In 2023, cybercrime is expected to reach record levels, exceeding 2022’s record number of cyberattacks and data breaches. Cybercriminals in 2022 did more than $6 trillion worth of damage and breached 22 billion records. Two-thirds of companies have been the target of at least one form of cyberattack in the past year.
If you have not suffered a data breach so far, consider yourself lucky.
But luck is not a plan. If you want to make sure you have the best network security, here are some of the key technologies and best practices to consider deploying, starting with a network firewall.
A network firewall monitors and filters incoming and outgoing traffic on your network. It examines traffic based on the security policies you have in place to prevent unauthorized access and keep malicious activity from penetrating networks connected to the internet.
Without a firewall, cybercriminals can access your network through open ports to launch viruses, ransomware and malware, or even take over your devices.
Firewalls typically provide protections, including:
- Packet filtering.
- Secure sockets layer (SSL) support.
- Virtual private network (VPN) support.
- Network monitoring.
The most effective firewalls are next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). NGFWs provide additional ways to protect your network, including:
- Deep packet inspection.
- Intrusion prevention(IPS)
- Unified threat management (UTM).
- Application control.
- Inspection of encrypted traffic.
- Advanced threat protection.
- Zero trust network access (ZTNA) integration.
An NGFW allows organizations to host applications anywhere – on-premises, in the cloud or remotely – and apply consistent policy controls automatically from a centralized location.
Having network firewall security will not protect you from every threat, however, especially those coming from inside your network. An employee clicking on a phishing email, for example, can unknowingly launch an attack. A network firewall will not stop someone with the right username and password from signing on. However, a firewall is an essential piece of technology that should be part of the tech stack for every business.
In addition to having a reliable NGFW solution, there are other security tactics your business should consider.
Identity Access Management
Identity and access management should be a key aspect of your network security practice.
An IAM framework controls who is authorized to access networks and applications. It provides additional safeguards such as single sign-on systems, two-factor authentication (2FA), multifactor authentication (MFA) and privileged access management. With these tools, you can securely store identities and profiles, and apply data governance that restricts access to only those who are authorized.
While IAM is an important piece of your network security, deploying 2FA and MFA can also safeguard against remote sign-ons from cybercriminals who obtain valid user credentials.
Another key piece of your network security strategy needs to be network segmentation, which defines boundaries between portions of your network, dividing it into smaller subnetworks. Network segmentation allows IT teams to put in place security policies for each subnetwork to further prevent unauthorized access.
If a cybercriminal manages to penetrate your defenses and gain access to your network, segmentation prevents them from moving laterally through the network to other subnetworks or applications, thus compartmentalizing and minimizing the damage they do. Even if one area of your network is compromised, segmentation can stop it from spreading.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
What happens to your business if your network goes down, a breach occurs or a natural disaster strikes? Do you have a way to get back up and running quickly and recover your data?
You need regular, regimented data backups that are protected from attack, along with a business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
Training and Monitoring
Despite all of these technology tools, your single biggest threat still comes from your employees making a mistake. Even though employees have been exposed to information about phishing threats and warned against clicking on questionable links from unknown senders, 9 in 10 breaches of network security start with a phishing email.
In fact, 95% of all breaches are caused by human error, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Training your employees and monitoring your network are crucial to your network security.
These are just a few of the mission-critical parts of a sound network security strategy. To discuss your network security needs, contact the experts at LOGIX Fiber Networks, or request a quote today.