Most of today’s information security breaches follow clear patterns, yet organizations simply aren’t prepared to detect or deflect them. Indeed, it often takes months or even years for a target enterprise to learn of a breach, long after the damage is done.
Hackers use automated malware to launch continuous attacks, scaling up into the millions of individual events. Such attacks have compromised global organizations such as Equifax, Target, JP Morgan Chase, Anthem, eBay, Uber, and many others besides.
These attacks have led to billions in damage and eroded consumer trust.
For the modern hacker, rules-based malware is far easier than direct attacks.
Direct attacks require hackers to:
- Compromise firewalls
- Subvert intrusion detection
- Detect specific vulnerabilities
- Use a slew of skills and tools
Malware, on the other hand, is easy: A victim installs it and ... you’re in.
Once malware is installed, it can create a completely encrypted “tunnel” back to the hacker, who then controls the system with total stealth. Firewalls can’t stop it and traditional perimeter-based intrusion detection cannot detect it. In short, the conventional layered security model is defeated.
Antivirus software hardly improves the situation.
So, what should an organization do to truly harden against today’s threats?
Although managed security services are ideal, internal security measures are also essential.
A Modern Security Approach: Defense in Depth for Information-Driven Enterprises
The fastest and most effective way for the average enterprise to achieve results in transforming its security posture is to adopt managed security services. Even once this happens, however, it is still vital to maintain an operational awareness of data security basics.
Here’s how to do it:
Recognize Sensitive Data
Where is your enterprise’s most sensitive data? For many firms, it’s the data in motion: That is, data being transmitted from point-of-sale systems or other interfaces. Outside the financial and commercial worlds, large repositories of sensitive data predominate – especially in healthcare.
There are specific security solutions for both data at rest and data in motion. However, these are most effective once the breach has already taken place. Relying on such technologies is akin to saying hackers will eventually get your data. You may end up simply complicating that process.
Prohibit Access to Data at Rest
There is an alternative to closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. This is one reason why so many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 enterprises are turning toward managed security services: The ability to be truly proactive and bar access to sensitive data in the first place.
At NCA, we achieve comprehensive protection of data at rest without hindering daily operations.
One way to do so is to undercut the fundamental attack patterns that persistent attackers will use. Privilege escalation is the most common and nefarious of these: It refers to a hacker accessing data via stolen user credentials, which are “upgraded” to have pervasive administrative powers.
Our solution separates active directory (AD) permissions from those used to access the most sensitive data. As a result, hackers with escalated privileges remain unable to affect the core data that makes the most difference in your enterprise strategy.
Audit and Harden Over Time
Exploding the traditional user privilege model has some other clear security benefits. With the right blend of managed security services, you can enhance your oversight over the network. It’s easier than ever to see who is accessing the network and what they are doing there.
This ensures that, should a breach occur, it is detected very quickly.
Traditional data store encryption mitigates the risk of physical hardware being stolen, but falls short in providing fail-safes against a truly determined attack. Our solution, by contrast, furnishes superior auditing, separates key management, and adds a whole new level of access control.
Managed Security Services Provide Real Protection Against Today’s Threats
Today’s security breaches are serious business. They can cost billions of dollars – and cost executives their jobs. Stock prices can be decimated and may never recover. Customer trust is tarnished, brand value falls, and the enterprise is exposed to the potential for litigation.
The regulatory burden alone could cost millions and have years of impact.
A simple ROI analysis shows that the cost of a solution is but a tiny fraction of the long-lasting costs of a data breach. The question: Can you find managed security services that will meet your current needs, at your current budget, and scale with you in the future?
At NCA, our managed security services are designed to work with large and small networks.
No matter whether you have a 2,000-server farm or a single database sitting right in your office, we can harden these without additional capital outlay or infrastructure. Just as importantly, our solution is transparent to end users, requiring no retraining and adding no human error.