Why is the protection of the corporate network of strategic importance? Before proceeding further with possible considerations, let us focus on this critical question. The data represent a company’s actual product; therefore, they are an entity that must be carefully stored in reliable and safe places. We, therefore, define trustworthy as an enterprise network in which we can store, transfer and share information with reasonable confidence.
Data from the CLUSIT Information Security & Privacy Observatory Report, relating to cyber-attacks, also suggest increasing attention and investments in this area: over 80% of recorded attacks are attributable to cybercrime actions conducted in 40% of cases by exploiting Malware and in 24% through a data breach.
1 – The firewall is the first barrier to the corporate network
The actions to be taken to achieve this objective start from the perimeter: it is necessary to define the elements of the perimeter with absolute precision, thus having a clear idea of the surface potentially exposed to risk. Hence, a well-configured firewall is the most suitable solution, with well-defined access rules and policies.
In this context, the granularity of the settings can make a difference. In fact, too permissive rules can expose the corporate network to unnecessary risks, but it is equally true that more stringent policies can be detrimental to productivity and operations. It is, therefore, a question of identifying needs and risks in the best possible way and defining a more or less driven segmentation of the corporate network, a characteristic that offers greater margins of intervention in the event of problems.
2 – Workstations and start working as the last link in the chain
For corporate networks, we do not exclusively consider network devices. Endpoints are also strategic in a protection concept. In fact, the individual workstations represent preferential access to the data themselves, and their security determines the reliability or otherwise of the corporate network. In 63% of the cases of confirmed violations, it emerged that the problem is attributable to the passwords used (weak, shared, or poorly managed); it is, therefore, necessary to provide alternative solutions with biometric data and multi-factor authentication.
It is, therefore, also essential for individual workstations to provide precise policies for accessing company network resources and define which application are present on each machine. In fact, applications must be constantly updated because any security bugs could be exploited to perform malicious actions.
3 –VPN and communication and sharing tools
Workstations’ and applications’ security becomes even more complicated considering the increasingly widespread smart working scenarios. In this case, the use of a VPN connection is essential, but well-defined policies must accompany this on the devices that can be used to connect to the corporate network. Providing tools for communication and sharing is also essential to avoid improvisation and improvised solutions, which could lead to dangerous exposure to risks.
And in “Bring Your Own Device” scenarios, the problem is even more acute because any technological protection solution must be accompanied by user awareness, the link in the chain placed in the last but strategic position.
4 – Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test to understand your condition
Social engineering – which often exploits errors and bad user habits – is widely used for compromising networks or stealing information, and these actions generally last over time, remaining latent in the system, waiting for conditions and situations that allow complete the action. An explicit fact to substantiate the problem: almost 80% of attacks conducted through social engineering are successful, and new employees are generally more at risk.
Therefore, the importance of monitoring the corporate network emerges, relying on dedicated solutions and services capable of signaling anomalous behavior or dealing with actual crisis conditions. Therefore, starting from the consideration that zero risk does not exist, it is important to assess the corporate network’s status by resorting to Vulnerability Assessment and PenetrationTest.
5 – Cloud and virtualization as tools for operations and security
To fully protect the corporate network, it is necessary to broaden one’s gaze beyond what the data is and how this information is transferred and stored. To guarantee the conditions of reliability and safety, it is essential that the same hardware solutions intended for the corporate network are, therefore, redundant and designed to be able to deal flexibly with emergencies.
In this scenario, the integration of Cloud Cloud and virtualization technologies are also important assets that will allow, for example, constant and secure access to data (Cloud) and a good operating margin (virtualization). Microsoft itself has identified the security of the Public and Hybrid Cloud Cloud as one of the five key trends for the sector in 2020; paradoxically, security in this area is to be found precisely in the vastness of the data managed and their potential use by AI technologies that can provide valuable help.
The protection of the corporate network is a real process, articulated and organic. There is, therefore, no unique technological solution. Still, the goal can be achieved with a complex strategy that involves network devices, individual endpoints, but also the skills and habits of individual employees. And this strategy is completed with a conscious use of Cloud technologies, which can raise the level of security and protection of the corporate network.
Also Read : Penetration Testing, The Secret To Keeping The Company Safe