Proactive vs. reactive: What's your network security strategy?

You wouldn't wait until your car breaks down to replace its oil; why would you do the same with your organization's network?

Hacking methodology is constantly evolving, and your company's cybersecurity strategy should too. Going an extended period of time without an intrusion can create a false sense of protection. Proactively monitoring the network with a unified threat management system is one of the keys to avoiding a data breach.

Proactive vs. reactive: What's the difference?

A reactive network security strategy is akin to a mousetrap: Set it and check it when it has gone off. But what if the IT staff misses that it caught something, or even worse, it misses the hacking attempt altogether? The former gives cyberattackers more time to get around the protocols in place, while the latter could bring down the entire network. It's a costly strategy that waits until something is broken before fixing it, but at that point the expenses can get out of hand. Legal and regulatory fees, reparation for any personal information stolen and a hit to reputation can be devastating.

A proactive approach utilizes a variety of mechanisms to continuously monitor network traffic. This is done in part to avoid the inherent flaw with patches: the fact that they don't always work, the Computer Crime Research Center reported. In fact, a fatal flaw in IT is relying on system updates to defend against every hacking attempt. It's a tall order when cyberattackers bring out a new method every few months.

Leveraging network monitoring

Platforms like Fortinet offer organizations the ability to unify threat management in an effort to gain real-time insight and analysis into network security. By aligning the firewall, antivirus, monitoring applications and traffic, IT staff can proactively audit the network and quickly act on indications that it's being breached.

This isn't a simple feat; systems may need to monitor up to 40 gigabytes of syslog data each day. But the benefit of doing so is being able to defend against a cyberattack that's simultaneously taking place. Companies can severely reduce potential damage this way and secure future network vulnerabilities.

Complacency is a hacker's best friend. It's time your business unifies its threat management applications to take a proactive approach to network security. Contact a NetFortris representative today to learn more.

Team NetFortris
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