Cygilant Blog

5 Steps to Improve Your Network Security Monitoring

Posted by Vijay Basani on Aug 27, 2015

EiQ’s continuous security monitoring technology and managed services are designed to help you detect and repel attempts at invasion and seizure of your data and seal breaches in your systems dynamically. But even the best technology works much better when employed by educated users.

To that end, here are five ways you can improve your network security monitoring. 

In an era of increased network usage, the challenges to security have grown as well. Let’s see if we can even the odds a bit. Scrap that. Let’s see if together we can make even the most dedicated of hackers feel unprepared.

Standardize your risks

The best way to effectively communicate threats to your network is to have a common language. Create what is called an “apples-to-apples” framework for threat assessment. The easiest way to open your network to threats is to talk at cross-purposes. To avoid that, create a table of risk priorities and ranks. In other words, create a uniform method of grading vulnerabilities across your organization andnd employ that method with institutional discipline for more meaningful comparisons.

Map your doors and windows

Hackers do not come in through walls or over moats. They come in through doors, windows, vents, and tunnels. There is no way for you to be thorough in your defense of your network until you know every single entrance to and exit from that network to the larger world outside where the hackers exist. Leverage the knowledge in your company to discover every point where your network intersects the uncontrolled Internet. Analyze your network thoroughly, including connected devices, for all access points. You’ll be ahead of the game right away if you do so.

Add knowledge to know-how

Proper security protocols, combined with the right security software and services, get you most of the way in terms of your network security. What will take you over the top, and give you the high ground, is intelligence. Threat topography is evolutionary. You have to be revolutionary. And the way to do that is to know more and see farther than the potential hackers. In other words, you need to educate yourself on the nature of the threats you face and because those are always changing, there is no end point. You will never receive a degree in threat assessment and graduate—your learning has to be as constant as your vigilance. Who, how, why, where, and what are constant questions. Who’s hacking? What’s their motivation? How are they gaining targets? Where are they breaching networks? What are they after? Staying current may necessitate outsourcing to a company whose number one reason for being is to know those things.

Measure the right thing

Companies love to measure things, and that’s a good idea. It obviates the need to assess success on personal preference or gut feelings, but it is easy to measure the wrong thing. In fact, it is often tempting to do so. When it comes to security, what do you measure? Well, if you measure the number of scans, the number of updates you install, the number of times you’ve patched a program, the number of virus definitions you’ve added, you’ll have a number alright. You’ll probably have a large number. But then, given how these things work, you’ll be expected to make that number higher.

The problem is that this number does not measure success—it measures actions. Actions that do not result in success are useless to your understanding of how well you’re dealing with your security needs. Instead, measure the number of threats you’ve eliminated and the problems you’ve remediated. The number won’t be as high, but it also won’t require pointless increase. After all, the idea number here is zero. If your network security is perfect, you won’t see any breaches or malware; you will see nothing. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world; however, you can edge yours a little closer to the ideal by measuring the number of successful measures you take.

Implement continuous monitoring

This is where EiQ can be the most help. Collecting data from your network devices and reporting on threats on a constant basis, is integral to your network safety. Employ a continuous monitoring system like SOCVue and use a highly trained specialist crew for managed security monitoring of your network to augment your in-house IT experts.

Photo: Jirsak/Shutterstock

Tags: Security Monitoring, SIEM, Managed Security Services

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