Layered Approach to Security

You wouldn’t keep your windows open while on vacation, trusting the home security system to keep trespassers out. You’d never leave your car keys in the ignition because the doors are locked. When it comes to your family, you inherently know that a layered security approach makes sense. A layered approach to security is smart. If one security layer fails, the other is there to pick up the slack. 

Now, that’s on a small scale. However, you’re tasked with overseeing the security of a much bigger entity–a corporation on which you, thousands of employees, and hundreds of thousands of customers depend. In comparison, a security breach here wouldn’t simply result in an insurance claim. The right cyberattack could shake the very foundation of the company and the board’s trust in leadership. That thought’s enough to have you waking up in a cold sweat. But it doesn’t have to. 

A layered security model gives you the peace of mind that the company and your leadership role are secure. 

A Layered Security Approach That Works for You

What’s the purpose of IT? It comes down to two things. One, the security of your IT environment. And two, enabling maximum productivity within the environment. You need a balance where systems are secure but your teams can still get their work done timely, efficiently, and without the annoying hassles of multiple layers of security that can hinder productivity when poorly implemented. 

In other words, layered cybersecurity only works if it functions in the real world. Here, you have deadlines and business goals. If it doesn’t work here, it’s not working for you. That’s infuriating. The good news is this balance does exist when we listen to the needs of our clients and their teams when implementing a layered security model. 

Why You Need a Layered Approach to Security

Security is top of mind for all of us IT people. That’s why we leverage a layered approach to security. We look across various entry points within an organization, assessing your vulnerabilities and figuring out where layering cyber security reduces your risks. 

Sometimes, the most minor changes can significantly lower risk, so getting a regular security assessment is critical to the health of your organization. 

Just take a look at some of the massive security breaches in the news. So many of these breaches result from very avoidable mistakes that never would have happened with layered cybersecurity. 

You can think of that mistake as a security layer. It happens to the best of us. A layered security model recognizes that we’re all human. It puts safeguards in place to prevent or significantly reduce the damage from those mistakes. 

It also recognizes that cybercriminals are clever. They exploit the weakest link. Layers of network security reinforce even your weakest link. As a result, the criminal’s job gets a whole lot harder–if not impossible. They’ll move on to a less secure company. 

The Elements of Layered Security

There’s no one answer here. Every company is different. But for starters, here are some layered cybersecurity solutions we’re helping clients deploy to secure their company’s future. 

Network Protection

Once bad data enters your databases, you have an absolute nightmare on your hands. You must make sure it doesn’t get there in the first place. 

So how do we maintain the purity of that data? 

  • Enable web filtering to block nefarious sites automatically 
  • Configure intrusion detection and protection services (IDS & IPS) on your firewall 
  • Define guest wireless networks to prevent their systems from accessing internal resources 
  • Separate network traffic using VLANs. Ensure that if one is compromised, it doesn’t infect the entire network

Email and Spam Protection

  • Configure data loss prevention (DLP) in all email tenants. Prevent important data from leaving the organization. 
  • Deploy special email headers that provide a visual cue that messages are originating from outside the organization. Scammers often get what they want by impersonating executives and co-workers. Email headers remind people to exercise caution when clicking on links and opening attachments from unknown senders. 
  • Scan all attachments and links systematically to evaluate and quarantine potentially dangerous ones

Most ransomware attacks are caused by phishing attacks. Are you prepared?

Find out. Answer just 10 questions about your IT policies and programs and we’ll let you know just how prepared you are.

Antivirus Management

We make sure that every computer and workstation on your network has this protection. But just having an antivirus is not enough. We tune them regularly to ensure you’re using your antivirus at its full capacity. 

  • Enable automatic heuristic updates. Antivirus definition files come out as many as 4 to 6 times per day. Each one represents an immediate potential threat. If they don’t automatically install, the door stays wide open a little longer. 
  • Maintain antivirus software and keep it up-to-date.. 
  • Identify out-of-date applications which may no longer support the latest software 
  • Deploy centralized antivirus management console to simplify reporting 
  • Enable automatic alerts and IT ticket generation when machine definitions are out-of-date

Patching

If a company like Microsoft sends you a patch for an application, this means they’ve identified a problem. That problem could be a harmless bug or a severe security risk.

You need a system that makes sure patches are installed timely. But if you have a decentralized office setup, you may be relying on each employee to install those patches. Not ideal.

We can centralize your reporting across machines so you know which devices have not installed patches. You can then proactively address users who aren’t installing patches quickly.

Access Management

Access management is another crucial aspect of building a layered security approach. Make your access management role-based and achieve solid security. Employees and staff should only have access to the applications and data they need to do their job, and nothing more. 

In addition to immediately terminating or changing access when employees change roles, we also review access regularly to make sure those who have access should.

Vulnerability Management to Identify New Security Layers Needed

No one has to live in fear of a data breach or attack. We can help you identify your vulnerabilities and develop a strategy to protect sensitive systems and data. But risks change and evolve, making vulnerability management a continual project we manage to keep your company safe. 

We use a combination of machine learning technologies and good old detective work by our experienced security experts to weed out suspicious anomalies and act proactively and quickly to remediate the situation. 

Are you worried about whether your current cyber security model would stand up to an attack? Could a more layered approach to security give you peace of mind?

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