Security's always been a tricky topic, but in the IoT age, the challenge of protecting your data and assets has never been greater.

Digital ecosystems are more complex than ever, and so is the job of securing them. Gone are the days when securing the perimeter was the focus; today, the network is dispersed and modular. Mobility, the cloud and, more recently, the Internet of Things have extended networks far beyond the confines of the corporate data center. Mobile and IoT devices are introducing huge numbers of access points, each of which introduce largely unsecured data flows.

As a result, IT staff and network cyber security teams have never faced more pressure. Attacks and breaches are coming from all angles, compromising an ever-growing universe of assets. But with the right tools and strategies, you can secure your IT infrastructures to detect (and solve) problems before they become disasters, reduce downtime and improve performance.

The global average cost to detect, respond to and mitigate a security breach was $7.7million during 2016. For US companies, the average bill was nearly twice that: $15 million.

Cybersecurity Trend Report 2016, Ponemon Institute

2016 Cybersecurity Trend Report

Reasons you should consider new security strategies
  • The IoT is coming, and its business value depends on a secure network infrastructure to support the constant link between systems and devices.
  • Business process automation promises to deliver huge benefits, as long as devices, applications and the data moving between them can be trusted.
  • Mobility, BYOD and unsecured network access can pose a threat to your IT infrastructure.
  • IT simplification: An effective security strategy can remove many layers of complexity.
  • The cost of enterprise cyber security is significant - and often not just financial.

No single-point solution can protect against the dizzying array of current threats; rather, security must be approached as a multi-faceted ecosystem of tools and policies that work in unison, not only to secure and monitor points of entry, but also to react quickly, decisively and effectively to suspicious traffic or behavior.

Network Foundation for Mobility and IoT

Four recommendations for a robust security strategy
  1. Implement detailed security policies. Having a strong security policy engine in place provides the fine-toothed ability to define rules that can limit access based on time of day, the device being used, and a long list of other factors. Digital infrastructures must validate data, behavior and destinations, and respond automatically to threats.
  2. Get IoT-ready, because enterprise IoT adoption is a matter of when, not if. Superior IoT security means optimizing your infrastructure and beefing up granular control, including the ability to establish separate containers on your existing network.
  3. Identify code vulnerabilities. As the sophistication of network devices has grown, they have become more attractive targets for cyber attackers, who can exploit the increasing volumes of code contained in every point of access. Switch-level solutions such as CodeGuardian can minimize the potential impact of a breach by identifying — and scrambling — code vulnerabilities, while a technology like deep packet inspection can block device-generated traffic it deems to be malicious.
  4. Set up strong access controls: as one of the best layers of network defense, they've never been more necessary. It's critical to authorize users or devices before connecting them to network assets, quarantine suspicious activity and run health checks on devices for additional protection.
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