Multiple Perspectives on Security

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Security Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Daniel Joseph Barry, Liz McMillan, Peter Silva

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, Security Journal

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Is Your Enterprise Data Secure? | @CloudExpo #Cloud #BigData #Analytics

Protecting your enterprise data is never easy, especially as technology changes

Keeping your enterprise data safe and secure is more important now than it ever has been. IT has always been an ever-changing industry, but in recent years, it has been changing more and more quickly. Now, thanks to the cloud, big data, and mobile devices all expanding at once, it may seem like the entire IT field is completely different every other day. This means your company is going to almost always be re-evaluating and upgrading your network security tools and methods. It's hard to deal with the current threats to your data, never mind prepare for new ones.

Fortunately, while it is stressful to keep up with this changing world, it's not impossible. If your team is up to the challenge and is dedicated to protecting your network and the big data you collect, it is possible. Here are five techniques you can use to eliminate a large number of threats and secure your data.

1. Detect Threats at Endpoints
When sending data between two endpoints, it's important that both of those endpoints be as secure as possible. The problem is that often employees are sending data to your network from a phone, tablet, or laptop, and they're not always using secure Wi-Fi connections to do so. To combat the various security threats that using unsecured Wi-Fi brings with it, many businesses are installing different tools on their mobile devices that watch for threats. These tools detect hackers, viruses, and other malware in addition to analyzing the overall system security. These analytical tools help identify additional ways of protecting your system and can even identify attacks as soon as they occur, allowing you to more rapidly respond.

2. Sandboxing
No matter how strong your security is, it's never going to be completely, absolutely impenetrable. Eventually, a hacker or some kind of virus will get through your protection. That's why you need to prepare for when you get hacked, not if. By using sandboxing, your network will check for malware and automatically isolate it, preventing it from getting close to your active network. Sandboxing tools do this by looking at what an application's activity will eventually lead to. If the outcome appears to be malicious, the program will be isolated until your IT staff can look at it.

Because no tool is perfect, there may be times when your sandboxing application does catch legitimate programs. That's why programs are held for approval rather than simply being blocked. These programs are designed to learn as they go, so even if there are a number of false positives in the beginning, the program will get better and better at determining what are your legitimate programs and what are hackers trying to steal your data.

3. Analytics
There's a lot of data coming in for your security team to analyze and learn from. In fact, it's almost too much data. By making use of analytics, your security team can sift through this data to determine which help in decision making and which don't. By doing so, you can create a security data warehouse that can be used to analyze, filter, and sort data into useful categories. Your IT team will be able to pull the most relevant data, combine it with other information, and create a snapshot of your system's normal activity. This way, anything out of the ordinary is immediately noticeable.

This is one of the newer company security tips that isn't being implemented by many businesses yet. In fact, experts predict that only about 40 percent of businesses will be using security data warehouses by 2020. However, that could change if the advantages of using analytics are more widespread than it is now.

4. Adaptive Access and Choosing Security Tools
While protecting your data is important, you still have to allow many different devices to be able to access the information users need when they need it. That's where adaptive access comes into play. This type of access control looks at the context of the requested access in order to establish how necessary that access is. There are a number of different dynamic protection techniques used here, but the main point considered is who has been granted access already and what level of access they received. This lets companies create multiple tiers of users, each of which has access to the information they need.

It's also vital to choose the correct security technology for your business. This means looking at the amount of data you have to protect, how many users you have, and your overall budget. There are some great security solutions out there that are simply too pricy for small businesses. However, there are some that any company can use, no matter what their size. For example, for companies that need a good program to battle hackers and malware, a great option is to use intrusion detection software such as Snort. This program is very affordable, but it is one of the best options for monitoring your network in real-time and preventing attacks.

By implementing these five methods, you'll be better able to protect your data. Remember, though, that you can never be too careful with your data. Always look at the best security practices and always upgrade your defenses when you can.

5. Cloud Security
More and more companies are choosing to use cloud-based applications because of how much more affordable they are. These applications easily scale as needed, and businesses can add or remove licenses as needed rather than permanently buying them. However, the cloud has brought with it a number of unique security issues. Enterprises that rely on could-based applications or store sensitive data in the cloud need to look at security gateways to protect their information. These security enforcement points sit between the cloud and data users, policing all attempts to access the information.

These gateways monitor suspicious activity, prevent data loss, and encrypt all communications to provide additional security. Even better, these gateways are an affordable security solution, so even smaller businesses can add this layer of protection to their network.

More Stories By Peter Davidson

Being a senior business associate, Peter Davidson strives to help different brands and start ups to make efficient business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well researched content pieces. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter.