CYBER SECURITY ROAD MAP LOCK SHOP (Part 4)Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Last week we highlighted five of the 10 systems, tools and practices that we recommend to protect devices, networks and critical assets against breaches or attacks. Today we look at the remaining five systems that organisations must consider when implementing complete end-to-end security.
Mobile Device Management Systems (MDM)
Mobile devices now have more capabilities than ever, and COVID-19 has ushered in an increase in remote and mobile work. Devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones have become an integral part of the work environment extending the need for security internally and beyond the borders of the office. Mobile Device Management (MDM) enhances an organisation's security footprint by allowing control, security, and enforcement policies on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile endpoints.
Firewalls & VPNs
Firewalls are devices that act as the first line of defence against malicious unauthorised access to an organisation's network. It is akin to the fence or gate at your home. No business should have a network without one.
Whenever users access a network, the chances are that there is a fair amount of security between that user's device and the systems and data on that network. However, once access is required outside of the office (eg working from home), then it is essential to extend the security of the organisation's private network to external locations; this is what Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) facilitate. VPNs secure connections between private networks and public networks or the internet using either software and hardware.
Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS)
Intrusion Detection and Intrusion Prevention Systems are devices that sit on the perimeter of the network and intelligently alert an organisation when threats and attacks are either detected or in progress and take appropriate action. These devices act as an additional layer of protection over and above the firewall. IDS/IPSs can be likened to camera's, grills, and motion sensors used in home security.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Managing and keeping track of all of the attacks or events on an organisation's network is a very involved task. Information about systems, security updates, attacks prevented/in progress and so on are most efficiently managed and monitored using SIEM platforms. These platforms consolidate all security events & activities into a single “pane of glass”.
Ongoing User Security Awareness and Training
Perhaps the most critical best practice is user awareness and training. Research has shown that most security compromises result from risky and improper user behaviour on their computers or the network. Awareness training mitigates instances of user mistakes that cause breaches.
It is not enough for organisations to have one-time awareness training events. Security awareness training must be a regular and ongoing exercise happening at least twice per year.
Trevor Forrest is the founder and CEO of 876 Technology Solutions. Christopher Reckord is CEO of Managed IT services provider tTech Limited. Collectively, they have approximately 80 years of experience helping organisations of varying sizes procure and implement information technology solutions and transform digitally.
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