Multi-Layered Security Explained

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Author: Kevin Rubin, president and CIO, Stratosphere Networks

What do onions and effective cybersecurity programs have in common? If you answered that they both have layers, you’re correct. As cybercriminals launch increasingly complex and relentless attacks against all kinds of businesses, combating those evolving threats across all aspects of your network and infrastructure is more vital than ever.

Worldwide cybercrime costs are expected to rise to $10.5 trillion per year by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. Multi-prong or blended attacks that combine numerous nefarious tools and tactics (e.g., spyware, rootkits, viruses and keyloggers) to break into a company’s network have also become commonplace, Webroot explains. Businesses that want to survive this war on data security must employ an approach that provides data protection on more than one level.

However, it’s not always immediately evident to business leaders what a layered security strategy involves. It’s more than simply implementing a bunch of different security solutions. If you’re wondering what multi-level security should look like for your organization, here’s what you should know about the concept.

What is layered security?

A truly comprehensive approach to IT security has, in fact, layers within layers. It safeguards data at various levels of your IT environment with different cybersecurity solutions – and it includes the right people and processes as well as advanced tools. Here’s an overview of the components of an onion-like approach to security.

  • Defense for all aspects of your IT environment:
    • IBM explains that layered security must address potential vulnerabilities and attacks at all levels of your network and systems.
    • Your defenses must address the following.
      • System
      • Network
      • Applications
      • Cloud solutions
      • Endpoints
      • Data transmission methods
  • A portfolio of advanced security solutions: Due to the rise of zero-day malware and other complex threats, tools like anti-virus software that rely on signatures to identify malicious software are only part of an effective IT security program. You need to supplement anti-virus with next-gen products such as extended detection and response (XDR).
  • The right talent: Even if you implement the highest quality IT security solutions, you’ll still be vulnerable to attack without people on your side who can manage those products, interpret the data they collect and respond to any signs of trouble. Many businesses choose to work with a managed security service provider (MSSP) for incident response services and Security Operations Center as a Service (SOCaaS) to ensure any threats get contained and eliminated ASAP.
  • Well-defined processes: To keep your risk level as low as possible, you’ll want to have the proper procedures defined and documented for routine security assessments, employee security awareness training and incident response.

Modern cybersecurity threats are far from simple, and subsequently businesses must employ multi-faceted defense strategies to combat them.

The advantages of a layered cybersecurity strategy

It’s not difficult to identify the ways in which businesses benefit from utilizing a multi-layered approach to data security. These are just a few of the most notable reasons to take your cybersecurity program to the next level:

  • Cost containment: The global average cost of a data breach reached $4.24 million in 2021, according to IBM. It’s prudent to invest in prevention and incident response services to ensure minimal damage if an incident does occur.
  • More productivity: Cyberattacks can take down critical applications and prevent employees from accessing vital data for days or even weeks. In the fourth quarter of 2020, organizations hit by ransomware experienced approximately 21 days of downtime on average, according to Coveware.
  • Better reputation: Suffering a security incident can drive away current and prospective staff members, partners and clients. For instance, 85 percent of customers won’t engage with a business if they’re worried about its security level, according to PwC.

Ultimately, being proactive and investing thoroughly in multi-layered defense makes sense for any organization facing constantly changing and increasingly complex cybersecurity threats.


Contributed blog courtesy of Stratosphere Networks and authored by Kevin Rubin, president and CIO at Stratosphere Networks. Read more contributed blogs from Stratosphere Networks here.

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