One of the industries that has had to quickly adapt to cyber-attacks is the financial industry. These financial services understand that they have to protect their client’s information from hackers, and that means they’ve had to move quickly to keep up with new methods of attack. Their network security strategies have had to evolve on a regular basis. In many cases, these strategies have become more complex and complicated. However, they have to be—one slip up and customers may never trust the financial service again. Businesses have been forced to close after hackers gained access to personal information. That’s why it’s important that you keep up with network security and how it’s evolving and changing.
Network Security and its Challenges
Network security has always been a challenge. Hackers tend to come up with new ways of attacking, leaving security experts always reacting instead of acting. Even those who try to create strong security measures may find that they went in the wrong direction and that their new protections aren’t really that useful against the new emerging threats.
The two main factors that network security must have are service and speed. Customers are demanding more and more services. They especially want services that they can access when they want to and that provide updated information in real-time. These services may be very helpful, but they also require additional layers of security. Data has to be available on many devices, has to travel securely between those devices and your network, and must update quickly. During all of this, that data may be under constant attack from hackers.
Speed is also important. If you learn of an attack, you have to be able to quickly provide protection against it. In matters of finance, data has to move quickly, and your defenses have to be just as fast. Information is always moving around between your internal servers, external services, and users. You’ve got to make sure that data is getting to where it’s going as quickly as possible while also being secure.
Another way network security has had to evolve has been in the area of intrusion detection. You can no longer simply set up a firewall and install a virus scanner to protect yourself from hackers. You need something that’s more comprehensive. That’s where intrusion detection comes into play. It takes the idea of intrusion protection and bumps it up a notch. You know hackers and viruses are going to get past your defenses. It’s not a matter of “if” but of “when.”
Intrusion Detection is a much more action way of protecting your network. These systems are constantly looking for cyber security threats. They actively scan your network looking for things that are out of place. This could be an intruder that’s using an unauthorized login, or it could even be an employee login that’s acting in an unusual manner. These types of programs are designed to detect both. You still want to have strong intrusion protection, of course, but you can’t solely rely on it to protect your network. You have to detect, identify, and mitigate cyber threats.
Once you have an intrusion detection system up and running, you’ll need to determine how you’ll respond to incidents. When you detect an intruder or realize someone has breached your network, what do you do? How do you mitigate the threat? Your incident response has to continually evolve alongside today’s threats so that you’re ready to respond quickly and correctly.
Your intrusion detection tools need to have integrated response programs that can automatically respond to some issues. You want your system to automatically identify abnormal behavior and quickly quarantine it even when you’re not at your computer. Users should be locked out of the system, viruses identified and deleted, and malware prevented from accessing data. Your incident tools also need to gather as much data as possible about the attack for you to analyze later.
Once you’ve blocked an attack and gathered information about it, your threat intelligence team can analyze that information and determine all they can about the type of attack, the attacker, and what the goal of the attack was. This will help you defend against future attacks from malware, botnets, and other zero-day attacks. The more you know about attacks, the better you’ll be able to adapt your system. By collecting threat intelligence, you can continually update and evolve your network security solutions, helping you keep up with the latest hacking techniques.
But threat intelligence shouldn’t end there. After you’ve used the information to determine your own vulnerabilities, you should share this intelligence with others. A strong threat intelligence network solution will provide you with information about attacks on others, too. This way, everyone is able to improve their defenses and stop attacks before they breach data. The more times hackers are stopped in their tracks, the better it is for everyone. Don’t be stingy with your threat intelligence, and don’t be afraid to reach out to others for information about attacks.
Adapt or Die
The old saying about adapting or dying is certainly true in the area of network security, especially for financial institutions. It’s critical that you always make sure you’re using the most recent virus detectors, anti-malware programs, intrusion detection systems, and every other type of software out there in order to keep your security on the cutting edge of technology. It’s very important that you are able to protect your data, quickly identify intrusions, and gather data to help improve your defenses.
If you’re quick to evolve your network defenses, though, and are always vigilant about attacks, you’re likely to be able to hold the line against hackers. You do need to remember that hackers are always evolving their attacks, though, and that you may get hit with a brand new virus that you weren’t expecting. However, that could happen to anyone. By continually deploying intrusion detection, making use of threat intelligence, and having prepared responses to attacks, you’ll be in a much stronger position than some of your competitors.