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What is Enterprise Cyber Security and Why is it Necessary?

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What is Enterprise Cyber Security and Why is it Necessary?

Enterprise cyber security is the defense of all applications, networks and IT infrastructures in a company against harm. Every threat ranging from a ransomware attack, to the theft of a phone or laptop containing sensitive data, falls under the general cyber security umbrella.

Each year, enterprises collectively spend tens of billions of dollars on their cyber security strategies (more than $36 billion in 2019 alone, according to Statista), and for good reason. This investment - in solutions that mitigate the risks of malware infections, lost and stolen devices, and destabilizing DDoS attacks - is relatively small compared to the potential cost of a data breach.

Preventing data breaches with better enterprise cyber security

In fact, IBM and the Ponemon Institute have estimated that the typical individual breach costs the victim millions in reputational damage and necessary remediation. Reliably preventing these incidents requires multilayered cyber security, encompassing:

The network

Corporate LANs and WANs must be hardened against intrusions and capable of filtering out malicious traffic. Innovations such as SD-WANs and next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are playing important roles in modernizing network security for current challenges related to traffic steering, encryption and management. For example, an SD-WAN provides centralized control over network policies. Anti-DDoS solutions also need to be in place to prevent interruptions.

Endpoints

The long-term uptick in mobile device usage, as well as in remote work, means that endpoint protection must be scaled like never before. Encryption, application control (i.e., what programs can be accessed by which users), and antivirus (AV) software are all key to endpoint security. Threat intelligence, often backed by artificial intelligence, is another pivotal piece in the endpoint security puzzle, as it helps to flag potential risks even under challenging circumstances.

Applications

Unapproved apps can do significant damage to a company’s image and business operations. Moreover, even legitimate ones need to be protected from unauthorized access through the implementation of multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, application control and privileged access management.

Cloud computing services and data centers

As more organizations rely on infrastructure and applications hosted off-premises, such cloud-based resources must be properly managed and secured. Cloud service providers (CSP) shoulder some of these responsibilities, while organizations handle the rest. Selecting certified and redundant data centers is particularly important, as doing so helps guards against risks related to data protection and the physical security of the hardware in those facilities.

Adequately covering each of these key security areas requires enterprise-level solutions - in other words, tools that go far beyond what any consumer-facing offering can deliver. Whereas individuals can rely on AV software, virtual private networks (VPNs) and other off-the-shelf tools to stay mostly safe, companies need more robust protection that lets them effectively deal with a wide variety of possible threats.

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How enterprises deal with cyber attacks

There is no archetypal cyberattack. Each one is unique, and many are tailored to the specific vulnerabilities of their respective targets. In its 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon explored the concept of attack “chains,” in which multiple vectors are exploited in sequence to maximize the chances of success, illustrating how complex and customized modern cyber attacks have become. Let’s look at two examples to see the immense range and significant challenges of responding to attacks:

Phishing and malware

Here, an attacker might choose to:

  • Go after the email or social media accounts of the targets, in an attempt to have them follow a phishing link to a compromised site.
  • Create a virus that can steal data and/or noticeably affect device performance, and have this particular malware installed whenever someone falls for the phishing scam.
  • Further exfiltrate sensitive data, by using compromised devices to spread more malware through the network.

Fending off this type of multipronged attack requires multiple tools working in tandem. Just in this specific example, the targeted enterprise would likely use an email gateway to help it screen out risky messages, AV software to help contain known malware, threat intelligence to identify newer and more sophisticated risks and endpoint security for stopping or controlling any infections on company devices.

DDoS and malicious traffic

In another case, let’s say that an enterprise had been hit by a massive DDoS attack. A few days later, it also notices some anomalous traffic on its WAN, which is adversely affecting the performance of real-time applications such as hosted VoIP and video conferencing.

Dealing with these two challenges might require some combination of:

  • DDoS mitigation tools, capable of stopping the flow of meaningless traffic that would otherwise overwhelm the targeted site.
  • Traditional firewalls or NGFWs with sufficient throughput and security features for keeping harmful traffic out.
  • SD-WANs that integrate with these firewalls and with cloud security services, in addition to being able to intelligently steer traffic and quickly update and apply policies across the entire network.

Basically, enterprise cyber security cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all solution - the right tools will vary from one situation to the next, and it’s prudent to have multiple defenses in place to hedge against a broad spectrum of attacks. An experienced security provider is also invaluable for helping in the selection and configuration of these tools.

Telesystem offers DDoS protection at no extra cost alongside all offerings passing through our network core, such as our hosted VoIP platform. We also operate SOC 2 Type II-certified data centers, which support our secure managed and cloud services. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you upgrade your enterprise cyber security position.

 

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