How a Common Network Security Technology Stack Aligns IT & Cybersecurity
Securing corporate networks is undoubtedly becoming more difficult for IT and CyberSecurity Teams. In the first half of 2021, cybercriminals launched 5.4 million Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. This is an 11% increase over the previous year. Cyberattacks are also a heavy paycheck for cybercriminals. In the first half of 2021 alone, a ransomware group raised $100 million in payments. The money from these attacks is used to purchase more expensive attack tools that can be used to further disrupt a business' IT and cybersecurity teams.
Given the proliferation of attacks and the additional stress on businesses, the solution is often to add new security tools to address today's biggest pain points. But this strategy creates more problems. In fact, the average IT and cybersecurity team currently uses 10-30 security monitoring solutions for their applications, network infrastructure, and cloud environments. But these different tools create more problems than they solve. In fact, 66% of IT professionals are concerned about their inability to effectively monitor multiple security technologies. Additionally, 30% of CIOs say it is difficult to get an accurate network security status because network and security teams have separate tools and reports.
Adopting a common network security technology suite is essential for collaboration between network operations and cybersecurity teams. To ensure the performance of corporate networks and it's security, a common set of technologies must provide the following capabilities:
- Stateless protection devices in front of stateful firewalls: Implementing stateless protection devices in front of stateful firewalls helps block threats such as command and control (C2) traffic, attacks DDoS by state exhaustion and known malicious DNS domains. To be effective, these devices must be able to detect anomalies in traffic patterns and have accurate and timely threat intelligence that continuously updates blocklists in real time so they can protect the network infrastructure, filter known cyberattack traffic and enable IT operations teams to maintain maximum network performance.
- East / West traffic Scanning: Security professionals rely on the next generation of firewalls to protect network perimeters. These firewalls cover the entrances and exits of the network, but internal networks remain vulnerable to attack. To fill this gap, network security must account for all east / west traffic in legacy networks and hybrid cloud environments. This allows cybersecurity teams to quickly and easily identify and filter known threats moving sideways in the environment.
- A common source of truth for network and cloud visibility: It is not uncommon for network and cybersecurity teams to use many different tools to collect the same network data. However, what is needed to gain a holistic view of the network and the cloud is a common source of network reality derived from network packets and metadata. The right tools include creating a robust set of locally stored, highly indexed and accessible metadata that can be accessed and analyzed quickly to detect, investigate and mitigate incidents more effectively. Real-time packet analysis is required. All of this ensures reliable performance and security incident detection and response.
- Network Traffic Analysis Capabilities: To ensure network performance and security, teams must understand network traffic patterns and act on all devices connected to the network before an incident occurs. In this way, fraudulent devices, misconfigurations and vulnerable systems can be identified and addressed, while preserving application performance for business processes. Network traffic analysis capabilities provide comprehensive visibility that allows teams to monitor normal network behavior to identify anomalies that could affect network security and performance.
- Network Detection and Response Systems: Modern cybercriminals increasingly use detection prevention and forensic techniques to evade detection using endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions. In addition to traffic analytics, the team needs a way to analyze network data and threat intelligence to detect and investigate unusual, suspicious and malicious network activity hidden by other cybersecurity tools. Network detection and response systems can detect threats undetected by EDR and log-based systems, while providing access to a rich source of network metadata and packets. These data are needed for screening and research.
To learn more on how to effectively collaborate between cybersecurity and network operations, read this WhitePaper prepared by Netscout, Why Can't We Be Friends? Enterprises Need Renewed Focus on Aligning IT and cybersecurity.