In parts 1 and 2 of this blog series, we tackled physical and administrative security controls used in implementing a defense in depth (DiD) strategy.
For part 3, we’ll discuss technical security controls.
What are technical security controls?
Technical controls use hardware, software, and other technologies to improve an organization’s security posture and keep cyberattacks and other cyberthreats at bay. They can be used to restrict access to systems and data, as well as monitor and detect suspicious activities that could pose security risks.
What are examples of technical security controls?
Technical controls encompass a wide range of technologies, such as:
Using a specific set of rules, a firewall blocks or allows connections from the internet to access your internal network. It can either be a hardware device or a software program.
Intrusion detection and prevention system (IDS/IPS)
An IDS monitors network activity for suspicious behavior, while an IPS prevents or blocks intrusions as they are identified. Unlike a firewall that operates based on a predefined set of rules, an IPS analyzes and adapts its rules to offer better protection.
An anti-malware program detects, prevents, and removes malicious software, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and adware, from computers. This technical security control is vital since firewalls and IDS/IPS systems cannot flag malware that didn’t infect your network via an internet connection or hasn’t spread to other devices. For example, a computer can get malware if someone plugged in an infected thumb drive.
Security information and event management (SIEM) solution
A SIEM system collects data from multiple sources in the network (e.g., firewalls, anti-malware software, and IDS systems) to detect suspicious activities, and then takes the necessary action. It also provides reports on security-related events (e.g., multiple login attempts) and alerts if its analysis points to a potential security problem.
Encryption converts plain-text information into code to make the information indecipherable to anyone who doesn’t possess the decryption key. This means that even if unauthorized users manage to intercept your data, they won’t be able to read it.
Email protection tools
Email protection tools use multiple security measures, such as content filtering, URL scanning, and antivirus protection, to prevent malicious emails from entering your system. These tools also perform email backup and archiving to protect and easily retrieve data in emails.
Data loss prevention (DLP) solution
A DLP solution monitors and protects sensitive data from unauthorized disclosure by proactively scanning for and detecting attempts to disclose data to third parties OR unauthorized users. This can be done through the use of encryption, tokenization, and other data masking techniques.
Identify and access management (IAM) software
IAM software enables companies to allow only authenticated and authorized users to access certain data and other resources. It provides tools for authenticating users, enforcing policies, and managing user identities from employee onboarding to offboarding. Companies can also use IAM to closely monitor user accounts and access privileges.
Mobile device management (MDM) solution
Using an MDM solution, organizations can manage and secure the mobile devices that employees use for work. This solution offers plenty of security features, such as:
- Data encryption – encrypts data stored on a mobile device
- Password enforcement – requires users to set strong passwords
- Software updates deployment – enforces the installation of security patches and software updates
- Application control – restricts the types of applications that can be installed on the device
- Activity monitoring – tracks user activities on the device for suspicious behavior
- Geolocation tracking – tracks the physical location of the device in real time
- Remote locking – allows organizations to lock a stolen or lost device
Virtual private network (VPN)
A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between two or more computers over a public network. This allows users to access the company’s internal network remotely, without compromising the security of their data. It also provides secure access for remote workers and partners to resources on the internal network.
Network segmentation divides networks into multiple segments, or sub-networks, based on different criteria like user roles, departments, or types of computers. This helps prevent malicious attackers from moving laterally across the network to compromise sensitive data or disrupt systems. Network segmentation also makes it easier for organizations to manage their networks.
Let the IT experts of SpectrumWise help you choose the right combination of technical, administrative, and physical controls that will effectively fortify your company’s cyber defenses. Schedule a FREE consultation with us today.