What is the proper approach to cyber-security? Does anyone have the answer? The truth is, there is no way to be absolutely safe from a cyber-attack. However, there is a methodology to protect ourselves the best we can.
We need to focus our preventative measures as cyber-attacks are becoming more and more focused on small businesses . Hacking efforts are more advanced and some of the old methods of cyber security are becoming out of date. Our security has to keep evolving to keep our data protected.
The most effective method, and the method we utilize for small businesses, is the Layered Security Approach to cyber-security. It is a proven method for preventing cyber-attacks, and a system that will protect your business in the long-term if used correctly.
What is Layered Security?
Layered network security is originally based on a military concept called defense in depth. A strategy of protecting a system using multiple methods of defense that are independent of each other. In terms of a military defense this would include physical, technical, and administrative controls. This would ensure that your personnel, facilities, processes, and equipment are prepared to offer defense and protection regardless of what is happening elsewhere in the systems.
When it comes to cyber-security the same principles apply, but for business related systems and methods of protection. If properly executed, a layered security system protects your most valuable data from all angles with multiple levels of protection.
Consider the ways that you may want your data to be protected and you will start to see the layers of the system. Physical security includes your storage security, hardware, proper wiring, and anything else protecting your physical devices from a breach. Electronic security protects your methods of data transmission and prevents any unauthorized access. The procedural layer consists of your policies and practices along with the proper training on employees. Finally, the network security layer is made up of the software and hardware protecting the whole network. All of these layers combine to make a security system that is very difficult to penetrate.
Why is it Important?
Why implement this system in the first place? Well, imagine you are attempting to hack a company. You have already attempted numerous phishing attacks and had your emails flagged by software or ignored by well-trained employees. You decide to take a different approach and attack the network, only to encounter an army of anti-virus and anti-malware software. Even the most hard-headed hacker would move on to an easier target.
Having layered security systems in place will make it incredibly difficult and time consuming to breach your system. Plus, you will have peace of mind knowing that your data is protected. A layered system is a long-term solution if handled correctly and regularly updated.
The process of implementing a layered security system goes about how you would imagine, in layers. As with any form of protection, you want to protect your most vulnerable areas first. Almost 90% of successful cyber-attacks are a result of human-error. The first step to successful security is proper training and processes. If your employees are well trained and well-informed on what to look for, you can prevent 90% of attacks. A strong training program is a great base to then strengthen other aspects of your network security.