When assessing or implementing network security, misconceptions can be dangerous, leading your company’s data to be at risk and, with it, your reputation, your revenue, and possibly your business. With that in mind, be on guard against these six insidious misconceptions:
1. Threats only come from the outside. This is a common misconception, but the truth is that most infiltration issues and security breaches happen from inside the network. While this could be due to a malicious employee, most often it is simply the result of ignorance. For example, an employee may bring his own device and use it for work – but it is unsecured. Another person may have a hub sitting underneath her desk to which she connects multiple machines – some of which are personal. You must have a diligent secure access strategy in place that includes internal security compliance to prevent such security risks.
2. Our employees would never fall for a phishing scam. Yes, they would. And they do. Phishing is very sophisticated nowadays, with spear phishing campaigns that are personalized and tailored to a specific individual. Even a savvy employee can fall prey to an email that looks and sounds authentic.
3. Network access control (NAC) is too difficult to use. Five years ago, that may have been the case. NAC was hard to understand, tough to implement, and irritating for the end user. With business trends evolving to support initiatives like BYOD and IoT, however, network access control has also adapted to meet such demands. For example, Pulse Secure’s NAC solution, Policy Secure, is streamlined, simplified, and user-friendly. You can easily profile your network and get a clear picture of exactly what is residing on it and connecting to it, both internally and externally. Plus, you can gain full visibility into which people and devices have access to what data.
4. Our firewall checks everything. It may – but the danger of using VPN components that are offered by next-generation firewalls is that they don’t always perform enough checks. Contrast that with a Pulse security solution that validates software patches, apps, and other elements through host-checking capabilities prior to allowing them on the network as well as during connections, and you’ve got yourself a fast and reliable secure access solution that will protect your company’s data yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
5. The cloud is secure. We want to believe this, but it’s not that simple. The cloud is where everything is going; in essence, we are moving to huge server farms hosted by large organizations such as Google or AWS, and their primary product offering is space, processing power, and bandwidth – not security. That is their niche and their expertise. To protect that space, you must look to the secure access experts for the best security platform solutions that can be deployed across hybrid IT environments.
6. Our security is good enough. This is the biggest and most dangerous misconception of all: companies assume that if their security was good enough last year or three years ago, it is good enough today … even if it hasn’t been updated in recent history. So, before you say, “Our security is good enough,” ask yourself: are you willing to bet your business on that? Ransomware can get through VPNs or open ports outside the network, potentially encrypting your entire network. Don’t jump onto this bandwagon too fast: your network security could be on the line.
Maybe yesterday’s network security isn’t good enough. If you’re serious about security, it’s time to do some serious security upgrades.
Learn more about the importance of upgrading hardware here.