Network Security Across the Enterprise
By Michael G Perry
Today's business networks consist of numerous remote access connections from employees
and outsourcing firms. Too often, the inherent security risks arising from these connections
outside the network are overlooked. Continuous improvements have been made that can enhance
security in today's network infrastructure; taking particular focus on the users accessing
the network externally and monitoring access end- points are critical for businesses to protect
their digital assets.
Installing the correct software for the specific needs of your IT infrastructure is essential
to having the best security protection possible. Many companies install "off the shelf" security
software and assume they are protected. Unfortunately, that is not the case due to the nature
of today's network threats. Threats are diverse in nature, including the usual spam, spyware,
viruses, trojans, worms, and the occasional possibility that a hacker has targeted your servers.
The proper security solution for your organization will neutralize virtually all of these
threats to your network. Too often, with only a software package installed, network administrators
spend a lot of their time at the perimeter of the network defending its integrity by manually
fending off attacks and then manually patching the security breach.
Paying network administrators to defend the integrity of your network is an expensive
proposition - much more so than installing the proper security solution that your network requires.
Network administrators have many other responsibilities that need their attention. Part of
their job is to make your business operate more efficiently - they can't focus on this if they
have to manually defend the network infrastructure all the time.
Another threat that must be considered is the threat occurring from within the perimeter,
in other words, an employee. Sensitive proprietary information is most often stolen by someone
on the payroll. A proper network security solution must guard against these kinds of attacks
also. Network administrators definitely have their role in this area by creating security policies
and strictly enforcing them.
A smart strategy to give your network the protection it needs against the various security
threats is a layered security approach. Layered security is a customized approach to your network's
specific requirements utilizing both hardware and software solutions. Once the hardware and
software is working simultaneously to protect your company, both are able to instantaneously
update their capabilities to handle the latest in security threats.
Security software can be configured to update multiple times a day if the need be; hardware
updates usually consist of firmware upgrades and an update wizard much like that present within
the software application.