Making sure your IT is protected against external threats is an essential responsibility of any business. Learn why a multi-layered approach is best.
IT security is a primary concern for all businesses.
A multi-layered security approach is widely considered to be the best way to prevent attacks from doing irreparable harm to a company. But what is a multi-layered approach, and why is it so important?
What is multi-layered security?
Only having a firewall and anti-virus software doesn’t provide enough resistance against increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks.
A multi-layered security approach means having several different levels of security to protect your data and systems— spanning across different protocols and applications. This means that each security level has a backup in case of a breach, and the strengths of the layers taken as a whole help to cover any flaws in individual components.
‘Defence in-depth’ is another widely used term for a multi-layered approach to security. It implies that the strategy is more concerned with multiple layers slowing an attack until it can be managed. However, one of the strengths of a multi-layered approach to network security is that each of the protective elements focuses specifically on protecting an area where attacks could happen, thus making the defence as strong as possible everywhere.
The importance of ‘defence in depth’
According to the World Economic Forum, the threat of a cyber-attack is the most dangerous risk faced by UK business leaders. And with such high-profile incidents making the news, such as the WannaCry attack on the NHS, it’s easy to see why companies here are so concerned.
Whether we’re talking hackers, data breaches, viruses, or organised crime, global cyber-incidents have never been more of a threat. It’s costly too. According to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, together with MacAfee, the global cost of cyber-crime was suggested to be in the region of $600 billion. We can assume that figure has increased in the years since, plus we’re not even taking into account the damage done to organisational reputation when such crime occurs.
With sophisticated multi-pronged cyber-threats now a familiar story, only IT security protections designed to counter across multiple fronts have a chance at stopping these types of attack. This is why adopting a multi-layered security strategy is critical to business survival.
- The security layers you can use to protect your business
Most modern business models now consist of operations involving the use of multiple systems, devices, and areas of data storage. They could be entirely on-site or in the cloud, or a hybrid of both. You can’t expect a single solution to offer the same high level of protection for all elements, including data, devices, applications, and the network itself. Use of multiple layers of security can help target specific areas under threat, including:
- The web—ensuring only secure websites are visited by employees and preventing against concealed malware. This also helps to boost productivity by potentially minimising the use of social media platforms.
- Emails—the backbone of office communication continues to be targeted by hackers trying to access company data. An email protection layer can help spot threats through spam or even restrict email flow through their service provider.
- Legacy and unsupported software — software that’s not been updated to protect against the latest threats can be an easy target for attackers looking to breach the network. Having a patch management security layer in place can help identify and fix these soft target areas by automating the update process.
It’s important to note that anti-virus software, while no longer sufficient as a single security solution, still provides an essential layer of protection against viruses, Trojans, and other malware. You should continue to include it in any multi-layered security approach.
Multi-layered security is essential
With the clear and present digital danger to businesses in 2020, you must adopt a comprehensive approach to security not only to protect a company’s data but its reputation too. A single solution is no longer good enough. Only a multi-layered security strategy can provide the protection you need against increasingly sophisticated cyber-threats.
If you need help trying to select the right combination of security for your business, get in touch with MLR Networks today, and we’ll be happy to make sure you’re protected.