Essentials of a multilayered security program

New security threats and risks emerge constantly, forcing enterprises to adopt new security strategies which are more dynamic and fluid. This requires a multilayered security approach to address threats from different angles. Without such an approach, the risk of cyber-attacks will continue to grow and have a lasting impact on your organization.

An IBM security report stated cyber-attacks caused by exploiting vulnerabilities have increased by 33% over the last 12 months. To combat this, an effective security program must be multilayered to reduce risk across your organization, fixing vulnerabilities where they could be taken advantage of by malicious actors.

What is a multilayered security program?

A multilayered approach protects the perimeter, the inside of the network, and the data itself. It addresses threats from different angles, from the device level all the way to the application layer. Each layer is built upon the next, providing maximum security across the organization without being resource-intensive or expensive.

Identity and Access Management

An Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategy must include a set of tools and policies which manage users’ identities across the organization, enable secure access to data and applications and audit user actions. Strong authentication is crucial to maintaining a secure network.

Multi-factor authentication ensures users are who they say they are when they access the network — and if they are an authorized user. It can be based on a password, token or card, or a one-time code sent to a secondary device.

Strong authorization policies are equally important. These policies control which users have access to which applications and data. In addition, organizations must maintain a strong auditing trail. This allows the organization to trace any unauthorized access to data and applications and even retroactively identify any suspicious activity.

Data privacy and security

Data privacy and security addresses the risk of data being exposed and exploited. It can be achieved through a variety of solutions, including encryption, tokenization and restricted access to data.

Organizations must encrypt sensitive data at rest and in transit. In addition, tokenization will avoid storing sensitive data, which can be a liability. Tokenization replaces sensitive data with a non-sensitive equivalent. While the data is in the system, it is fully usable and accessible. When the data is removed, it is replaced with a meaningless token.

Restricted access is equally important. Users should have access only to the data they need to do their job. If they have access to sensitive data, they must be required to abide by strict policies on its use and protection.

Network security

Network security is the process of protecting your network from unwanted intrusion or damage. It includes taking measures to prevent unauthorized entry, monitoring for abnormalities and responding to incidents when they occur.

The threats to a network can come from many sources—unauthorized users, malware (malicious software or code), human error, external attacks, and even natural disasters. If a network is not properly protected from these threats, it will be vulnerable to attack and compromise.

To ensure a network remains secure and compliant with regulations such as PCI DSS or HIPAA, organizations must implement a comprehensive set of security controls designed to prevent unauthorized access to their systems. These may include:

Endpoint security

Endpoint security protects the devices on the network, such as laptops, smartphones and IoT devices, and addresses the risk of a device being exploited and used to access the network.

Endpoint security encompasses a wide variety of tools and techniques, such as antivirus and anti-malware software, file integrity monitoring and application control, to protect devices and ensure they are not infected or compromised.

This approach protects the device at the network, operating system and application level. A multi-layered approach provides maximum protection against threats like ransomware.

Employee security training

A strong security program must have an equally strong security awareness and training program to ensure employees are aware of their role in protecting the organization.

Employees must be trained on how to handle and respond to cyber-attacks and security incidents. All staff should be made aware of the risks of cyber-attacks and how they can respond in the event of an attack, and trained in how to identify suspicious emails and websites.

Security awareness training can be achieved through a variety of methods, including webinars and video content, written content and hands-on workshops. A multilayered security program requires a security awareness program which is just as comprehensive.

Create your multilayered security program with expert assistance

In implementing a multilayered approach to security, it is important to remember each layer of the security program is not just a standalone solution. Each layer must be implemented with the next level of protection. They must be inextricably connected to the network and business systems they protect and evolve as new threats emerge. A secure network with a solid security awareness program and dedicated security training will help organizations achieve their data security goals.

The cybersecurity specialists at BCS365 can design, implement, and manage a multilayered security program customized to your business requirements. Talk to them today and ensure you’re prepared.