More than one billion personal records were leaked or stolen in 2014 alone, according to a report published by IBM. This was the highest recorded number of data breaches by IBM in the company’s history, which spans over 18 years.
Another study conducted by the Enterprise Security Group (ESG) revealed that from 2013 to 2015, 49 percent of companies experienced data breaches, with 75 percent of those companies experiencing breaches more than once during that period.
It was discovered that attacks originated from the following sources in these incidents: point of sale systems (PoS), third-party vendors, and unencrypted data.
It was discovered that the largest and most damaging attacks came from a single point of entry or source, which was a concerning finding.
Companies should never become complacent in the use of current best practices and enterprise security strategies in their operations. Criminals are constantly attempting to stay one step ahead of the law by circumventing security systems that have been put in place. It would be difficult to keep your valuable data safe from theft or unlawful distribution unless your security systems are constantly evolving and going through a process of upgrades.
What measures can we take to strengthen our security systems? It all starts with laying the groundwork for enterprise security, which begins with the implementation of these five fundamental tools.
1. Your first line of defense is firewalling.
This is the first line of defense you should employ. A firewall regulates the flow of information and directs it to the appropriate destination. Firewalls prevent infected files from infiltrating your network and compromising your data and resources.
The standard procedure for installing firewalls is limited to the perimeter of your network’s external perimeter. Internal firewalls, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly popular as a strategy.
This is one of the most recent best practices to be adopted by several businesses. It serves as a second line of defense, preventing suspicious external network traffic from entering the network.
Firewalls are changing at a rapid pace. By identifying the type of application that is being used, many people can control the flow of data.
2. Use a secure router to police the flow of traffic.
Routers are primarily used by networks to regulate the flow of data traffic. However, routers are equipped with a comprehensive set of security features.
Some routers have more advanced security features than a firewall, and these are known as security routers. The following are examples of such things:
The functionality of an Intrusion Defense System (IDS).
The functionality of an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).
Tools for enhancing service and traffic functionality
Data encryption for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that is strong
An IDS differs from an intrusion prevention system (IPS). An intrusion prevention system (IPS) operates more like a firewall, but with more complex guidelines for qualifying data flow. An intrusion detection system (IDS) operates similarly to a traffic monitoring system, identifying potential breaches at various points throughout the network. Having both greatly enhances your ability to implement best practices.
3. Have a Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2).
WPA2 is a wireless security protocol that is widely used on wi-fi networks. It performs significantly better than its predecessor and employs more robust wireless encryption methods.
Hackers and cyber-criminals will have a more difficult time breaking into this system. WPA2 is equipped with a variety of encryption options.
The first of these is the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) (TKIP). When it was first introduced, it served as a backup encryption system for the original WPA. A valuable encryption system, TKIP is no longer considered valuable, and it is largely ignored by best practises and strategic planning.
There’s also the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) (AES). In fact, the United States government makes use of this high-level encryption system. The use of AES is now a standard feature of WPA2, though the TKIP feature is still available to ensure compatibility with older devices.
If you have a router, make sure to enable the WPA2 security feature to keep your network safe and secure. The security of your own network can be easily jeopardised if you do not have it.
A person who can breach your network can cause it to slow down or even gain access to it and steal valuable information such as passwords and bank account numbers, among other things.
4. Keep your email secure.
Black hat hackers are very interested in your email address because it is so widely used. In this day and age, receiving emails from suspicious sources is not uncommon.
Phishing, or the act of receiving an email from an impersonating source, has become increasingly effective in recent years, with 30 percent of the emails received being opened. This is according to Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report.
These bogus emails frequently make their way into the spam folder and contain malware, viruses, and worms, all of which are designed to cause system disruption or to retrieve valuable data.
Keep in mind that 86 percent of all emails sent around the world are spam; they are unsolicited and unwelcome. You should keep your current protocols up to date, even if the most recent email filters are capable of removing the majority of your spam emails.
You are more at risk of getting malware if you are receiving more spam email through your current filtering system, which means you should upgrade your system.
Related: Cybersecurity Planning Has Been Demystified At Long Last (Infographic)
5. Use web security.
According to the same Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, attacks against web applications have increased at an alarming rate, with financial institutions accounting for 51 percent of the victims.
Attacks are becoming more complex and frequent, and simple URL filtering is no longer sufficient protection against them. The following are some of the characteristics that should be considered when designing a robust web security system:
Malware Detection and Removal Examining IP reputation for a sense of security
Techniques for categorising dynamically generated URLs
Data leakage prevention is a feature.
Related: There are six things you should know about DuckDuckGo, the ‘anti-Google’ search engine.
A web security system must be dynamic and have the capability of scanning web traffic with pinpoint accuracy. A best practises and strategies for enterprise security set of protocols should place a high emphasis on web security as a matter of course.
It is recommended that you invest in a comprehensive web security system such as BlueCoat or an advanced managed security services provider such as Masergy if you are serious about protecting your data.
Beyond laying the groundwork for enterprise security with these common tools, you should also consider best practises and strategies from a procedural standpoint when developing an enterprise security strategy.
- Auditing your systems on a regular basis is recommended. Vulnerabilities should be patched as soon as they are discovered.
- Restriction on the scope of administrative access
- Examine the outbound access. If there are any networks or programmes that are no longer required or are only occasionally used, they should be turned off.
- Firewalls should be used and updated in areas or segments where critical data is stored.
- To ensure that everything is up to date, automated auditing systems, such as those for firewall or antivirus updates.
- Document your security policies in a knowledge database, and make sure to update it on a consistent basis whenever changes or revisions are made. Make certain that key personnel in your organization are informed of and kept up to date on any changes to the security system.
- Always ensure that security is regarded as a top priority by all relevant departments. If you have an IT Security department, they must regularly inform and educate other departments about important protocols and developments in order to ensure that IT Security is treated as a top priority.
- To determine the level of integrity of your enterprise security measures, use analytics and quantifiable measures to assess their effectiveness. You should always have a set of benchmarks to compare your system’s strengths and weaknesses against. Keep in mind that hackers are constantly striving to stay one step ahead of the latest best practices and security strategies.
- Digital certificates are similar to electronic passports in that they enable individuals, organisations, and computers to securely exchange information over the Internet by utilising Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) (PKI). It is important to ensure that these digital certificates are stored on hardware, such as routers and load balancers, rather than on web servers.
- Adopt a strict policy regarding removable media, such as USB flash drives, external hard drives, thumbdrives, and external disc writers, and enforce it. These examples of removable media are either potential facilitators or sources of a data breach, depending on your perspective.