What is Perimeter Defense Security?
Perimeter defense has long been an important component of managed security and a hallmark of cybersecurity strategy. By controlling access between the public internet and your internal systems and data, you establish the foundation for a strong cyber defense. But, while perimeter defense security may seem like a simple task to the uninitiated, it's far more complex in practice.
1. How do you separate your internal systems from the external?
This often starts with your firewall. Firewalls can provide advance warning of suspicious traffic as it enters or exits your network; it’s the first and last safeguard between your trusted systems and the untrusted.
However, this is where most companies start (and end) their cybersecurity strategy. A firewall is a fantastic tool for deterrence, but simply creating protocols to filter traffic does not guarantee that a hacker won’t breach the defense.
These tactics remain valuable as long as your employees are confined to your internal network, which isn’t the case in today’s remote work world. Additionally, with more and more employees utilizing their own devices to access vital internal systems, how can you possibly hope to create a uniform perimeter defense security solution?
2. How do you defend your systems and data for users outside of your network perimeter?
Trust no one. It’s your duty to ensure you have taken the appropriate steps to keep your data secure, including from your own employees. One-in-three cybersecurity attacks involve internal actors, intentional or not. With zero-trust, there is a significantly smaller likelihood of a security incident occurring.
The perimeter defense security tactic of zero-trust provides your business with the ability to maintain your most important data, regardless of who, what, when, where, why, and how, because you control that access.
In a zero-trust model, no one is trusted by default and verification (preferably multi-factor authentication) is required from everyone in order to gain access to data and network resources from inside or outside the network.
3. What security layers are needed to protect users at the edge and the new distributed perimeter?
One of the first steps is to build a strong perimeter with a third-generation firewall, but it goes far beyond that. You must also ensure edge devices are fully patched and monitored, scan the edge periodically for vulnerabilities, and ensure timely remediation. Remember, a single critical vulnerability in your perimeter defense security can be a direct backdoor from the public internet into your local network.
24x7 security monitoring of the perimeter devices, SaaS applications, servers, and network traffic is also necessary to ensure that your organization is ready to respond to any would-be attackers that may want to bring you down.
Improve Your Perimeter Defense Security with Dataprise Managed Cyber Services
The traditional concept of the perimeter continues to evolve and so must the strategies used to defend an organization. Contact us to discuss your cyber strategies or keep reading for more actionable guidance:
Not All Two-Factor Authentication Methods Are Created Equal
Note: This article was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.