Advice on an effective network security strategy

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Contrary to what some experts believe, remote working can help improve an organization’s network security strategy.

When most companies were forced to adopt a work-from-home model due to the COVID-19 pandemic, C-suite and IT executives had to evaluate their company’s network security strategies and remote access technologies. This shift may have felt like a mess at first, but it has also helped IT teams realize the tools they already had and which, according to writer Aditya Mukherjee, they hadn’t fully exploited. Organizations that make the most of their existing tools can achieve significant benefits and save money.

Mukherjee’s book, Network Security Strategies, can help IT teams find the best ways to protect their networks from major threats and attacks, as well as tips on how to improve their company’s network security strategies.

Editor’s note: The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What do companies need for an effective network security strategy?

Aditya Mukherjee: When it comes to network security, I don’t think that matters outside of the normal equipment and guidelines that are standard.

Because of this, there are many attacks in which attackers are able to infiltrate a system and then stay in the area for 80 or 90 days, depending on the detection function. For most businesses that don’t focus on information security [infosec] In particular, your network responsibility rests with the network administrator or network technician, who primarily focuses on ensuring that the network is functional and not secure.

Aditya Mukherjee

One of the best ways to get closer to an organization’s network security is to conduct security reviews or penetration tests to understand the gaps in mitigation, detection, and response so they can … build a more secure network. The business impact of a network breach or data loss is not only operational but also monetary [or] Reputation standpoint – the implications are huge.

Most organizations don’t understand how vulnerable they are or what is at risk [until they] You received a ransom note from an attacker.

What common mistakes do IT teams make with their network security strategies?

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about the book.

Mukherjee: One big mistake is not doing security audits or security reviews from time to time to understand how certain users who stay in the environment for an extended period are actually collecting a lot of access. And once those accounts are exposed or accessed by an outside threat actor, they have a lot [more] Privileges than they traditionally should, which is authorization creep.

Basically, make sure that any new device is secure. Does it expand your threat landscape? All of these things are building blocks that many organizations don’t focus on.

When did network security become as critical as it is today?

Most organizations don’t understand how vulnerable they are or what is at risk [until they] You received a ransom note from an attacker.

Aditya Mukherjeeauthor

Mukherjee: It has become more complex over time because the borders are now transparent. We knew the specific devices and partners beforehand [and] other providers with whom we have worked.

Today with BYOD Cloud [and] Shadow IT, the boundaries of a company are very transparent, and that naturally also affects the network. Know where your data is and how it is processed [and] Who processes it is very important. The various complexities have increased the need for a good, secure network that is not only stable from an operational point of view, but also stable in the case of a cyber or DDoS system [distributed denial-of-service] Attack.

In the past, we have seen many times that when attackers attempt to infiltrate a network, they frequently perform a DDoS attack or attempt to get the security team’s attention with a bogus attack. It is important that these are addressed from day one so that you can properly focus on everything you are getting at the same time rather than just focusing on one attack vector.

How does this affect network security when borders become more transparent?

Mukherjee: Almost every organization is working on a work-from-home model right now, and this was great for security reasons, as many organizations have been hired by either their senior management or board members to take a long, hard look at how their people work [and] Customers would be safe from remote locations tunneling into this network. That was a major paradigm shift for companies, employees and security professionals.

People focused on how remote connections were made, how to deal with those connections, and focused on VPN [and] Load balancing because many companies … had to schedule employees at certain times and other teams at certain times because their VPN couldn’t handle this load all at once. It has increased attention to [infosec] and the general networking between companies and employees, and that was both for the market and for good [putting] safer and better guidelines in place.

We won’t be going back to our jobs soon and, even if we do, with the attitude people have been in for eight to nine months – remote access and working from home will be part of the culture for everyone Team possible.

The importance will only increase as more complex and sophisticated authentication services emerge [and] Authorize users and how they mix with the merging of various network devices and services that we offer our customers. It will continue for the foreseeable future.

What general questions do you ask about network security?

Mukherjee: One of the most common questions we get from CISOs is “Are we sure?” And the unequivocal answer is either “We are significantly safe” or “We are not very safe” because there is no such thing as 100% security. You need to gauge the organization’s risk appetite. How much budget is available? What fixes can you make to mitigate threats? Infosec has always been a game of cat and mouse.

The second comes from CISOs, CEOs, security managers, and directors. When they get out of a security conference or conversation, they hear about some new, noticeable technology like threat scanning, [user behavior analytics]Zero trust and their immediate idea would be: “How do we do this?”

One thing that security professionals need to understand is that they don’t have to incorporate every single technology into their environment to make it secure. Whatever you have, use that 100% first and get the best performance. And if there’s a real business case for a new solution that further mitigates or eliminates an existing risk, you should just take a look.

Different companies have 70 security products in their arsenal and barely use five to seven to reach their full potential. That is a waste of dollar value and an additional drain on resources. Make sure you are getting the most out of everything you have [of its ability]and then watch out for something new.