Last year, Gartner identified the expanding attack surface due to remote work as one of the top concerning security trends. This leaves organisations more vulnerable to attacks and makes security more complex.
Following network security best practice is crucial in this ever-growing threat landscape, says Vernon Naidoo, Head of Networking at local cloud platform provider and VMware specialist, Routed. His top recommendation is to follow a standards-based framework like ISO or NIST. “These frameworks have a risk-based approach to decision-making to prioritise remediation. Implementation audits identify gaps and prevent future occurrences of the same event, while maintenance procedures and patch management policies ensure timeous updates – especially where vulnerabilities are identified. Backup and restore procedures are also tested to ensure you meet your organisation’s specific objectives.”
“When it comes to the human element, these frameworks include role-based access, multi-factor authentication, segregation of duties, encryption of traffic in transit and at rest, and user awareness training.”
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, he says. “Different organisations face different challenges based on their type of business and the complexity of their networks. Without having an internal team, it would be best to rely on specialist third-party vendors and products.”
VMware’s NSX-T Cloud suite of products, in combination with their Carbon Black security offering, is one example of such a specialised solution. “With this combination, businesses can gain an immense amount of insight into their networks and servers and ensure that proper governance and compliance is enforced. When combined, these products provide a swift response, with instant threat isolation and remedial actions,” says Naidoo.
With such products, zero trust is indeed achievable, he adds – but it relies on selecting the correct tool for the desired outcome and then implementing and configuring it correctly. Again, he recommends specialised third-party products such as VMware’s Secure Access Service Edge, which helps businesses transform their networking and security architecture to allow for a true zero-trust implementation.
Of course, the goal for most security analysts is SOAR (security, orchestration, automation, and response). “Automatic remediation is the ideal, but it is a journey and not an out-of-the-box solution,” says Naidoo. “To achieve this goal, machine learning is critical – but it is only as good as the datasets it uses. This again underpins the importance of network security best practice. When properly implemented, the threat of today’s expanding attack surfaces can be limited – and neutralised immediately should there be a breach.”