure access to network resources for remote users.
Tenets of a multilayered network security approach
With zero trust as the framework for a security-first approach to network management, you must then consider the mechanisms and systems responsible for safeguarding data and users, including:
- Firewalls: For monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic
- Intrusion detection and prevention systems: For thwarting malicious activities
- Virtual private networks (VPNs): To securely access the network and protect data
- Network access control (NAC): So only authorized, configured devices can connect
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): To protect information from interception or tampering
- Data loss prevention (DLP): For detecting and blocking data from improper handling or storage
- Antivirus/anti-malware: To detect and remove malicious software
- Security information and event management (SIEM): For threat detection and response
- Authentication and authorization: Such as 2FA, biometrics, or tiered permissions
- Regular updates and patch management: To mitigate vulnerabilities and close exploits
Backed by a zero-trust philosophy, these safeguards each play a pivotal role in protecting users, data, and systems at every layer of network operation. Regardless of their location, the device they’re using, the data they’re accessing, or the sensitivity of their efforts, these multilayered systems protect authorized access and prevent unauthorized tampering. But putting these safeguards in place is only the first step toward a true multilayered network security strategy.
Network security is a mindset
Network security isn’t just about implementing technical measures — it’s a mindset encompassing the actions and awareness of every user within an organization. No matter the level of protection, the effectiveness of network security hinges on the careful and cognizant behavior of users.
Companies and IT teams must emphasize ongoing training, education, and internal probing to keep network security at the forefront of everyone’s minds. By regularly exposing employees to the latest threats, best practices, and security protocols, businesses can empower their workforce to become an active line of defense against cyberattacks.
Unfortunately, not every organization can conduct consistent audits and training. Collaborating with an experienced IT partner for network monitoring and management can significantly enhance a company’s security posture. IT professionals possess the knowledge and resources to proactively identify and respond to potential threats, continuously monitor network activity, and swiftly mitigate any breaches or vulnerabilities. More importantly, they can perpetuate a cybersecurity-first culture.
Network security requires agility
Cyberthreats are constantly evolving, which means your approach to network security must outpace new exploits, vulnerabilities, and hacking schemes. It’s vital to prioritize network security and remain vigilant about your multilayered cybersecurity strategy. By working with a partner like NCC Data for cybersecurity services and solutions, you can achieve peace of mind across your network at every level.