It may be hard to justify making investments in your network security, but the consequences of inaction can be far harder to deal with. In fact, one IBM study found that the average cost per security breach incident U.S. companies faced was $9 million in 2021.
However, not every security control and tool is created equal—some are more effective than others at protecting your network. Fortunately, businesses of all sizes and industries can implement a number of network security best practices to improve their chances of thwarting cybercriminals and keeping their data, customers, and bottom line safe.
Here are five of the most common methods the professionals at VectorUSA recommend to our clients.
1. Implement and maintain strong password hygiene.
Although you would think that good password hygiene is common sense, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to overlook this best practice, especially with network infrastructure devices. That is why it is vital to establish and regularly check that your organization is implementing strong password hygiene.
Although you can include many different criteria and characteristics in your password management policy, some of the most important include:
- Establishing and enforcing strong and complex password creation
- Updating default passwords and usernames, especially for network devices
- Identifying a cadence to have users update their passwords
2. Inventory and track user accounts and devices.
How confident are you that you know about every end-user and every infrastructure device allowed on your network?
Take advantage of endpoint management tools to help capture and maintain an inventory of devices used by your employees and active in your network. Taking this step not only helps with tracking patches and required regular maintenance, but it also involves tools that flag when illegitimate devices attempt to connect to your network.
3. Perform regular security testing.
Even if you feel confident that your security controls are up to date and effective, regularly testing them not only improves your incident response, but it also helps your team fill in gaps or make changes based on new security best practices and techniques.
One of the most effective ways to perform this regular security testing is to lean on the independence and professionalism of a trusted partner that can execute testing and identify prioritized remediation plans.
4. Leverage security tools at the edge of your network.
A range of security tools exist to monitor and police traffic flowing in and out of your network. For example, take time to research and test the many advantages of:
- Network and host-based firewalls that “screen” traffic coming in and out of your network
- Intrusion detection systems that can stop known malicious code and traffic from entering your infrastructure
- Data loss prevention (DLP) tools that screen for private data improperly leaving your network
Combined, these tools make locking down and monitoring for unauthorized activity and users more automated, and they amplify your security posture.
5. Create and utilize virtual private networks.
Even before the pandemic drastically altered how organizations get work done and stay connected, VPNs were powerful and nimble ways to keep networks secure by creating dedicated tunnels between employees (clients) and VPN servers within your network. However, in the wake of the remote working environment, there’s been a 300 percent increase in cybercrime since early 2020, partially due to cybercriminals taking advantage of new ways to intercept and disrupt end-user network traffic.
As security consciousness has improved across many organizational charts, everyone from the IT department to the C-Suite appreciates and understands the power of VPNs. This has led to the proliferation in the marketplace of VPN options available for organizations to choose from. Without having the right team in your corner, the process of identifying the best solution for your needs and implementing it seamlessly can be complex.
Now is the time to up your network security game.
This is no by no means an exhaustive list of security controls that your organization can implement to enhance your network security, but it’s a good place to start when securing the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of your network.
If you are ready to get started with the help of a trusted partner, backed by experienced, trained professionals who stay on top of the latest security threats and whose primary focus is making sure your network security is running at its highest potential, then the team at VectorUSA would welcome the opportunity to get to know you.
Let’s get started!
Post Topic(s): NETWORK SECURITY