The Two Most Common Weak Areas in Network Security

By Datalink

When it comes to plugging security holes and preventing breaches, you would think the most common weaknesses companies face might relate to firewalls or Network Access Control (NAC) — or maybe the organization’s use of specific security technology. 

But be careful with your assumptions. In the case of network security, there are a few other key weak points that can be exposed even before you deploy your technology. 

We asked one of Insight’s network security architects — who works with enterprise clients to bolster their own network security infrastructures — about the weaknesses he sees most frequently.

His answer was illuminating:

“There are two areas where I see organizations fall short in terms of network security: The first is technical readiness. The second is insufficient understanding about the organization’s specific wants and needs.”

This might be surprising, but these two weak areas are common among companies seeking to modernize and strengthen their own network security efforts. 

New intelligence for addressing these weak points

These common weak areas are part of the reason we produced a new whitepaper, “Transforming Networking Security: How to Win Against Cyberthreats ,” which reveals surprising, real-world insights to help organizations address these weak areas. 

In it, you’ll learn a few key steps Insight recommends for strengthening your position in the ongoing war against cyberthreats and bad actors.

The technical readiness factor

When we use the words “technical readiness” in network security, we’re referring to how well-equipped organizations are to implement and manage next-generation technologies and added layers of network security. Unfortunately, we often find organizations’ state of technical readiness to be lacking in the following areas:

  • Networking equipment
  • Software in use
  • IT/security operational skills
There are ways to fill these gaps, however. During assessments of technical readiness, Insight experts often recommend specific steps organizations can take to improve these areas. We can also advise on interim decisions to make while your technical readiness improves.

Understanding business and organizational drivers for network security

This second area goes back to the basics in IT project planning. Unfortunately, this is still where most IT projects go wrong: The team has a poor understanding of their organization’s specific business outcomes, drivers, and requirements (technical and otherwise).

Network security drivers can be many and surprisingly complex. These might relate to compliance, past or future audits, different needs from different business units, and so on. Such drivers and requirements are not always easy to investigate and translate to a specific solution set. But the exercise of translating business outcomes into technical requirements is crucial to realizing true gains in network security.

Answering common questions about network security

Technology innovation abounds in the area of network security — as do questions. How do you implement the latest technology? Which solutions work best? How should you deal with the growing shortage of qualified security personnel in the face of a mountain of log data and constantly evolving cyberthreats?

We turn back to Insight’s new network security whitepaper,  which addresses these questions as well.

Give it a read and you’ll cover the following ground:

  • 8 common questions organizations ask about security
  • 4 steps we often take to gain clarity on an organization’s specific wants and needs
  • 6 questions we might ask to determine organizational readiness
  • Why we put business first, then technology
  • Input on technologies like NAC, network segmentation, software-defined networking, AI and machine learning

Give yourself a few minutes to update your understanding of these issues. We think the whitepaper will be well worth the time. 

Or, if you are struggling with a specific question about your organization’s network security, contact us today. We are here to help.