As of 2022, many employees work in remote or hybrid settings, but remote force increases the complexity of corporate networks, and they pose great security risks. Additionally, since the pandemic began, cybercrimes have been increasing drastically as cybercriminals take advantage of weak end-points to leak into corporate networks. That’s why all sizes of businesses must implement modern security approaches to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and safeguard their network against malicious intrusions.

We live in an era where the global average cost of data breaches is 4.24 million dollars, this amount is much higher than small-to-midsize companies can afford. SMBs are often mistaken by thinking cybercriminals won’t be interested in their companies, this is a tremendous misconception. In today’s world, every business can be a target of cyberattacks. Let’s see some of the must-have features of network security for all sizes of businesses.

1- Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) provides enhanced network security features that every business must-have in their cyber security postures. Zero Trust is based on the principle of “trust none, verify all”, meaning every employee, device, and application is considered compromised until verification of their identities.

Additionally, Zero Trust employs multi-factor authentication, single sign-on (SSO), and biometrics to verify users’ identities; these are must-have features of network security as they ensure only authorized users can access corporate networks and resources.

Zero Trust embraces the principle of least privilege, in a Zero Trust work environment, all employees, devices, and applications have limited access within the corporate networks, and they can only reach the necessary resources and data according to their job roles. This principle of least privilege makes the Zero Trust the best identity & access management solution. In so many ways, Zero Trust is the go-to solution for strengthening network security.

2- Network Segmentation

Network segmentation usually is a part of Zero Trust solutions, but it can be implemented alone. Network segmentation divides the corporate networks into smaller sections and creates multiple checkpoints for users. Additionally, managers can put lateral movement policies in place to prevent lateral movement of users.

In this regard, network segmentation is a must-have component of network security as it reduces the surface areas of potential attacks and doesn’t allow lateral movement of users. For example, even if cybercriminals use weak endpoints to reach corporate networks, network segmentation won’t allow them to reach other segments that contain sensitive data.

3- Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-native architecture. It unifies networking and security features and functions as a service. It consists of five main components and Zero Trust is one of them. Other components are SD-WAN as service, Secure Web Gateway (SGW), Firewall as Service (FWaaS), and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB).

SD-WAN allows employees to reach corporate resources regardless of their locations, and it enables safe access via secure web gateways. In an era where most employees work remotely, secure remote access is more important than ever. That’s why SD-WAN technology is needed. Additionally, SASE architecture secures both on-premise devices and cloud resources while ensuring secure remote access. With the SASE framework, businesses can secure all the endpoints and edges in the cloud.

4- Remote Access VPN

Remote Access VPN creates private tunnels between employees and corporate resources. It includes some features that are essential for network security. For example, it hides corporate networks, employees’ activities, and their traffic from the public internet and uses end-to-end encryption which makes data transfers unreadable to unauthorized users.

But, all VPNs aren’t created the same, and they don’t offer the same protection. So, businesses should be careful while choosing a remote access VPN provider. For example, NordLayer provides one of the best remote access VPNs, it uses military-grade 256 bit-encryption and ensures that your network traffic and online activities will be hidden from the public internet.

Last Remarks

In today’s world, maintaining network security is crucial as cybercrimes continue to increase drastically every day. Modern businesses need modern security approaches to strengthen their cyber security postures and mitigate the potential security risks. Zero Trust, SASE, Network Segmentation, and Remote Access VPN include must-have features for network security.