What is layered security and why do you need it?

by Andre Vaux

Andre is Managing Director at claireLOGIC – a business which delivers IT and Communications services to businesses in the UK.

Protecting your IT systems is so important, especially with data laws being fortified through GDPR and regular news updates circulating around malware and viruses almost becoming the daily norm. Most companies and charities now have a certain level of IT protection in place, but is your security “layered”?

About layered security

Layered security involves multiple lines of defence – or defence in depth. Whether you’re a small or large organisation it makes sense to have multiple layers of IT defences.

A data breach could cost you thousands of pounds so if there are ways you can improve your protection then it makes sense to do so. Yahoo are currently facing the consequences of a large breach that took place in 2013. It has been reported that they are working with law enforcement officials to understand how a massive three billion user accounts were affected during this hacking attack.

Similarly, the credit report giant Equifax recently revealed that around 145.5 million of its U.S. customers were affected by a data breach in May 2017 and the company failed to take the proper steps to guard its customers information. This data included social security numbers, birth dates and addresses. It’s also said that the organisation waited too long to inform the public.

No individual IT security product alone is perfect! Which is why it’s a good idea to layer up with multiple systems to protect against any vulnerabilities in your security line-up. For example, if a virus was to be downloaded from an email it would pass through your defences until it is eradicated! With a multi-layer approach you are more likely to stop the virus from having a significant impact.

Installing layered security

Even though the financial losses can be catastrophic, many businesses fail to take the small steps towards protecting their data. In a poll of 1,500 small businesses, carried out by Applied Research on behalf of Symantec, one-third reported that they didn’t even have antivirus software installed on their computers. Among those that did, most are solely relying on antivirus software and a basic network firewall, to keep hackers at bay.

Everything from firewalls, intrusion detection systems, malware scanners and encryption software can each protect your data and resources in different ways.
One thing is certain – if you are implementing multiple products you need to ensure they work seamlessly with each other. If chosen or installed incorrectly, they could work against each other meaning you’re still leaving yourself vulnerable to attacks.

When looking at security, find vendors and suppliers that can provide an integrated selection of layered security products that have been tried and tested and are proven to be compatible with each other.

We always advise against installing different products yourself in an attempt to layer your security; talk to a specialist who can make the whole process far easier for you and get it right first time.

IT security is a must-have and you don’t want to weaken your defences in any way!

Good advice

Our one top tip – don’t rely on just one form of IT protection.
For example; make sure you have antivirus protection built into your firewall, have antivirus software on your computers and protecting your phones. Add additional filtering services to your email and your web content filtering.

A solid layered IT security strategy is extremely important for protecting your information technology resources.
If you’ve got your IT security covered with just one product you should consider this approach to really keep up with the bad guys. You need to stay one step ahead and layered security is the perfect way to do this.

If you would like any advice around layered security – or any other type of IT security – please contact our team of experts. We will work with you to discover what you need and recommend the most efficient and cost-effective fix.

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