Perceptions of cybersecurity have changed over the course of time. One of the major status quos that has risen in the past couple of decades is how complex new threats have become. They have also become more destructive thanks to new innovations in modern technology. Cyberattacks are not just about breaching networks and stealing passwords anymore. Attacks need to be resolved in advance in this era, as the stakes are much higher, and damages can be far greater. Therefore hybrid network is recommended by cybersecurity professionals.
Recently, building security vendor Verkada reported a breach which put many jails, schools, and hospitals at risk . The breach was unique because the threat possessed by IoT devices could create unforeseeable dangers. Thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices are now capable of launching ruinous Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. To combat this, one of the best emerging solutions is the adoption of a hybrid network.
However, advanced new technologies, such as IoT, cloud services, Bring Your Own Device, etc., have changed defined perimeters and network boundaries. Cybercriminals can find a weak spot and exploit it for their own evil intentions. This makes it difficult to spot possible threats. This is where a network defender steps in and counters hybrid network security threats.
This article will explore everything you should know about challenges faced in a hybrid network environment and how to resolve them.
Addressing the Challenges of a Hybrid Network Environment
Business leaders have a misconception that the cloud is the solution to all their security-related issues. But it is impossible to migrate your entire IT infrastructure to the cloud without compromising security. That’s why organizations are considering hybrid network models over a purely cloud infrastructure. Network defenders rely on hybrid network to because it offers high agility, boosts workforce productivity, is mapped to applicable regulatory compliance, and promises reduced costs. It also simplifies BYOD and remote work complications, making it easy to work without restrictions.
The hybrid network also allows you to mix up various features of on-premises, public, and private cloud infrastructure to get the desired agility and security in a cost-effective way.
Major Threats in Network Security
Best Practices to Secure Hybrid Networks
Cybersecurity in today’s hybrid networks is extremely unpredictable. Nothing can be declared absolutely safe. This is why a squad of Blue Team network defenders should always be ready to tackle the events of breach. You should be capable of responding, quickly and consistently.
If you are adopting a hybrid topology for your business operations, then here are some steps that will help you tackle hybrid network challenges:
Assign duties and responsibilities: Consult with cyber network defenders to assign responsibilities and create a chain of command that your staff will reach out to in case of an incident.
Adopt policies: Network security officers will create a set of policies to which your employees will have to adhere to. These policies will also save you from being fined by business associations that set up compliance.
Learn and apply AI: Artificial intelligence and analytics tools will play a major role in tackling hybrid network security threats. This is the right time to apply AI in your security systems so that you are prepared when this technology reaches its pinnacle.
Monitor data exchanges: Blue Team security officers or network defenders should also be responsible for monitoring data flow and user behavior. This is a major step that will actively help you to predict an incoming attack.
Enableauthentication: Network security officers should also work on proper authentication for every staff. This will help you determine workloads, applications, and the data each user is entitled to view, change, and share.
Once these practices are in place, hybrid network challenges will be a thing of the past.
Common Hybrid Network Challenges
Hybrid network security offer a lot of choices and flexibility. As a business leader in a senior management position, you’ll have the freedom to keep data in whichever environment that works best for it. But there are certain challenges that you’ll have to prepare for. Some of the common issues that may arise in a hybrid network topology are listed below:
Visibility and Control
Since hybrid network systems can be complicated, there are more complexities and risk factors to take into consideration. This is especially challenging for IT/Network admins who must manually monitor every process. When there is a problem with visibility and control in a hybrid topology, the problem of cyberattacks takes a backseat. It becomes more complicated as you start introducing Internet of Things, remote work, and BYOD in the work culture. In such situations, it has been observed that these issues reduce the success rate of the company.
The easiest solution to this issue is to adopt automation and avoid the manual process altogether. If this happens, the job of network defenders will become much easier. If you don’t have a network security officer in place, you should consider training your IT/network admins to fill in these positions.
Sure, hybrid systems counter cyberthreats effectively, but any countermeasures will fail if you rely on just one solution. You should invest in defense in depth methodology and have Blue Team security officers always ready to analyze and protect your IT infrastructure.
Compliance and Governance
The problem with a hybrid network topology is that the provisions often fail to meet the compliance and standards set by countries and international business associations. Since it is so tedious and complex, it should be left in the hands of cyber network defenders who can create a set of policies which will save you from getting fined in the future.
Overcoming Hybrid Network Challenges with Network Visibility and NPB
Certified Network Defenders build visibility using Network Packet Broker (NPB) devices, which can bring about a revolutionary change in overcoming the stated concerns. For impactful results, they use NPB with virtual agents and network tapping (active as well as passive). Network tapping analyzes the local network for events, thus helping network administrators in network monitoring. It is one of the best ways to gain access to traffic without impacting the integrity of the network. In a virtual environment, a tapping function can be used for network filtering and then moved ahead towards a virtual monitoring application that is located outside the virtual server.
Under a unified visibility plane, NPBs get traffic from all the physical and virtual test access ports (TAP). The process ensures that the data packets are delivered to accountable security as well as monitoring tools.
Modern networks demand the evolution of security infrastructure, which, in turn, requires better network visibility for different kinds of IT environments – cloud, on-premise, and even hybrid. A unified visibility plane is the answer to all security-related concerns. To bring all these solutions under one roof, organizations need an expert — a skilled Network Defender.
Certified Network Defender (CND v2) is a network security program that helps you adopt the required network security skills to create solutions that can overcome hybrid network security challenges. The hands-on program offers fundamental as well as advanced knowledge of hybrid network security. Its course content is mapped to the system and network administrator roles of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
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