The Demise of One-Size-Fits-All Cyber Security

It wasn't too long ago that only a firewall and handful of clever passwords could protect a multinational enterprise or federal agency against cybercriminal threats. With a few user training sessions and the occasional firmware update, an organization was fully safeguarded from the hackers who sought company financial information or government secrets. It was a simpler time, and with the recent explosion of data breach frequency, you're probably wondering what can be done to accomplish comprehensive cyber security in such a straightforward fashion.

Sadly, there is not easy answer to today's data protection questions, especially if you're leading the IT department at a major enterprise or government organization. Not only are networks being targeted from all angles (including applications, cloud providers and email exchanges), end users are under siege as well, with malware and phishing issues becoming an increasingly common burden. How can you overcome the seemingly endless slew of security concerns and put shareholders, clients and employees at ease when navigating their digital environments?

Diversify solutions

These days, cybercriminal efforts are as diverse and well-orchestrated as your IT infrastructure, meaning you'll have to remain a step ahead of hackers with respect to each particular element of your network. According to Information Age, specialized solutions and data prioritization must be included in your security blueprint if you want to take a stand against intrusive attacks. Understanding which channels are most at-risk and acknowledging which data sets deserve more protective measures is critical to forming a comprehensive safeguarding strategy.

As you assess weak links in your network and begin to gain a more holistic view of your security needs, it's important that you also recognize the importance of data center optimization with respect to backup, Information Age pointed out. The source noted Gartner research revealing $10 billion is wasted each year as a result of redundant replication practices and a failure to synchronize archives in an efficient manner. If you are subjecting your storage and memory units to this type of data sprawl, you aren't only putting unnecessary strain on your systems, but also opening up your security barriers to intrusive predators. Take note of your backup techniques and make sure your disaster recovery strategies are as security-conscious as your primary environments.

Tailor for mobile

Replicated data isn't the only area in which modernized networks make themselves vulnerable to a breach. BYOD is also commonly targeted by cybercriminals who take advantage of poorly administered mobility initiatives and prey on uneducated end users. Gartner recently released information showing that despite an increased focus on mobile use, 75 percent of these devices will not be adequately protected for business environments through 2015. Between user-chosen applications and remote access policies, there are a range of security pitfalls that you must address immediately if you want to safely benefit from these strategies. Balancing end user control and regulatory measures can be challenging, but Gartner explained that applications must be protected at all costs.

"Enterprises that embrace mobile computing and bring your own device (BYOD) strategies are vulnerable to security breaches unless they adopt methods and technologies for mobile application security testing and risk assurance," said Dionisio Zumerle, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Most enterprises are inexperienced in mobile application security. Even when application security testing is undertaken, it is often done casually by developers who are mostly concerned with the functionality of applications, not their security."

With mobile, cloud and backup environments to look after, you've got a lot on your plate security-wise as IT continues to advance. Keep a close eye on each component and you should be able to safely navigate the tech landscape.