One year ago today, Target was gearing up for Black Friday sales and projecting a strong end to the year. That was the company’s primary focus. The same could be said for Neiman Marcus and Home Depot. And no one had even heard of Heartbleed or Shellshock yet.
Needless to say, much has changed in the last year.
If 2014 ends up going down in the history books as the “Year of the Cyberattack,” then what does 2015 have in store for network administrators? We’re already started to see the predictions start to roll in, the first coming from the report, “The Invisible Becomes Visible,” by Trend Micro.
The report paints the new network security threat landscape as becoming much more broad and diverse than it has ever been, evolving beyond the advanced persistent threats (APTs) and targeted attacks that have been the favorite weapon of hackers.
Trend Micro CTO Raimund Genes told InfoSecurity that cyberattack tools now require less expertise to use and don’t cost as much. He listed “botnets for hire … downloadable tools such as password sniffers, brute-force and cryptanalysis hacking programs … [and] routing protocols analysis” as just a few of hackers’ new favorites.
Given these new threats, how can network administrators shore up their network security for 2015 and beyond?
The ‘Three-Legged Stool’ of Network Security
As network administrators build out their network security infrastructure, it’s best to focus on the so-called “three-legged stool” approach – prevention, detection and response. Network security cannot be limited to simply installing prevention measures and hoping for the best. Why? Because there is no one universal, surefire way to prevent an attack, especially as attackers diversify and escalate their efforts.
Even if network administrators are cautious to the point where they assume their network could be hacked at any minute, some endpoints could still be exploited. Or, employees might not follow network security protocol.
In the event that these prevention measures are not entirely successful, organizations need to have a plan, and that means putting in place strong detection and response protocols – these are the two other “legs” in the stool. What do they look like in practice?
In the case of VPN management, central management capabilities within the technology provide network administrators with a single view of all remote access endpoints, allowing them to quickly launch a response when an attack is detected, often by deprovisioning the vulnerable device.
With these three elements working in tandem, network administrators will be prepared and armed for any threat 2015 might bring to their network security.
Want to learn more threats to your company’s network?
In 7 Security Threats You May Have Overlooked, we cover:
- How to handle environments fraught with rogue employees, personal devices, and EOL products.
- A sound approach to security policies and their enforcement, including the important of executive involvement.
- A new way to think about VPN solutions to simultaneously maximize security, flexibility, and ease of management.