According to numbers compiled by Statista, in 2019 alone more than 160 million records were exposed through data breaches in the United States.
Believe it or not, that total was actually a substantial improvement over the previous year, when more than 470 million records reached the light of day.
Given the realities of 2020, particularly the dramatic increase in remote work, it’s not out of the question that the number of breaches will rise once again—if not skyrocket. So it’s worth casting a renewed light on the best practices for ensuring enterprise network security.
These best practices begin with proper governance. Specifically, defined policies and procedures for how security controls are implemented within environments, along with parameters around what devices and which users have access to an enterprise’s applications, data, and files.
A good rule of thumb for every enterprise is zero trust—not allowing a machine or user to have access to the network without being thoroughly vetted and verified. But in order to successfully implement a zero trust model, enterprises must first have a detailed understanding of existing network environments and access points.
This means conducting a holistic examination of every part of the organization that has access to the enterprise network. It also means a full audit of governance and security measures already in place.
For smaller organizations or startups that are scaling quickly, this assessment can be eye-opening. But revealing potential gaps in security measures will inform where an organization should dedicate its attention as it moves to enhance its network security.
The enterprise network security template
As an organization builds out its network security measures, there are three areas it should focus on:
|1. Well-defined policies and procedures around environment and security controls|
|2. Tools and infrastructure, such as firewalls and in-point protections for servers and clients|
|3. Visibility via centralized logging for a cohesive view of environments|
In recent years, there have been an increasing number of platforms reaching the market that are centered around the idea of SOAR, or Security, Orchestration, Automation, and Response.
These platforms, such as Cortex XSOAR from Palo Alto Networks, provide a single point for the orchestration of actions across an entire security product stack. In other words, they streamline the security process by bringing together a fleet of tools to automate the majority of response actions.
The major benefit of this automation is that enterprise SecOps teams are able to triage their time toward responding to critical events and breaches rather than repetitive security tasks, which greatly accelerates response time for potentially damaging security issues.
SOAR platforms also deliver enhancements to specific security concerns, including threat intelligence management, cloud security orchestration, global secure access, and more.
Benefits of a sound enterprise network security plan
Beyond the obvious benefit of minimizing potential threats, robust enterprise network security creates a number of positives.
For one, having well-defined policies and procedures around governance can substantially limit the damage—economically and reputationally—that stem from breaches.
Enterprises with solid network security are also able to achieve greater flexibility, particularly when it comes to having a dispersed workforce, since there is less of a concern about machines being used remotely. This can translate into a much larger pool of talent being available.
Finally, proper network security makes it possible for more and more enterprises to embrace data democratization—the idea that information can be used throughout an organization, not just among IT teams and data scientists—since strict governance of access can ensure only specific data can be accessed for specific purposes on the network.
Get started on proper network security today
The fact of the matter is that no enterprise network is 100 percent secure at all times. Bad actors and human errors will always be around.
But by investing in network security best practices—specifically, proper governance, visibility, and tools such as firewalls and in-point protections—or partnering with a SOAR platform, the risk potential can be dramatically reduced.
To learn more about enterprise network security, including how to assess your enterprise’s current protection plans, reach out to one of our experts at Redapt.
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