What is defence-in-depth, and why is it essential for cybersecurity?

When a hacker attacks your company’s data or resources, a single layer of security is rarely sufficient. Because no one security instrument or protocol can provide total protection against attackers, defense in depth is suggested as a top security architectural method. Given the rise in cybersecurity attacks on DoD companies, the need for managed it services for government contractors has also gone up.

What exactly is Defense in Depth?

Defense in depth is a defensive measure whose purpose is to slow assailants down and generate a chance to prepare and conduct a counterattack instead of depending on a single defensive line to halt attackers. Defense in depth is defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as “the use of various remedies in a multilayer or stepwise manner to meet security goals.”

When adopting the defense-in-depth technique to defend networks, information, and infrastructure, several security measures are stacked to provide more strong security than a single measure could provide. As a result, even if an assailant violates one of the measures, there are still safeguards.

The Advantages of Comprehensive Defense

The NSA’s Information Assurance Technical Framework (IATF) acknowledges defense-in-depth as a feasible security technique for most contemporary enterprises’ highly connected nature.

Because it is a technique instead of a collection of tools, it is applied to use the most recent technology and methods and is updated to meet new requirements as they occur.

The defense in-depth approach also tries to develop a well-balanced security architecture that takes into account all of the following factors:

  • Effective defense
  • Cost performance Operational requirements
  • Defense in depth generates a scenario in which the total of the parts is larger than the sum of its parts.

What Is the Definition of Defense in Depth Architecture?

Layering security mechanisms is the cornerstone of defense in-depth strategy. Each security measure relies on the preceding one, resulting in a more highly secured system. To guarantee your grounds are secured, there are three fundamental kinds of steps to consider:

  • Administrative Restrictions
  • Technical Restrictions
  • Physical Restrictions

Critically, all three operate independently of one another while yet working in unison.

Administrative Controls

Administrative measures are basically the rules, processes, standards, and other requirements outlined in the organization’s security policy.

These can include, in addition to policies and procedures:

  • Security checks and hiring methods
  • Controls over personnel, coaching, and monitoring
  • Security awareness training
  • Reports, evaluations, and testing
  • Data classification methods

Administrative controls are primarily concerned with corporate processes and people management. They serve as the foundation for the defense in depth methodology, influencing every subsequent layer of security.

Technical Restrictions

Technical control measures, also known as logical controls, pertain to the hardware and software that compose IT systems and related assets. Here are some typical examples:

  • Controls for access
  • Permission and verification
  • System for detecting intrusions
  • Routers and firewalls
  • IT security procedures

As per managed IT services providers, technical controls act as the next level of protection, directly safeguarding systems, information, and other IT resources while supporting and materializing the goals of administrative controls.

Physical Restrictions

Physical controls are used to secure an organization’s physical resources and facilities by controlling access to them and the larger regions and proximities in which they are situated.

Among these metrics are:

  • Seals and locks
  • Motion and light sensors
  • Guards and their dogs
  • Alarms and monitoring equipment
  • Cards for physical identity or access

Physical controls are the defense-in-depth platform’s outermost layer. Physical security measures that are strong will supplement technical and organizational controls.

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Why should DoD companies conduct penetration testing?

Regular and regular penetration testing by managed it services for government contractors assists your firm in making its network safer by finding security flaws that attackers may exploit and recommending remedies. Every firm may use penetration testing as a broadly applicable cybersecurity profession to constantly enhance its defenses.

Insights into Security

Penetration testing entails “ethical hackers” trying to penetrate your network’s information security and then offering a report and suggestions. The test results advise your security staff on how hackers may attempt to circumvent safeguards and where your weaknesses are. This allows you to better plan for current dangers and makes it easier for a program to react to IT’s ever-changing security environment.  

Finding Vulnerabilities

Penetration testing is frequently used to identify vulnerabilities, deficiencies, and defects in your IT infrastructure. While pen testing is often used in conjunction with other tools and methods, such as bandwidth tracking and traffic assessment, it is an effective tool in and of itself.

Modern penetration testing specifically evaluates your infrastructure for:

  • Incorrect network host and device configuration, particularly firewalls and datacenters
  • SQL injection might provide malicious access to backup database systems.
  • Cookies and other controls, as well as web apps and session management facilities
  • User authorization and verification issues
  • Problems with data encryption

Receiving a Third-Party Opinion

While some managed it services team do vulnerability scanning locally, others rely on a third-party service, such as those provided by managed security services vendors (MSSPs) such as RSI Security. Some crucial advantages of third-party vulnerability analysis and vulnerability scanning include:

Independent and impartial analysis: Perhaps your staff has grown too intimate with your system to deliver an objective and detailed review. In any case, independent testers aid in eliminating any biases that may affect testing, evaluated regions, and suggestions.

Allocation of resources and cost-effectiveness: Internal pen-testing necessitates diverting personnel and team resources that may be put to greater use elsewhere. While more people can be employed as needed, third-party vulnerability assessment is nearly always less expensive.

Versatility and adaptability: Because a third-party solution has no prior knowledge of your network, it can only operate with the information you provide. This allows you to focus the tests on certain locations or weaknesses.

Personal guidance and ability: Third-party pen-testing services provide ongoing advice, assistance, and knowledge. 

Risk Management

The advantages of vulnerability assessments may be observed in your risk management strategy. This is a critical step in identifying and addressing IT risks across your organization’s long-term initiatives to secure its infrastructure. Organizations use vulnerability assessment to determine the realistic implications and likelihoods of various cybersecurity concerns.

Furthermore, specific regulatory frameworks (PCI DSS) mandate risk management strategies, vulnerability scanning, or both.

Identifying Risks

The first step in IT risk management is to identify and analyze your company’s vulnerabilities correctly. Because specific sectors are more vulnerable to risk than others, and some interfaces are intrinsically more protected than others, you must concentrate on the dangers unique to your IT architecture, network, and system.

Prioritizing Risks

Once your specific hazards have been identified, it is essential to assess the chance of each risk occurring. Three critical aspects must be examined here, according to the US Department of 

Health and Human Services (HHS):

  • The risk’s or threat’s motivation and technological capacity
  • The specific nature of the internal weakness
  • Internal controls’ presence and effectiveness
  • Consider the implications of each unique danger. While certain situations may have several repercussions, the majority may be grouped into one of three broad categories:
  • Data confidentiality is jeopardized.
  • System or institutional integrity is jeopardized.
  • System or service accessibility damage

Ultimately, your risk probability and impact ratings are combined to calculate your aggregate risk level. Your top priority is risks considered to have significant consequences and a high likelihood.

Some sectors, such as HIPAA systems, are always deemed high-risk because of the highly confidential and critical information they hold.

Compliance with Regulations

When seeking regulatory compliance, robust security testing helps your firm. These requirements vary by industry and profession, but tactics such as frequent vulnerability assessments are essential to satisfy your compliance duties in certain circumstances. 

 

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