Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know

Think about network security in three layers: people, process, and technology.


Your People - While your people are critical to ensuring network security, they can also increase your risk. They may click on phishing emails, or give hackers the opportunity to access back office systems. Once that happens and ransomware is installed, hackers can shut down your business until the ransom is paid. Teach your employees about how to identify and avoid such attacks. Then, repeat (and update) training so they can stay vigilant and informed.

Your Processes - Next is process. Review all operational procedures. Who has direct or remote access to back office and Point-of-Sale (POS) systems? Do employees insert thumb drives or media devices into workstations? Who installs cameras or other Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the network? Many businesses are vulnerable because they haven’t defined or enforced security-minded processes.

Your Technology - Finally, consider your technology profile. We’ve gone from simple, closed, private networks that process credit card transactions and conduct overnight polling of daily sales, to open networks with an array of cloud applications and IoT-enabled services. Moving from a closed to open environment requires a much broader portfolio of network security services, for example transitioning from basic firewalls to Unified Threat Management (UTM). Today, it’s essential to have anti-malware, Intrusion Detection Services (IDS), Intrusion Prevention Services (IPS), web content filtering, and in many cases Security Information and Event Management  or SIEM services. It’s no longer enough to just detect attacks, you must also be able to respond to them in near real-time.

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Network security is more than just a matter of PCI Compliance and managing simple firewall policies. The issue of network security has expanded into the realm of Unified Threat Management (UTM). This includes Antivirus, Anti-spam, Intrusion Prevention, Intrusion Detection and Content Filtering. Network security has become a point of competitive differentiation in the eyes of the consumer. Don't let your business fall behind.


When it comes to network security, how do I get started?

An important place to start for any retailer or business processing credit card transactions is with Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. In the event of a breach, if your network is not PCI compliant, you will be responsible for any resulting losses. PCI was designed with 6 goals in mind:

  • Goal 1: Build and maintain a secure network.
  • Goal 2: Protect cardholder data.
  • Goal 3: Maintain a vulnerability management program.
  • Goal 4: Implement strong access control measures.
  • Goal 5: Regularly monitor and test networks.
  • Goal 6: Maintain an information security policy.

Together, these goals provide a framework for how to tackle network security. The specific PCI requirements offer detailed implementation guidance. While achieving PCI compliance is a good starting point, it’s not a final destination. As threats evolve, you must continue to do all you can to protect your business.

How has network security changed?


In the early days, there were simple managed firewalls (with whitelists and blacklists). Then, we moved into the era of PCI compliance, with 6 overarching goals translated into 12 requirements and hundreds of sub-requirements. This was followed by the emergence of UTM (anti-virus, IDS, IPS, web content filtering). We have now entered the age of SIEM.

The need for SIEM services is driven by the overwhelming volume of log data that needs to be analyzed. A typical chain of 100 stores can generate over 50M logs. While logs may show when someone is attacking the network, if the alert is buried under a magnitude of meaningless alerts, its value and purpose is lost. The key to SIEM services is in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, where meaningful alerts can be identified and sent quickly to a retailer or business at the time of the attack!

While the complexity of network security has increased, the opportunity to more effectively protect a network has also increased with the availability of SIEM services.


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SASE Blog Series
While SASE is still a new concept, Hughes and other managed service providers can begin to think about this pairing with SD-WAN and other WAN networks. Learn more about this new duo in our blog.
In our second post on SASE, we focus on security. As legacy networks struggle to keep pace with changing IT security needs, especially from sophisticated threats, learn how to ensure your enterprise has the protection it needs.
In a world forced online, connectivity is now more important than ever. Learn what SASE and SD-WAN can do to solve your broadband network connectivity challenges.
Is your network architecture ready for a digital transformation? In this final post of the SASE series, learn how the convergence of security and connectivity can bring your network into the future today.