Key Cybersecurity Question: What is Enterprise Network Security?

Key Cybersecurity Question: What is Enterprise Network Security?

What is enterprise network security?

Businesses can’t ignore this cybersecurity question or all the implications it carries. Network security threats prove difficult to detect or prevent; moreover, recovering data compromised by a digital security threat creates pressing challenges IT security teams can’t handle alone.

We offer a deep dive into this critical aspect of enterprise-level cybersecurity, including its key challenges and capabilities.

What is Enterprise Network Security?

Network security and SIEM relate to each other, although how they relate remains a subjective observation. Some could argue network security serves as SIEM’s ultimate goal; others contend SIEM serves as a capability in a larger enterprise network security policy.    

At its core, enterprise network security offers a strategic approach to digital security; it secures data and digital assets on computer network infrastructures against any number of cyber attacks or unauthorized access.

If we perceive enterprise network as its own kind of solution, then in addition to SIEM other key capabilities include anti-malware, data loss prevention, intrusion detection and response, behavioral analytics, and email security.

Common Enterprise Network Security Issues

Every cybersecurity solution comes with its own issues and challenges; the ideal “set-it-and-forget-it solution” doesn’t exist with current technologies. Thankfully, no challenge in cybersecurity proves insurmountable with the right level of awareness and preparation.

Here are a few of the largest problems facing enterprise network security

Dealing with Multiple Systems

Enterprise IT environments consist of related and connected systems, mainframes, and devices operating across multiple wireless networks. The larger the system, the more places hackers can use to conceal their attacks, exploit other backdoors, and dwell on the infrastructure.

Ultimately, this problem with business-level network security reflects the larger problem with cybersecurity visibility. As a rule, you can’t protect what remains unseen. A SIEM solution can help improve visibility by collecting log data from across the entire network and uncovering previously unseen network areas.   

Patch Management

While visibility is key to cybersecurity policy success, patch management may be the key to cybersecurity solution success; this proves especially true for network security and SIEM.

Often enterprises become turned off to the deployment requirements of SIEM and other cybersecurity solutions and fail to invest more time and resources into their maintenance. However, without this maintenance hackers can circumvent their capabilities far more easily.

Cybersecurity patches usually contain critical threat intelligence enabling solutions to keep up with evolving cyber attacks. Additionally, patches help prevent any discovered security holes in solutions before hackers can exploit them.

Your enterprise network security and SIEM solutions should assist your IT security team with patch management capabilities to help prevent these issues.

Alert Fatigue

Drawing information from across the entire IT environment can create contradictory statements and misunderstood security events. SIEM and network security at the enterprise level must follow your security team’s correlation rules to determine what constitutes a noteworthy security event.

Sometimes, misconfigured SIEM results in security teams becoming overwhelmed with security alerts pointing to perfectly ordinary activities as security events; the struggle becomes investing so much time and research into investigating each false alarm on the off-chance it points to a legitimate threat.

Therefore, your enterprise network security solution must offer contextualization for each threat to help IT security teams determine which alerts require follow-up investigation.

Additionally, your IT security teams must constantly monitor and evaluate your correlation rules; these rules should correspond to your normal business process to establish an accurate behavioral baseline. If you don’t, then your legitimate activities could surpass the machines baseline and trigger an alert.  

Key Enterprise Network Security Capabilities

As outlined above, enterprise network security straddles the line between endpoint security and SIEM; indeed, some consider SIEM a capability within the enterprise network security umbrella. However, you may find it beneficial to think of business-level network security as a subfield or a goal of SIEM solutions for clarity.

Of course, listing all of the relevant business-level network security capabilities in detail would require an article several pages. Instead, we isolate the top three capabilities you should consider:

Behavioral Analytics   

Trying to monitor all employees and users across your entire IT environment is a Sisyphean task. Instead, IT security teams can establish baseline “normal” behaviors for each user and closely monitor employees who display behaviors outside their individual baseline.

Behaviors that should trigger an enterprise network security alert include:

  • Abnormal Login/Logoff Time
  • Files Accessed By Unauthorized Employees
  • Unusual Email Usage
  • Poor Job Performance
  • Expressions of Discontentment

With SIEM, you can automate many of these alert systems with user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA). Additionally, UEBA improves your threat detection and security operations overall by correlating more security events.

Email Security

The majority of data breaches begin with email; in fact, 93% of data breaches begin with emails. Perhaps this fact isn’t so surprising; the majority of traffic into and out of the network flows through employee emails, after all.

Therefore, your enterprise network security needs to provide email security to protect your employees from this dangerous security attack vector. Your solution should work to block as many emails from unverified or known malicious sources; moreover, it should detect and remediate phishing attacks before they enact their plans, especially if they impersonate a member of your enterprise.

On a personal level, you may also want to train your employees to recognize the phishing attacks that do evade detection to avoid a costly breach.   

SIEM Capabilities

Perhaps including all of the typical SIEM capabilities in this list constitutes cheating. However, no one can deny the efficiencies SIEM can offer to business-level network security solutions.

SIEM essentially offers a log management option, allowing your IT security team to collect, normalize, and analyze data collected from throughout the IT environment. This not only lends your team much-needed visibility into the network, but it also allows your team to detect and remediate dwelling threats, thus mitigating the damage.

In addition, SIEM offers threat intelligence and detection, compliance reporting, data storage, and contextualization—all of which contributes to proper enterprise network security.

To learn more about SIEM and its relationship to enterprise network security, be sure to check out our 2019 SIEM Buyer’s Guide. We explore the top SIEM solution providers, their key features, and our own Bottom Lines.

 

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner

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