Why do you need a network security checklist? Your business faces threats on many fronts, and the more users, devices, and applications you add, the more vulnerable your network becomes. Whether your business is small or large, consider your network security requirements. Then follow our five-step network security checklist to create a holistic security solution to prevent breaches and address issues quickly.
To prevent threats from getting in, your business must deploy a strong frontline defense at the edge of the network. Traditional firewalls are no longer sufficient.
However, next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) integrate Advanced Malware Protection (AMP), Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS), Application Visibility Control (AVC), and URL filtering. With these capabilities, NGFWs protect organizations from modern threats.
Inevitably, advanced malware and threats may evade initial detection. By deploying AMP, you gain malware protection for the network and know exactly where threats are at any given time. Adding NGIPS on the firewall can stop sophisticated network threats and exploit attempts. A next-generation firewall with AMP and NGIPS offers the most effective multilayer network security that sees and stops advanced threats.
Today over 50% of employees are mobile. As the way companies work changes, IT must change as well. A network security checklist must account for all the different locations and uses that employees demand in a business network.
When your business adds a branch, you must change your IT security strategy. Technologies such as software-defined WAN and secure Internet gateways can benefit multisite businesses.
For mobile security, technologies like a secure Internet gateway and a virtual private network are crucial.
When accounting for branch and mobile connections, you strictly account for the physical location for your employees. How your employees work is crucial, too. Two critical components of network security include email security and cloud application security.
After you set up an infrastructure to stop threats at the edge and protect your users where they work, your business must create a system to control who gets on your network. To control network access, you need good visibility, so you can set system guidelines and use network analytics.
Traffic is shifting away from the center of the network, thanks to growth of cloud applications, mobile devices, and new branches. You cannot control who accesses your network if you cannot see them. A security solution must give you real-time monitoring of network traffic and the ability to instantly address potential threats. At the same time, your solution needs to provide all this information in a user-friendly interface.
Setting system guidelines can create strict automated boundaries to control who accesses your network.
No matter what you do, breaches are never 100% preventable. When a breach does happen, the threat can move laterally if you have not segmented your network. Segmentation divides your network, so the threat can be easily isolated. But segmentation must not be overly complicated: network segmentation must be sufficient yet simple.
Finally, your IT department must be able to find and control problems fast. Breaches will happen. The steps in this checklist will reduce the likelihood, but no security defenses are completely impenetrable. You must have a system and strategy in place to find and control problems across the network. While many businesses deploy products from 15-20 vendors, it can help reduce the discovery time if the products integrate seamlessly. Interoperability of your products is a key component to consider when purchasing solutions.