Benefits of defense in depth cybersecurity strategy

Cyberattacks are becoming more prevalent, with the average number of attacks per company up by 31%, from 206 attacks in 2020 to 270 in 2021. Because of this rising trend, the total annual cost of cybercrime is predicted to skyrocket to $10.5 trillion by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

Given these alarming statistics, businesses must find more ways to boost their security posture. One way is by adopting the defense in depth (DiD) strategy.

What is defense in depth?

DiD is an approach to cybersecurity that involves implementing multiple layers of protection for the company network and data. It integrates technology, people, and operations capabilities by utilizing three types of controls:

  • Physical controls – prevent or detect unauthorized physical access to IT systems (e.g., locked doors, security personnel, CCTV camera, security badges, or access cards)
  • Technical controls – use cybersecurity hardware and/or software to screen parties that are trying to access the company network and the resources and assets within it (e.g., firewall, anti-malware software, encryption, user authentication solution)
  • Administrative controls – comprise policies, procedures, and/or guidelines for achieving the company’s cybersecurity goals (e.g., remote work policy, security awareness training)

The various controls in a DiD strategy can also be categorized according to their use:

  • Preventive controls – stop attacks from occurring in the first place (e.g., access controls, network segmentation, spam protection)
  • Detective controls – identify and respond to attacks already taking place (e.g., intrusion detection system, security event log monitoring)
  • Corrective controls – mitigate the potential impacts of an attack and enables companies to quickly resume regular operations (e.g., data backup and disaster recovery plan)

Why should companies adopt the defense in depth security strategy?

Leveraging DiD offers a host of benefits to businesses:

Stronger preventive measures

DiD uses multiple preventive mechanisms so that if one mechanism fails, there’s another mechanism to defend against an attack. For example, if a hacker manages to bypass the network firewall, they will still need to contend with the anti-malware software installed on company computers. If they are able to steal a user’s login credentials, they still have to provide another proof of their identity before they are granted account access.

With multiple preventive mechanisms in place, businesses can make it significantly harder for attackers to penetrate company systems.

Improved detection and response time

Using DiD’s detective controls, companies can identify threats early and respond to these quickly. For instance, if the intrusion detection system (IDS) spots suspicious activity, the security team can then use the data collected by the IDS to determine whether it’s a false positive or an actual attack. If it’s the latter, they can take immediate action to contain and mitigate the damage.

Minimized impact of a cyberattack

By having in place multiple layers of defense, businesses can reduce the impact of a cyberattack. For example, if an attacker is able to steal data from the company network, that data would be encrypted and unreadable. Or if a cybercriminal manages to compromise a user’s account, they are limited only to the IT resources available to that user. They cannot move laterally across the network to inflict more damage.

Increased resilience

In the event of a successful cyberattack, businesses can minimize downtime and disruption by quickly identifying the source of the attack and taking appropriate measures to contain it. This allows companies to resume operations right away, even in the face of a security breach.

How can businesses get started with defense in depth?

To ensure proper implementation of DiD, turn to the IT experts at SpectrumWise. We implement a seven-layer security strategy:

  1. Information security policies
  2. Physical security
  3. Network and systems security
  4. Vulnerability programs
  5. Access control measures
  6. Data protection and backup measures
  7. System monitoring and testing

To learn more about our comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, schedule your FREE consultation with us today.


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