3 ways to secure networks against current, future threats

Securing IT networks should be ongoing, with consideration for potential long-term effects and threats.

In both the actual and virtual worlds, the threat to security is real and has growing potential for catastrophe. 

There are currently two lines of defense: technology and troops, both of which are becoming increasing entwined. That’s because the frontlines are no longer only in Afghanistan, but online, in the network infrastructure that is providing troops with communications, intelligence and directives.  As a result, troops are being asked to secure both territories and IT networks.

But the battlefield is not the ideal place to manage IT security; soldiers have their hands full there already. Rather, efforts at securing IT networks should be ongoing, and with consideration for potential long-term effects and threats. 

Easier read than done, of course. Technology is constantly changing, and what we know to be true today may not be the case in five years.  But there are several things that will continue to happen based on today’s realities:

  • The cloud will likely become more of a target as it evolves into a primary means of storing and accessing data;
  • Malware will continue to run rampant;
  • Hackers will keep looking for ways to breach all military networks, both virtual and physical;
  • Personnel will become increasingly dependent upon mobile devices for communication and information.

Each of these factors means that military IT professionals need to step up the long-term security of their networks.  We are seeing this beginning to take shape: DOD has already taken great strides to fortify its cloud efforts, and mobile device data is being encrypted. But more needs to be done through the implementation of some best practices that can help form the bedrock for stronger, more secure military networks.

Fortify the firewall

Everyone has a firewall in place – that’s not the issue.  The challenge is testing and maintaining the firewall so that it continues to be impervious to potential attacks. This means constantly building and modifying firewall rule sets to ensure they are consistent with security rules and regulatory policies. It also means performing frequent security audits to identify critical hosts that could be potentially exposed to dangerous devices. These actions have become increasingly important as a greater number of these devices – iPads, iPhones, etc. – pop up on the network.

Manage events

Activity monitoring is an ingrained part of national defense, and suspicious activity is always flagged. It should be no different for IT networks. Thus, IT professionals should ensure that, in addition to a well-tested firewall, they have a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system in place.

SIEM cannot prevent attacks, but it can alert IT professionals, in real-time, to suspicious activity that may be taking place on the network. This allows personnel to react quickly to a potential threat – whether they are deployed or not – and take action to mitigate potential damage. If a breach does occur, logging events can help in tracking where and when it happened, and get to the root cause.  

Track changes

Device configuration changes often result in human error, non-compliant devices accessing networks, or worse, exposing the network to potentially serious risks. Network configuration management is obviously the key, but doing so manually is virtually impossible. That’s because network changes are occurring every day; military personnel simply do not have the resources to closely manage these processes.

Automated solutions can help keep track of unauthorized and non-compliant configuration changes.  Like SIEM systems, these solutions can provide real-time alerts that can be immediately addressed. The automated system also allows for daily monitoring of the network, eliminating the need for manual processes.

Each of these solutions must be deeply integrated with virtual networks, protecting the services upon which the military is becoming heavily dependent. For example, as more information is made available in the cloud, hackers will likely continue to adapt their exploits to shift from traditional to cloud-based networks. Likewise, the proliferation of mobile devices on the battlefield – with their ability to help pinpoint geographical locations and enhance a warfighter’s situational awareness – offers great advantages. But they also increases potential access to sensitive data by unauthorized parties. Firewalls, SIEM and automated device configuration can help better manage security, particularly for an increasingly mobile military.

Like military operations across the globe, efforts to secure IT networks must range far and wide. With a solid foundation in place, military personnel should be better equipped to handle potential threats, regardless of location.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.