By Mark McCallum, CTO, Orange Business Services
Modern business increasingly relies on network-supported technologies, such as cloud computing, mobility and the Internet-of-things (IoT). The flexibility and agility they offer are essential for ensuring competitiveness in an increasingly global marketplace. But these benefits comes an increased risk of data compromise.
Cybercriminals have become increasingly professional and use “multi-vector” attacks, which target various areas of the enterprise in parallel to find the weakest link. These include end-users, mobile devices, networks, applications and data centers.
The key to protecting yourself against these multiple threats is to take a holistic approach to security. Here are 8 tips to help you build multi-layered security that protects your data and infrastructure, while keeping you competitive in the digital world.
1. Break boundaries with network-based security: traditional approaches to security rely on many different solutions installed at the boundary between a “trusted” private business and the “untrusted” public Internet. Enterprise IT security professionals are demanding a network-based solution that is specifically engineered for the cloud, mobile, IoT and open API era where there is no fixed network perimeter.
2. Take a strategic approach: Security experts can help you prioritise which data is most important to your business and outline ways to reduce attack risks. Understand cybercriminals’ objectives, be those monetary, ideological or competitive – rather than focusing on system vulnerabilities alone.
3. Gain insight with a security information and event management (SIEM) platform: it correlates security alerts and turns them into actionable intelligence. SIEM can help identify malware and abnormal application access requests to detect intruders in your network. Big data analytics powers real-time threat visualisation, dynamic incident response and post-event forensics.
4. Dynamically match infrastructure to business requirements: choose the most appropriate network based on the business criticality of the data travelling on it, such as private WAN, or secured public Internet connectivity with a private, shared or public gateway.
5. Deliver security from the cloud: it is vital to have consistent security protection across your entire IT infrastructure – including mobile devices. Use security protection in the cloud to block suspicious data before it even reaches the end-user.
6. Authenticate users for all enterprise resources: federated identity and access management (IAM) scheme gives approved employees and partners access to cloud and on-premise applications from any device using a single login. Multi-factor authentication protects VPN access over unsecured Internet connections.
7. Protect data in public environments: Sensitive data should be encrypted and tokenised before being processed or moved between public and private clouds.
8. Protect the Internet of Things (IoT): the devices that make up the IoT are a potential weak link in your security chain. The dangers posed by insecure protocols and unpatched firmware are accelerated dramatically considering the exponential number of devices avaible and in use.