Network Security Research

Cyber Security

One of the biggest nonpartisan takeaways from the most recent presidential election is that threats to cybersecurity are becoming far more sophisticated than many people realized. The typical image of the cybercriminal before 2016 was of a lone-wolf hacker operating out of a dark basement somewhere, breaking into networks to vandalize and steal like a smash-and-grab petty crook. Yet that perception has been turned on its ear. Today’s cyber threats include hackers in uniform, working as a part of coordinated, carefully orchestrated offensives aimed not only at disrupting specific networks, but the entire nation. Accordingly, organizations have become increasingly alarmed about securing their networks and protecting them from these nebulous and shadowy threats.

As the threats have become more sophisticated and coordinated, so too has the response from organizations. Although, in the past, many of these organizations viewed network security as something they could purchase as a product and add onto their networks, the thinking on this is changing to a more service-based model. To use a real-world analogy, these organizations are no longer satisfied with simply putting a padlock on the door — they’re hiring security guards to provide more-active protections against threats.

Network security spending is on the rise, and it is expected to account for nearly half of all IT security spending within five years. Because of the challenges involved in implementing security improvements across their networks, many organizations across the country are shifting to security-as-a-service as the model for their network security. By deploying cloud-based security services to manage or co-manage their network security, these organizations aim to manage threats more effectively; ease implementation across multiple locations; and provide greater scalability and flexibility throughout their security operations. Although this may seem daunting to midmarket organizations, there are ways they can ensure this implementation process goes smoothly with the right amount of preparation.

Cybersecurity has become a much more serious game in recent years, and organizations must know how to step up their game to protect themselves.

Tom Cross is Chief Technology Officer for OPĀQ Networks, and co-founder/former CTO of Drawbridge Networks. Cross is credited with discovering critical security vulnerabilities in enterprise-class software, and has written papers on collateral damage in cyber conflict, vulnerability disclosure ethics, security issues in Internet routers, securing wireless LANs, and protecting Wikipedia from vandalism. You can follow him through the buttons below.

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