Gone are the days of a network being enclosed within a single environment. As business needs grow and change, so do the capabilities of professional-grade networking. With these new changes comes added vulnerabilities and cybersecurity threats.
The surface area of our networks is extending further than we thought possible thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based applications. IT teams are having to patrol not only traditional edge devices but a wide array of mobile and cloud platforms within the network as well. This effectively creates a dynamic type of perimeter, requiring teams to take a more engaged role in the detection of not only inbound and outbound traffic but lateral traffic movement as well.
To stay secure and avoid potential security threats, IT staff need to utilize a blend of adjustments to user access, authentication, and understand how data moves within your network.
Establish Baseline Activity Within Your Network
To detect potential threats against your network, your IT staff needs to have a thorough understanding of the way data passes through your network. As the perimeter shifts, this means that data not only passes in and out of a network but moves laterally as well. Creating a baseline of activity allows SOC administrators to detect anomalies, weeding out the normal activity.
This is becoming increasingly important to security personnel who are getting bogged down evaluating every alert that comes their way. By trimming out the activities deemed benign, engineers can focus on the real threats. Utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) as a means of creating this baseline has proved exceptionally helpful. As more information is vetted, the catalog of baseline activity becomes more accurate.
Monitor and Control User Access
The traditional approach to user access no longer fits the environments in place today. Previously, a network was categorized into three disparate sections - the outside, the DMZ, and the interior network.
The thought process was that everything outside of the network was insecure and not to be trusted. The DMZ was used as a way for outside access requests to internal applications or information to be controlled, and the inside of the network was open to employees on a broad scale.
SOC administrators should take a closer look at the permission access for employees and devices to assess whether or not they truly need it. Adopting more stringent identity and access management as well as privileged access management allows IT staff to get more granular with the level of access within the network, and refuting the number of accounts that have the “keys to the kingdom” reduces the likelihood of hacking attempts.
Adopt a Zero Trust Environment
The best way to protect the dynamic perimeter of your network is to adopt a Zero Trust policy. This means that instead of taking the traditional approach to user access, where all assets inside of the network are generally available, every request has to be authenticated. Utilizing this method for access makes more sense for companies moving away from having everything in-house and favors those that utilize the cloud more heavily.
This change won’t happen overnight. Shifting how employees access business systems and information will require training for employees and IT staff alike to ensure that all understand the policy changes as well as the reasoning behind them.
It will be a work in progress that will continually need to be re-evaluated as new applications are brought into the fold.
The conventional network perimeter is quickly fleeting, leaving IT teams struggling to adjust to new ways of managing their environments. To maintain security throughout an organization, it is crucial to make adjustments to how data is accessed on a case by case basis. Only through the use of tighter controls on access and optimizing how data is allowed to move through a corporate setting can businesses stay on top of the security threats looming in cyberspace..
With the increased complexity of the security landscape, you should consider the help of experts. Contact DataComm and let us guide you through the process of securing your organization.
Need more information? Our Data Security Trend Watch Guide.