By: Craig Badrick on June 15th, 2017

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What You Never Knew About Agile Network Security

Network Security  |  Cybersecurity

The modern hacker is intelligent and innovative -- and probably attempting to breach your business systems as we speak. Today’s cyber attackers are evolved. They’re constantly learning from new security protections and finding ways around them. They’re relentlessly identifying opportunities to plunder data and hold networks hostage. They’re progressive, not stagnant. To have any chance of defending against them, your approach must be just as fluid.

 

The network security solutions you employed a decade ago aren’t enough to keep your company, your employees and your assets safe. In fact, some of the plans you made just last year may no longer suffice. As the cybercriminal tide ebbs and flows, it’s essential to ride the security wave with flexibility, acuity and prudence. It’s time to adopt a new approach to network security. It’s time to formulate a plan for monitoring and adjusting your efforts regularly to stay on top of changing threats. It’s time to become agile.

 

Check out these prime reasons why your enterprise can’t afford to overlook the agile approach to network security.

 

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Dynamic Duo: Collaboration and Communication

When it comes to fortifying your business network, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not putting enough emphasis on involving the entire organization. Sure, the task of network security may fall under the responsibility of the IT department, but participation in proactive security efforts must be shared by everyone.

 

From the top down and across every department, it’s vital to ensure that every team member is collaborating and communicating on this issue. Otherwise, you’re facing a lack of accountability that can lead to risky, costly vulnerabilities just waiting to be exploited.

 

With an agile approach to network security, there’s a strong focus on widespread involvement and dissemination of information that keeps everyone abreast of new knowledge, insight and action. An agile strategy enables you to:

 

  • Maintain an effective line of communication between the IT team and upper management on how to address evolving security concerns
  • Train employees to become active defenders of the business network
  • Relay critical alerts about emerging threats and insights
  • Reinforce current and/or unfolding security policies
  • Monitor and react quickly to behaviors that open the network up to security risks

 

Security Edification Via Education

In essence, every user on your network has the potential to defend or cripple your security effort. Without the kind of agile mentality that fosters awareness and education, the business is more susceptible to falling prey to a host of hacking maneuvers like the following:

 

Password Pillage: It only takes one password transgression to put the entire network at risk. It’s crucial for employees to be completely aware of password policy. If they’re reusing personal passwords for business applications, failing to update passwords regularly, using overly simplistic or easy-to-guess combinations or sharing passwords with other employees, they could be opening up a gateway to your business’s most critical assets. Monitoring, addressing and informing on this aspect of security is paramount to protecting your network.

 

Shadow IT: User workarounds and do-it-yourself solutions for information handling are serious security hazards. It doesn’t matter if these options enable employees to be more efficient. The more important reality is that they go under the radar of the IT team and are therefore highly susceptible to security breaches. Leverage an agile methodology to elevate security awareness and counteract the advances of hackers.

 

Email/Phishing Scams: Without a universal understanding of the dangers associated with clicking on email links, these scams will continue to threaten your network. As they become more advanced, it’s important to ensure that every user is equipped with the knowledge to identify deceptive, luring emails and links that can lead to security breaches. An agile approach to network security overcomes the awareness gap and keeps everyone apprised of the latest phishing threats. When an employee thwarts this kind of attack at the individual level, they help prevent the entire network from being compromised.

 

Fraudulent Sites/Applications: If users don’t know how to discern a secure site from an unsecure one, they may think they are visiting a legitimate website when they’re not. The same is true for application use. Again, the tactics used by hackers to create misleading sites and apps are constantly maturing -- as are the costs and consequences of experiencing a breach. Without agile ways of eliminating ignorance surrounding these vulnerabilities, your enterprise may find itself at a loss of valuable data or facing a ransom crisis.

 

A State of Proactivity, Not Reactivity

Too many businesses take a “wait and see” approach to security, opting to address issues as they arise instead of being proactive. This is a huge error in judgement because the cost of stolen data, reputational damage, legal expenses and PR nightmares far exceed that of implementing proactive security measures.

 

Proactivity is a product of agility. Your company must be focused on the flexibility of its security plans in order to mitigate risks and incorporate new features rather than deal with security issues after they occur. At that point, it could already be too late to do anything about them. Embracing proactive security requires the following aspects of an agile approach:

 

  • Asset Management: Software asset management helps control software license use and pinpoint software on the network that has vulnerabilities, while hardware asset management allows you to determine when unauthorized devices and/or users are accessing your network.

  • Security Auditing: Also referred to as “white hat hacking,” this tactic involves tracing the steps of hackers to break into your own network. These efforts enable you to uncover and address gaps in security before they can be exploited by cybercriminals.

  • Security Monitoring: It’s necessary to establish a baseline of network traffic and then use it to identify abnormal use patterns that could indicate a problem or an intruder. Security monitoring requires a deep understanding of networking and is best handled by an expert services provider.

  • Threat Tracking: Trustworthy sources that inform on known software security vulnerabilities can help you put proactive solutions in place. You can keep track of current and emerging threats by regularly checking these sources to see what hacking advances are making the rounds at any given time and then patch the security gaps.

With the benefit of this fresh insight at your disposal, you can see why incorporating an agile approach to network security is one of the smartest actions you should take to protect your enterprise. Don’t allow stale, ineffective security plans to endanger your business. Follow the course of the transforming security landscape and stay on the cutting edge of breach prevention.

 

Take advantage of the opportunity to have a TTI expert come to your organization and host a free discussion on the latest in network security. Schedule your roundtable discussion today, and learn how to adopt an agile approach.

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