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Enterprise Security Systems Best Practices



Enterprise Security includes the strategies, techniques, and process | Source: https://www.bmc.com/blogs/enterprise-security/

Overview

Enterprise Security Systems are not a primacy to many organizations. Businesses of today are too dependent on the Internet like never before. And to a greater extent, companies are ever more conducting e-commerce transactions thereby opening all access to their network of resources specifically customers, business partners, vendors, and remote employees. However, while it has become extra convenient for them to do business online, it has also become ever more difficult to guarantee the exchange and communications of reliable and secure data. This will result in many challenges the company of any size will face in maintaining a trusted online environment because of the continuous security threats and changing regulatory standards.

Enabling Secure Business Productivity and Flexibility

Data and transactions security are of utmost importance in this era of fast-growing commercial and government computer networks and the emergent Internet economic practicality. The deep-rooted challenges of the security issues have developed into a top primacy in every business that gets to use of information technology. Although there are guidelines, they are also not comprehensive - mostly focused on the most critical areas of every organization that needs to adapt - from managing SSL on servers to providing client-side SSL certificates to workforces to setting up rock-solid policies and processes for security and embracing paperless business transactions.

Risk Management | Source: https://www.citrix.com/

Enabling secure productivity, Citrix helps businesses manage risks while, at the same time, enabling organization flexibility by regulating access to applications and data across every device, location, and network. IT and security professionals always face challenges of reducing risks to satisfactory levels while guaranteeing ease of use and productivity. Individuals need to be able to work in how it best suits their purposes, in any device, location, and network, completely without being disappointed by an excessively constrained or complicated user experience. Simultaneously, it is of vital importance to safeguard business apps and data from being compromised by any security threats, prevents loss and theft, and ensure complete conformity with standards policies and regulations

Planning and Evaluating Security of the Network

Business Network Security | Source: Hummingbird Networks

The security challenges of today’s businesses are growing swiftly across two dimensions, made worse by both ever-increasing risk levels, and the continued development and diversification of applications. Simultaneously, mobile productivity, which is a crucial capability for every enterprise, conveniently depends on a consistent and dependable experience for users anywhere and in whatever manner they work. This extends across each type of app use, on any network, on any device, just as the must-haves of the mobile workforce grow much more complicated, IT must continue to strive for simplicity.

Organizations must not ever remain complacent on their current best practices and policies for enterprise security. Cyber-criminals are eternally on the lookout and always trying to remain a step ahead by sidestepping security systems that are already in place. Unless the security systems are incessantly evolving, and run through a process of improvements, it would be too arduous to keep invaluable data protected from theft or unauthorized dissemination. Designing and implementing a plan for enterprise security is extremely important and must be given precedence since the world is becoming increasingly too dependent on technology.

As reported by IBM, in 2014 alone, more than one billion personal records have been stolen or leaked. This alone is IBM’s highest recorded number of data breaches over the last 18 years. Moreover, another study by ESG (Enterprise Security Group) showed that from 2013-2015, 49% of businesses experienced data breaches, and 75% of those businesses were breached more than two times. It was noted that in these incidents, the attacks originate from three sources, point of sale (PoS), third-party vendors, and unencrypted data. But the most worrisome finding was that the biggest and the most harmful of attacks originated from a single point of access or source.

Fortifying the security systems starts with developing a basis for evaluation and planning of the security of the system, which begins with Microsoft’s compiled list of the best practices aimed at securing an enterprise. The four categories in the list are intended to just point out a few of the key items that have been identified as areas for evaluation after working with the customers and are not intended to replace a full security assessment of your infrastructure.

1. Assessing network environment – 

To effectively assess your infrastructure, familiarize first all its components, and it involves not only identifying all assets and security concerns but also keeping in check the attribute of the whole security program. Determine the system’s specific security needs, such as making sure that your IT staff has the necessary executive backing to run an efficacious security program. With the support of management on how to proceed, focus now on establishing a process of identifying and analyzing all security risks continuingly, since a management process devoid of such a plan in place, you are risking initiating works that are not resolving the biggest security problems. 

Enterprise Security Architecture and Integration | Source: Hold Security


As soon as a risk management process is set up, you must establish and document a set of security standards that will control the use of all technology resources in the organization. Everything within the infrastructure with deficiencies of a governing security strategy, such as unprotected computing units, must be singled out and taken out from the system up until such time they are made compliant with the organization's policies. Removing these computing units will need a defined process that will help in identifying potentially vulnerable devices.

2. Protecting the system –

Any computer in the system connected directly or indirectly to the Internet is potentially at risk of an attack from external attackers and viruses. Those are always the many benefits as well as challenges brought about by being a part of the connected world, though traditionally, a firewall provides good defense against such attacks. To this end, though, you must review whether the existing rules and processes are still valid to implement and maintain. Additionally, you must ensure that you’ve taken sufficient measures to help protect computing devices with technologies such as host-based firewalls. However, you must not only rely on firewalls as the only means of defense mechanism. In protecting the system, there are other factors to consider, such as providing locked remote access with strong authentication techniques. Likewise, you must know whether the system is utilizing the latest in quarantine technologies that will help in automatically identifying remote computing units with ineffectual virus patches or security. Also, consider the use of technologies such as Outlook access or Microsoft Outlook Web Access that utilizes RPC over HTTPS to lessen the need to remotely connect to the network. 

What's more, you must make sure that you have a secured wireless network to help avert illegitimate users from gaining access to the network resources. Also, consider improving all Internet-facing servers and take full advantage of the reduced attack surface of these products, utilize additional security features such as Windows security system for these high-risk devices, and finally consider using IPSec to help prevent illegitimate users from gaining access to mission-critical resources.

3. Protecting servers and customers –

Be sure to take enough steps to harden core operating systems and any major applications from common attacks. Many customers in the past couple of years have spent a sizable number of resources protecting their perimeter network but have let their internal infrastructure remain very vulnerable. Strengthen security infrastructure and security apparatuses, install Windows with AST (Advanced Security Technologies) on your Windows computing units and remote systems. Additionally, to simplify monitoring of security automatically turns on a built-in Windows Firewall that offers additional security for the duration of a computer’s booting time and shutting down the process.

Furthermore, also check to make sure that you have deployed the latest antivirus software on all your servers and the customers. This will additionally let you utilize quarantine features, among others. Having installed the up-to-date software versions, you must ensure to have in place a systematic method for keeping up-to-date, regularly with the latest virus and hacker information. Also, consider establishing guidelines for emergent secure applications including threat modeling, code reviewing, and security testing. This strategy of action must include a policy for fast deployment of the latest updates of all operating systems and applications before long after the patches are released to the populace. You might also consider investigating technologies to encrypt and protect business-critical folders and files. 

For purposes of authentication, if you haven’t done it already, consider using multi-factor authentication methods such as biometrics or smart cards for critical accounts. Finally, in limiting potential damage during a security breach or system breakdown, always have a backup and recovery strategy in place to restore data and services in an agreeable amount of time.

4. Monitoring Environment –

Auditing and monitoring are core to a company’s security efforts, we often think of monitoring as simply watching and waiting for something to happen so that we be able to react to a situation. A secure environment must set up a proactive strategy that audits the network to identify systems configured in manners that do not meet the company’s best practices or standards. In achieving this, organizations must frequently review customer and server logs to study common attack patterns. For the duration of the review of the security program, organizations must look at the methods wherein they conduct network security audits. It must have a group that is focused on computer auditing and applications for compliance with internal standards or any regulatory requirements. It must be separate from the operations team in executing the above tasks, a team that is skilled to help in documenting and remediating issues any audits find.

Conclusively, you must think through what will happen when a system is compromised. You must know if you have an intrusion detection system, in what manner it is set up to monitor access to business-critical systems, and in what way it can be utilized to help in identifying what fractions of the system were compromised. If ever the system is attacked or faces a virus-related outbreak, you must have in place established incident response procedures to help minimalize the effect on the network and collect data for the betterment of the security team securing the system against future threats.

Conclusion

With the Enterprise Security Systems Best Practices, customers were able to implement and manage these critical measures across a firmly unified solution constructed on a foundation of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. An established ideal application delivery consolidates applications and data in the data center and gives contextual access control across every location, device, and network, resulting in employees, contractors, and partners having the needed flexibility to choose in what way they work, whether remote, mobile or in the office. End-to-end connections visibility, user activity, and traffic allow IT to focus on privacy, compliance, and risk management primacies without compromising workforce productivity.





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