NQ Blog – October 2020

Are You Scaling Your Network Security Intelligently?

By Jesse Price, CEO, NetQuest Corporation

Scaling network security can prove to be difficult for organizations that aren’t prepared. Scaling your network security intelligently means being aware of ineffective tactics, understanding ahead of time what you need to scale up or down, and getting professional support when needed. Here’s what you should know.

3 Network Security Scaling Strategies That Don’t Work

Not all network security scaling strategies are effective or successful. Here are three inefficient scaling tactics your organization should avoid:         

1. Investing In More Boxes 

Many organizations make the mistake of simply adding more of the same physical boxes they are currently using when they need to scale their network monitoring infrastructure. If not done intelligently, this can be costly and inefficient. It is important to properly evaluate the available technology to ensure optimal visibility.

2. Inspecting Less Traffic and Hoping It’s the Right Strategy

The other option is to select a section of traffic that is the lowest risk and allow it to pass through uninspected. This can lower the cost required to scale your network security solution but this strategy relies on a certain level of trust that you’ve selected the right type of traffic to be inspected and leaves your network vulnerable to specific low and slow types of cyber attacks.

3. Scaling Without Paying Attention to Cost

Another problem organizations often encounter when scaling is doing so without keeping an eye on cost. It’s easy to scale up and realize later that your organization is unable to sustain the cost to manage and maintain the upgraded monitoring infrastructure.

What Your Organization Needs to Scale Network Security

Beyond examining unsuccessful strategies for scaling network security, it’s also critical to understand what you do need to scale appropriately. This includes but isn’t limited to:

A Scalable Mentality

While scaling can be hard on your existing network visibility infrastructure, it’s crucial that your organization have a scalable mentality. This means investing in continuous evaluation of existing tools and emerging technologies so that you are ready to scale your current network security solution up or down when the need arises.

Proactive Defenses Against Cyber Threats

Responding to cyber threats after your network has been hit typically results in the inefficient use of a security team’s resources. The cost of a reactive approach to mitigating cyber threats can be difficult to even calculate. For cost-effective scaling of any threat identification scheme, organizations should employ proactive defenses against cyber threats to minimize the impact of attacks.

What to Keep In Mind When Upgrading Your Security Controls

Once you’ve scaled your network monitoring infrastructure, you’ll need to adjust or upgrade the security controls you employ to take advantage of those changes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Security On-Premise and in the Cloud

It’s not uncommon for organizations to address on-premise security while neglecting data they’ve stored on the cloud. When adjusting your security controls, be sure to include both on-site and cloud network tools.

Controls Classified by Session

Where security controls are applied should be done so intelligently. Not all traffic requires the same level of security, in fact, running all security controls for every session can be costly and time consuming to manage.

Consistent Security Controls

After determining the nature of the session, your organization should have the ability to apply consistent security controls to all sessions of that same type. For example, if you’re receiving traffic from an encrypted stream, TLS/SSL decryption software will be your first step. However, you are likely able to avoid more advanced security controls on sessions running between two trusted and secure network segments.

Get Help Scaling Your Network Security Intelligently with NetQuest

Identifying cyber security threats in today’s complex networks is essentially the same as looking for a needle in a haystack. Security operations teams are constantly on the lookout for new ways to protect their networks from malicious attacks as they scale because monitoring full packets at max capacity is expensive and uses too much valuable space in your network infrastructure.

NetQuest is proud to offer a completely scalable, enriched metadata solution that can reduce network traffic to your security tools by nearly 98% while still providing 100% visibility to harmful attacks. Learn more about scaling your network intelligently and protecting your organization from bad actors by contacting NetQuest today.

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