Why Your Business Needs Layered Network Security

Written by Chuck Rutenberg

September 22, 2020

For many small business owners, network security isn’t always a top priority. After all, with so many other big companies out there, why would cybercriminals spend their time trying to access your data?

However, CNBC reported that 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses. Those attacks can be crippling, as well, as the same report stated that a single attack cost your company anywhere from $20,000 to $1 million. That’s why we’ve been taking a look at how a layered security approach helps install safeguards that keep your business safe. Today, lets examine the middle layer of that defense system, the business network.

How Does Layered Network Security Keep Data Safe?

Modern cyberthieves have spent decades finding new ways to trick employees and security protocols into giving them access to the data they need to extort a business. That’s why the safest way to keep your proprietary information secure is to trust a cascading tier of defense procedures.

A layered security approach encapsulates every element of a network that could be compromised. This includes everything from large scale, cloud level defenses such as DNS security down to employee training and password protection.

By using the right tools and best practices, even if there is a failure at one point another security level will catch it, keeping the network secure.

Network Level Protections Ensure Secure Access

While cloud and employee security level can accomplish a lot, the business network is a key component of a protected data infrastructure.

The business network uses a variety of tools you are probably already familiar with such as VPNs, firewalls, group policies and authentication. Let’s review what each of these elements does and how they work together to keep cyberintruders at bay.

Device Identity Authentication

One way to control access to your business network is by using device identity authentication. This allows you to restrict access to different areas of a network based on the permissions given to a device.

This is an important tool to consider if you have sensitive information that you only want accessed from a secure workstation. It is also valuable if your company allows employees to use their own devices. Device authentication lets authorized laptops and mobile devices to reach directories storing sensitive information while keeping unauthorized devices used by cybercriminals out.

Directory Group Policies

Another important tool at your disposal is the active directory group policies security feature. These policies can be set to allow or restrict access to certain functions, such as the command prompt, forced restarts and the installation of software.

Setting these policies ensures that any malicious programs or intruders that gain access to the network are unable to modify the system to their advantage. After restrictions are set for one group of users, allowances can be set for others, such as administrators or IT personnel, so they can use these tools to fix network problems or investigate security breaches.

Firewalls

A firewall is a hardware or software solution that examines traffic coming in and going out of your internet connection. If any traffic raises warning flags due to encryption, point of origin or behavior, the firewall shuts down that access point until the data is verified as authentic or isolated as a threat.

As one of the oldest types of network security systems, it can be tempting to assume your firewalls are doing their job and forget about them. However, like any digital safety system, they are only effective if they are up to date and ready to confront cybercriminals latest innovations. Make sure your security team regularly updates and maintains these security measures.

Virtual Private Networks

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, provides a dedicated network for your business that helps keep the data moving between your employees secure. Using a VPN separates your network from the public internet connections that hackers use to gain access and ensures that your data has an extra level of encryption.

A virtual private network also guarantees that authorized remote access to the network remains guarded. The VPN’s secure access points and servers can store your data with end-to-end encryption so that you can safely access important documents from anywhere.

Secure Your Business Network to Protect Data

Ensuring all of these components are in place and well maintained will help ensure that cybercriminals will not have a way to reach your most important information. Build strong business network security into your layered security solution for complete protection.

Learn more about the advanced security tracking through real time dashboards that keep you in the loop for suspicious activities in your business network by downloading our guide, How to Embed Cybersecurity into Your Organization.

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