With security threats becoming more advanced, security and information management need to be a top priority. Education and awareness are essential whether its best practices, security trends, or developing a foundational knowledge of security technologies. Our Security Practice Foundations blog series can help you build a strong foundation in security knowledge.
What is Network and Perimeter Security and Why is it Important?
Often mistaken for one another, network and perimeter security are different. Network security devices operate in the same capacity as a traffic light or traffic cop. They monitor and secure network traffic and enforce its policies. Perimeter security operates as an access point; a door or gate granting or denying access. Access points allow you to monitor who comes in and goes out, usually using IDs or a sign-in/out sheet. If network security is a street’s traffic signal, perimeter security are the barricades around that street the allow or deny access to it.
With the growth of “Bring Your Own Device” environments and the Internet of Things (IoT), monitoring and protecting company networks has become increasingly difficult. When people are bringing in their own devices and connecting them to the network, it means there are more rogue access points that can make the whole system more vulnerable.
Tools and Solutions to Help
There are many network and perimeter security tools available to help manage new and unfamiliar devices. They can range from things that most people interact with, such as email and web filtering, to more complex ones like penetration testing and sandboxing. Each of these tools has a specific role when it comes to the security of the organization. One way to get the best out of these individual tools is with Unified Threat Management, or UTM.
- Unified Threat Management (UTM): UTM is an information security term that refers to a single security solution that provides multiple security functions at a single point on the network1. It’s made up of many security functions such as antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, firewalls and VPNs. By putting it all under one umbrella, it not only makes things more efficient but also simplifies support. Instead of having a separate support team for each function, you only need one team to support everything at once. UTM has lower up-front and maintenance costs and since it’s all combined into one appliance, it needs less space and one power supply2. It’s fully integrated which means there are fewer gaps in the security of your organization.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): With BYOD and IoT increasing the likelihood of security breaches, many companies are trying to find the best ways to protect themselves while keeping up with the advances in technology. This can be done in a number of ways. A popular solution is Multi-Factor Authentication to verify that only approved personnel are entering the network using two or more pieces of evidence. It can be a password they memorize, a code generated by a device that changes periodically, biometrics or even just their phone. Today mobile devices are ubiquitous; virtually everyone has a smart phone or tablet and they take it everywhere they go3. Compared to their IDs, they’re less likely to lose their phone and it’s much easier to distribute credentials digitally and it has the added bonus of being convenient for all involved.
Interested in assessing your network and developing a stronger security practice? Contact Tech Data’s Security Solutions specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org. In case you missed it, read our previous blog posts in the series: Identity and Access Management and Security Intelligence.
About the Author
Divya Prabakaran is an intern with the Security team at Tech Data. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity at the University of South Florida. When she’s not writing security blogs or doing schoolwork, she can be found in her kitchen baking and taste testing her new recipes.