Story image

Five steps to ensure persistent data security across your network

02 May 18

Network security has built in a basic foundation of strong protection across the perimeter, but that border is losing its strength as organisations move to the cloud.

According to Keysight Technologies, applications and infrastructure are increasingly cloud-based, which means businesses need to take a new approach.

Keysight Technologies’ vice president of portfolio marketing, Jeff Hassis, explains: “In its recent report, 2017 State of the Hybrid Cloud, Microsoft found that 63 per cent of organisations are already using hybrid cloud environments.”

“The result is that gaps are starting to appear in perimeter defences, which can be exploited by hackers or malware to steal information and personal data. Organisations need to focus less on perimeter defences and focus their efforts on identifying unusual user or network behaviour, which may be an early sign of a potential breach or attack.” 

According to Keysight Technologies, there are five ways that organisations can ensure network security:

1. Assign roles specific to new threats 
Rather than spreading responsibility across the IT department or giving an existing manager additional responsibility, organisations should put a single person or team in charge of security to ensure the security strategy is given the attention it deserves. 

2. Audit data and infrastructure 
It’s important to know what type of data an organisation is dealing with, including policies attached to each type of data, who has access, and where workloads accessing critical data are running. It’s also crucial to document data-capture methods for compliance. An initial audit and ongoing asset discovery can provide visibility into security and compliance postures in real time. It also lets organisations identify how and where it may be vulnerable, so it can act to close gaps. 

3. Create baselines 
Once an organisation understands its data profiles, it needs to capture expected behaviours. This includes aspects like who is authorised to see data, and how that access is granted or denied, all of which should be recorded and turned into a baseline of expected behaviour. 

4. Monitor for abnormalities 
Monitoring user and network behaviour against baselines can help organisations identify anomalies which could signal a potential breach. This could include a user downloading terabytes of data when their role doesn’t normally require them to do so, or a member of the marketing team accessing server logs. The security team can then investigate further to either stop a breach from happening or verify that the activity is legitimate. 

5. Secure data 
Organisations need to secure their own processes and data. For example, personally-identifiable information needs to be secured through data masking to ensure security itself isn’t the weak link. 

“Security strategies focused on perimeter defences can no longer protect sensitive data against theft in today’s complex IT environments. Organisations need to be able to quickly identify threats and vulnerabilities inside their networks, to keep information safe,” Harris concludes.

Symantec releases neural network-integrated USB scanning station
Symantec Industrial Control System Protection Neural helps defend against USB-borne cyber attacks on operational technology.
Ramping up security with next-gen firewalls
The classic firewall lacked the ability to distinguish between different kinds of web traffic.
Gartner names LogRhythm leader in SIEM solutions
Security teams increasingly need end-to-end SIEM solutions with native options for host- and network-level monitoring.
Cylance makes APIs available in endpoint detection offering
Extensive APIs enable security teams to more efficiently view, enrich, and contextualise real-time intelligence collected at the endpoint to keep systems secure.
SolarWinds adds SDN monitoring support to network management portfolio
SolarWinds announced a broad refresh to its network management portfolio, as well as key enhancements to the Orion Platform. 
JASK prepares for global rollout of their AI-powered ASOC platform
The JASK ASOC platform automates alert investigations, supposedly freeing the SOC analyst to do what machines can’t. 
Pitfalls to avoid when configuring cloud firewalls
Flexibility and granularity of security controls is good but can still represent a risk for new cloud adopters that don’t recognise some of the configuration pitfalls.
Securing hotel technology to protect customer information
Network security risks increase exponentially as hotels look to incorporate newer technologies to support a range of IoT devices, including smart door locks.