The aftershocks of the 2014 breaches are still reverberating across the security landscape, and many organizations are starting to examine their own security programs, wondering how they can avoid becoming the next big breach story. It’s possible to prevent and mitigate future attacks, but that can’t happen relying on technology alone. By recognizing secure operations as their top priority, businesses can build a strong network architecture and security infrastructure to stop malicious activity. There are five preventive steps that can help any organization strengthen their security system and keep their networks safe.
Step 1: Assess Vulnerabilities and Weaknesses
A sound security foundation starts with an assessment of the current network to identify security strengths and weaknesses. Examining all areas, from the network architecture to security infrastructure, will lead to a better understanding of network security and capabilities. This will help teams discover vulnerabilities and learn what improvements are needed to achieve secure operations. A tool like Check Point’s free Security Checkup will uncover data leaks, bots, infections and other issues in the network while providing detailed recommendations from an extensive threat analysis report.
Step 2: Segment the Network
With segmentation, threats can be stopped before they spread across the entire network. Security can be increased by separating the network into multiple segments and minimizing access to critical departments, services and data. Even if criminals successfully breach financial data, for instance, segmentation can stop their reach from extending into personnel records or intellectual property. Network access between internal departments must be limited so data is only accessible to authorized users. One way to address these challenges is through creating a secure, modular infrastructure such as Software Defined Protection.
Step 3: Implement Security Controls
Organizations should implement security controls to improve the network’s security infrastructure and ensure that critical assets are constantly protected. The best defense against today’s sophisticated cyberattacks is a multi-layered threat prevention solution that can detect and prevent threats. The multiple security layers should include at minimum, intrusion prevention systems, anti-virus and anti-bot tools, sandboxing solutions, and data loss protection—these essential layers all work together to track and stop a malicious threat as it moves throughout the network. Advanced solutions like Next Generation Threat Prevention connect with dynamic, real-time threat intelligence feeds so businesses can continuously maintain up-to-date protection against known and unknown threats.
Step 4: Monitor 24/7 for Continuous Security
Monitoring tools provide visibility into the network and allow potential threats to be exposed. Organizations can become more familiar with network assets and normal behavior through daily monitoring. With teams trained to find anomalies and interpret warning signs, a monitoring system can expose any suspicious activity. Solutions like Check Point ThreatCloud Managed Security Service offer monitoring and alert services where security logs are uploaded and stored for automated threat analysis. Maintaining logs is fundamental because if a security breach does occur, those logs can be used to analyze behavior and identify patterns that led to the attack. The information found can be used to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Step 5: Create and Test Incident Response (IR) Plans
Attacks and infections can happen to any business, so a strong incident response plan is critical to stop a security event from escalating into a catastrophe. Teams must imagine every possible scenario so they can create plans to contain attacks and keep operations going. These plans should include detailed communication strategies involving both internal and external parties, training for all relevant teams and individuals, and ongoing testing to make sure the plans are still relevant and effective. Many organizations turn to solutions like Check Point Incident Response (CPIR), which can contain attacks, stop business disruption, and get systems back up and running quickly.
The reality is that cybercriminals are using advanced methods to exploit network vulnerabilities, making it possible for any organization to become the next target. Malicious threats and attacks will continue to evolve, but strengthening network security doesn’t have to be a challenge. These 5 Steps to Stronger Security will help protect sensitive information and defend businesses against cyber threats. Organizations can preempt the attacks of tomorrow by adopting a proactive approach to securing their network and infrastructure today.