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How to defend against cyberattacks using layers

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 08:00
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I have worked with companies in the past that did not implement the concept of layers. And it can result in very serious problems. Let me explain.

Many companies put into place very good cybersecurity defenses. They may have the latest and most effective cybersecurity appliances; they might have very good cybersecurity policies and a strong cybersecurity team. But it is only one layer. And in today’s cyber landscape it is simply not enough.

I was with a client not long ago and they asked me. “How do you keep up with all of the variety of attacks? It must be so hard to try to catch everything that is happening?” My answer to them was “I don’t.”

For example, no one person or one system, or one company can possibly deal with all of these attacks. It is simply not possible.

Then how is it done?

I am very good at helping companies defend themselves from a cybertattack. I do this in a variety of ways, but I am not under the false belief that I can do it all. There are very good cybersecurity solutions and companies out there. But please never be under the impression that they can singularly protect you.

This is where the concept of layers comes in. A great movie is the Martin Scorsese classic “Casino.” It is basically about a mobster casino manager and how he keeps the casino running and successful. And there is a scene in the movie where Robert De Niro’s character is narrating about who watches who. He says, “In a casino everyone is watching everyone, the dealers are watching the players, the box men are watching the dealers, the floor men are watching the box men, the pit boss is watching the floor men, and the casino manager is watching the pit boss, and the eye in the sky is watching everyone.”

If you ever want to see effective security in action, check out a Las Vegas casino.

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A good example

It is hard to find a better example of the proper design of security than a Las Vegas casino. Think about this for a minute. The biggest complaints I get about implementing cybersecurity policies is that it is too hard on employees, it will interfere with my business and it will harm my customer’s experience with my company.

Then you have a casino with the most amazing security and it is in a place where people are having fun and playing, and no one even notices it is going on. It can be done discretely and effectively.

Learn from this example. You need layers of security to try to catch the huge variety and mutations of attacks. So ask yourself, what are your layers and how many layers are there? If you do not have or are not working on a layered system then you are ultimately vulnerable to attack.

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