Data breaches often occur when network security focuses on the edge of the network, but the network itself lacks equivalent protection. Experts have long been concerned only with security at the perimeter. Whether physical edge, data center, web services, applications, or cloud environments – protection was often limited to external threats, while within the network “doorstep” was open. The network security followed the motto: “Hard shell with a soft core”. In such a scenario, attackers who “crack” the hard shell easily play in the network and can often tap valuable data unnoticed. What can companies do to prevent them from doing this?
Prevent data theft through security practices
Far too many companies neglect the application of patches and have no security practices. At the same time, networks are growing rapidly and nowadays encompass a wide range of ecosystems – from the IoT to the cloud. The inventory of the equipment inventory and the maintenance of such a database can be a challenge. Despite the effort involved, applying patches is not an option but a must. Ideally, this would be automated, traceable and with the possibility of success review. Further, a process should be implemented to replace or take offline the systems where patches can no longer be applied.
Network protection with signatures
While new forms of attack pose a real threat, most privacy breaches are caused by attacks that have been known for weeks, months or even years. In fact, most attacks exploit vulnerabilities that have been patched for an average of three years, and in many cases exist for more than ten years. But because these vulnerabilities are well-known, attacks and exploits can be detected through such security holes in the signature. With signature-based discovery tools, organizations can quickly search for “attempted burglaries,” “put a stop to it,” or block execution of an exploit that seeks to exploit known vulnerabilities.
Curb zero-day threats with behavior-based analysis
New sophisticated attacks use numerous techniques to circumvent protective measures and invade the network connections without being detected. Behavior-based computer security tools can detect inappropriate or unexpected traffic as well as “behavioral” devices, detonate zero-day malware variants with detonation chambers or sandboxing, and correlate data to expose and defend against intelligent attacks. Advances in intent-based security not only allow data and applications to be scanned for malware across the network, they can also be extensively inspected. Such solutions look for patterns and then continuously monitor the traffic to determine the intent. Intelligent security systems can proactively nip an attack before it even starts.
Install Web Application Firewalls
While many attacks continue to infiltrate systems using “proven” methods – such as phishing by email or known, unpatched vulnerabilities – many threats now also take unconventional paths. Web-based attacks are becoming more common. Often the exponential growth in applications is exploited. Especially targeted is software that queries and evaluates information directly in the data center. Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) are designed to provide a deep, powerful Web Apps web traffic review and are far superior to traditional NGFW technology.
Use Threat Intelligence
With advanced threat intelligence, companies can not only detect threats faster, but also respond to them immediately. There are numerous threat feeds that keep businesses up to date on threat trends and exploit detection. The challenge is to turn that data into useful information and build cross-correlations with local information and infrastructure. Deployment tools such as SIEM or WAF technologies can consume such data and derive actionable policies to protect the network. At the same time, companies should consider joining a panel of experts and seek the exchange of experience with industry colleagues.
No point solutions
Given the rapid expansion of networks, their dynamic, resilient nature, and the shift from a single network edge to dozens – or even hundreds – of potential points for network access and data exchange, a traditional internet security strategy with devices or platforms that are just provide protection at certain points of the edge area or in the data center, not sufficient anymore. Today’s sophisticated, highly intelligent multi-vector threats call for security solutions that can network across a single, closed system, adapt to elastic network architectures, and cover the entire infrastructure. This dynamic integration provides visibility across the entire network. An integrated security framework links security tools, so they can share and relate information. It will also enable central orchestration and administration as well as the uniform dissemination of guidelines. But more importantly, they have a coordinated response to attacks.
Segmentation of your network
Today’s networks need to cope with access through changing devices as well as a wide variety of application and data flows. Businesses can greatly enhance their safety by installing Internal Segmentation Firewalls (ISFW). These prevent the spread of threats, regardless of whether the defense perimeter was breached, an access point compromised, or the attack launched from inside the network. ISFWs can be served to specific servers that hold valuable business information. But you can also protect devices from users or web apps in the cloud or secure traffic between in-house functional or business areas. Without tools for segmentation and detection, attackers can freely collect, destroy and tamper with data. An internal segmentation, micro-segmentation and controls, for. Monitoring behavior or workflows is essential for today’s data-centric digital enterprise.
While too many companies have modern network designs, they continue to rely on isolated second-generation security solutions and strategies for network protection. But just now, safety should not be neglected. Planning, people, processes, and adaptive security technologies need to be one entity that dynamically scales for today’s digital networks, and that can automatically defeat sophisticated cyber threats as a single, integrated system.