Dec 22 2023

Building A Network Security Strategy: Complete Checklist To Protect Your Network

Category: Network securitydisc7 @ 10:13 am

Whether you’re a large or small business, network security is something you can’t ignore.

Threat actors can and will, infiltrate businesses of any size wreaking havoc on computer systems, maliciously encrypting data, and in some cases completely destroying a company’s ability to stay in business. 

While the latter situation isn’t that common, there have been several recent instances where poor network security has led to significant security breaches.

Consider the Uber breach QAwZ from September 2022, where an MFA fatigue attack led to a breach of Uber’s systems.

A similar attack led to a breach of CISCO’s systems, and Activision ended up being hacked after an SMS phishing attack, which reportedly led to a significant data breach of Activision’s IP and employee data.

These breaches signal the need for better network security practices, and they also show how single security measures are not enough.

All of the breaches mentioned above happened because of a weakness in each company’s MFA practices, but they could’ve been mitigated by other security measures including zero trust granular access rules.

Organizations of all sizes need a network security strategy with modern, cloud-based tools and technologies to stay secure:

Single Sign-On (SSO) With Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Before we even get to network security, organizations should deploy a Single Sign-On (SSO) identity provider with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) support.

SSO allows users to access multiple applications using one login.

This makes it easier for users to integrate network security practices into their daily routine without much friction, while the IT team has a much easier time keeping everyone organized. 

MFA, meanwhile, adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more pieces of evidence to prove their identity.

This is typically a username and password, followed by a one-time code, or biometric authentication such as a fingerprint or facial recognition.

Under an MFA scheme, you can require just a second authentication factor or multiple depending on the level of security you need and your threat model.

SSO with MFA also reduces the risk of password-related security incidents, such as password theft or reuse.

It also makes it harder for hackers to access your network since they have to not only steal the password but somehow obtain the second or even third factor to finally break in.

But as we mentioned at the beginning of this article there are ways to get around MFA security measures, so how do you make sure that doesn’t happen?

It starts with training and clearly defined policies that convey to employees that IT teams and outside security contractors will never ask them for their MFA security codes. 

Second, you can increase the difficulty of MFA for higher privileged accounts such as a number-based challenge that requires the user to see both sets of numbers to correctly answer the MFA challenge.

Biometric measures can also be effective as long as employees understand they should never authorize an MFA request they didn’t initiate. 

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Building Secure and Reliable Systems: Best Practices for Designing, Implementing, and Maintaining Systems

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Tags: Network Security Strategy

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