Layered Security: Protecting your Data – your Most Precious Asset

For those of you IT Managers, CISOs and CSOs who progressed from working with a few computers that made up your whole ‘system’ to working within an enterprise that has thousands  or tens of thousands of endpoints  it can be difficult to scale the concept of security to the same degree.

Many of you may be used to ‘handling’ your own security in-house, using one trusted security provider, such as Symantec or McAfee, both very reputable providers, feeling confident that all gaps have been secured. This, however, could be a very costly assumption.

Corporate data and Intellectual Property, your most prized digital asset, is as you know the prime target for hackers. With each added channel through which data passes, the probability of a security gap developing increases.

This, combined with the fact that companies are being bombarded by attacks everyday, is why the concept of layered security has become so critical for the enterprise today – as without it you are at a greater risk of a breach in your security perimeter.

The concept behind layered security is to develop several layers of security to defend the various fronts, very similar to a military operation.

So what exactly are these layers? Well let’s start at the outer perimeter – the Cloud.  Here gaps in this outermost layer of your security perimeter occurs via  web browsing or simply in an email.   Info Exchange’s WebSECURE and MAILEssentials  secure platforms do a good job in closing any security gaps when users are browsing or receiving email, however if somehow an intruder manages to penetrate this first layer, he will meet the next layer of security.

This typically is the corporate firewall, which stands at the very perimeter of your on-premises system and the outside world, these two elements being connected by the Internet; and should intercept any attack which has evaded your first layer of defense.

The third layer protects your end points, the physical devices which are used to access information and data, such as Servers, PCs, tablets, laptops, smartphone and printers, and also includes IOTs such as smart (Internet connected) televisions. The recent onslaughts of fileless malware attacks have  however proven to more than the   traditional signature based anti-virus platforms can handle.  So all eyes are now on Next Generation Anti-Virus (NGAV) which has proven very effective against even unknown viruses, as it looks at how malware behaves, not just how it looks (i.e. its signature) – so if a file is doing something that it shouldn’t, it raises an alarm.  Equally important, it also provides total visibility into the origin of the attack so that security experts are now able to be more proactive in their hunts for cyber criminals.  Info Exchange NGAV solution stops all forms of attacks automatically, online and offline.

The fourth layer is one which many organizations forget about, and do so at their peril. Here we are talking about people, the staff within an organization.  So in parallel to endpoint protection, staff should be trained and sensitized on security best practices how to safely navigate the web. It is an accepted fact that poorly trained employees are the biggest threat to cyber security in any company.

If all those layers fails there are still ways to protect the data that resides on your network – the ‘Holy Grail’ for cyber-criminals. One rule of thumb is that sensitive data should be encrypted and separated from general user data.  With this type of segmentation, access to sensitive organizational data is restricted to persons at the highest security levels.  And if all else fails, and you do end up losing data, with regular backups the organization should be able to recover within the desired RTO. Info Exchange’s DataVAULT and ShareSync are great tools to companies should have in their toolkit in case the worse happens.   

As per Brad Casey of “From an intuitive perspective, … deploying multiple security devices within a network, each with its own defense vector, offer(s) a kind of redundancy with respect to network defense that seem(s) to make sense on several different levels.”

For more information on Layered Security or any other aspect of cyber security please visit our website at or  contact us directly.

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