Network Security Best Practices

October 11th, 2022 by admin

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Modern enterprises are increasingly cloud-centric and distributed, which means that the implications for cyber security are dire. There has never been a bigger attack surface, and nowadays, cyber criminals have become extremely adept at exploiting the weaknesses of this newer reality.

You can overcome this challenge, but the key lies in following the up-to-date best practices for security, also called zero trust security, and is based on the premise that you can't trust anything (inside or outside the security perimeters of the company) but ensuring there is a balance for a realistic user experience.

The Importance of Network Security

Large and small businesses must make an effort to secure their networks from the next cyber attack. The 2021 Security Report has taught everyone that threat actors are waiting for their opportunity. Once the pandemic started and workers were shifted towards a work-from-home model, the cyber threat actors stepped up their phishing attacks by taking advantage of vulnerabilities in VPNs and started targeting remote workers.

The report revealed five easy-to-remember and simple recommendations that will help organizations to improve their cyber security stance. These were as follows:

  • Changing the security settings from detection to prevention
  • Securing everything, including cloud, endpoint, mobile, and networks
  • Consolidating security for improved visibility
  • Implementing the zero trust model
  • Being cyber aware and using threat intelligence to your benefit

The key takeaway from the report is that organizations today must adopt a mindset for cyber security.

Best Practices for Network Security

With an evolving and growing cyber threat landscape, it has become vital for every organization to adopt effective network security. We've compiled a list of the best network security practices which will help your company protect itself from Gen V cyber threats. These are as follows:

  1. Create Segments of Your Network

    You must start by segmenting your network into different zones. The standard network segments for network firewalls that are perimeter-based in a small business are designed to be isolated from external networks, which helps in creating an internal network and demilitarized zone (DMZ).

    You can create internal network zones by using business or functional group attributes. Some examples of business groups are visitor Wi-Fi access, Research & Development, finance, and HR. Examples of functional groups are IoT services such as surveillance systems or building management, core network services (such as Microsoft Active Directory and DNS), email, database, and web.

  2. Trust but Verify

    You can consider data as the new perimeter in the zero trust model. That data can only be accessed by systems, applications, devices, and people that require it for their defined roles. If you want to implement zero trust, you must deploy identity management systems and role-based access controls that can verify access. This will include the following:

    • For people, you must use multi-factor authentication
    • Ensure the machine or device where the request is being made is compliant with company requirements.
    • Using PKI-based certificates for identifying and verifying systems and applications.

    After verification, the device and connection context can be monitored for any changes in state. For instance, a connection context change can happen if the client is using an application or network exploit after the connection has been established.

  3. Secure IoT

    IoT security is also part of the best practice “trust but verify”, as all IoT devices that are connected to networks today are ubiquitous. Like shadow-IT, your employees can also connect IoT devices to networks without getting approval first. Unfortunately, the chances are good that your device is vulnerable, and once it is exposed to the internet, it's extremely likely to be compromised and discovered by bot networks.

    Organizations can discover these devices once they are connected by using specialist products in IoT for various industries like utilities, manufacturing, healthcare, and enterprises. All industries are vulnerable to enterprise IoT devices like building management or HVAC systems and IP cameras. Therefore, you must involve solutions for detecting these IoT devices.

    In industries such as utilities, healthcare, and manufacturing that are using sanctioned IoT devices for production, you can apply security controls that don't impede the normal functions of IoT devices.

If you want to learn more about network security best practices, contact TOTLCOM today.

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Posted in: Network Security

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