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What is Perimeter Security? Benefits and Key Elements

Craig Smilowitz | 6 min read| Updated On - September 20, 2023

Perimeter Security

When it comes to cyber security, perimeter security is generally the first line of defence for an organization. It can involve the use of firewalls and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to keep malicious activity outside of a network. However, as IT environments become increasingly more complex, distributed, and dynamic, perimeter security is no longer enough to prevent data breaches and other forms of attack.

What is Perimeter Security?

Perimeter security is the process of protecting a company’s network boundaries from hackers and intruders. These security solutions utilize physical and software technology systems which aim to safeguard people, places, and property.

Perimeter security can include surveillance detection, pattern analysis, threat recognition, and effective response. The deployment of a customized perimeter security strategy will depend on the asset(s) to be protected and the type of intrusion risk.

Each private network is surrounded by a perimeter. It serves as a secure wall between networks, such as your company’s private intranet and the public internet, designed to stop malicious attacks from entering.

Why Do You Need Perimeter Security?

Perimeter security provides the best defence in stopping any breach before it gets past your main entry point. In most cases the simplest form of perimeter security is the boundary between your network and the internet.

The true strength of perimeter protection lies in its preventive nature. It aims to detect any potential threats, deter would-be intruders, and delay unauthorized attempts before boundaries are breached. This combination of detection, deterrence, and delay can result in there being more time available to investigate and respond to potential attacks.

Elements of a Perimeter Security System

There are several layers of these defences starting with the initial entry point which is your router.

  • Routers serve as traffic signals for networks directing traffic in and out. Whilst your router will have some form of defense, its main purpose is to do a simple check on data entering and leaving your business, which is similar to a border control check at an airport. It will do the initial check and either allow or deny data coming in and going out.
  • Firewalls provide a much more thorough check for specific threats. They have a set of rules to follow and will either allow traffic to pass or they will detect any specified threats and deny access. Once traffic has made it through your firewall there are still further layers which will look for suspicious data and these include Intrusion Detection Systems and Intrusion Prevention Systems.
  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are alarm systems, detecting and warning cybersecurity personnel of any suspicious activity and are built from a single device or a series of sensors within your network at strategic points.
  • Compared to an IDS, which alerts administrators to potential threats, Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) can detect and attempt to automatically defend the system without human intervention.

Why Organizations Are Shifting Away from Perimeter Security

As you probably know, during the coronavirus pandemic, many employees were forced to work from home. This meant that they were accessing their company’s network from a wide range of unsecured locations, using their own devices.

As a result, companies had to make rapid changes to the way their networks were accessed and the security measures in place to protect their critical assets. To start with, many companies were asking their employees to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting to their networks remotely, which provides an encrypted communication channel between the employee and the company network.

While it is true that VPNs can help to prevent adversaries from intercepting and exploiting communication channels, they too conform to the moat-castle security paradigm. After all, how can we be sure that an attacker doesn’t already have access to our network? If they do, then a VPN might actually make the situation worse, as the lack of detailed information about who is connecting to our network, and from where will make it harder to differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate access.

One could argue that the shift towards a more distributed working environment would have happened regardless of the health crisis. For example, even before COVID-19, many companies were adopting cloud-based services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and more. This is not surprising given the many benefits that cloud platforms provide, such as; high availability, flexibility, scalability, strong security, cost-effectiveness, and so on. Regardless of the why’s and how’s, companies are shifting away from the traditional moat-castle approach to cyber-security, to one that is more user and data-centric.

How Lepide Helps Keep Your Data Secure

While perimeter security can provide an initial layer of protection, it is no longer enough to fully protect an organization from the constantly evolving cyber threats present today. Organizations need to adopt a comprehensive security strategy that includes a mix of security tools and technologies along with regular training and awareness programs. Doing so will ensure that organizations remain secure and protected against targeted attacks, mobile threats, and software vulnerabilities.

The Lepide Data Security Platform is one such tool that enables you to analyze changes to sensitive data, user behavior and permissions across your network.

Monitoring access to sensitive data is a crucial activity in a distributed IT environment as it provides visibility into who is accessing the data, what type of data is being accessed, and when the data is being accessed. This visibility helps to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data, as well as detect and respond to other suspicious user activities. Most sophisticated data security solutions, including the Lepide Solution, use machine learning models to identify anomalous user behavior and will send real-time alerts to your inbox or mobile app when detected. They can also detect and respond to events that match pre-defined threshold conditions.

If you’d like to see how the Lepide Data Security Platform can help to keep your accounts and data secure, schedule a demo with one of our engineers or start your free trial today.

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