• As cyber threats evolve, embracing network security best practices becomes crucial for protecting sensitive data, ensuring operational continuity, and enhancing overall network resilience.
  • Asset tracking, smart lock control, and light management streamline operations, while communication recording and action logging simplify post-event analysis, enhancing security processes.

Historically, IT and Operations teams operated independently with distinct functions. Now, their convergence is imperative for seamless collaboration. Lack of awareness or coordination between these teams poses risks to the entire organization.

For instance, the rapid deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in government agencies and smart cities highlights the importance of IT and Operations collaboration.

IT teams cannot guarantee IoT devices comply with security best practices and policies, leading to potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities, without mutual awareness. The rise of unauthorized “shadow IT” devices underscores the need for collaborative efforts to ensure network security and resilience between IT and Operations teams. Is there a reliable solution that addresses these concerns? Yes!

Resilient and secure network security best practices to the rescue

Government networks are vital for operations and citizen services. Given the sensitivity and critical nature of the information, any network disruptions can have severe consequences.

Hence, prioritizing resilience and technological security best practices is crucial for delivering public services, safeguarding sensitive information, and ensuring smooth operations. A key requirement is establishing resilient networks with embedded security from the early design stages without additional licenses. But what are the security best practices for a network?

What Are the Top 6 Network Security Best Practices While Choosing Your Network Provider?

Robust network security is indispensable for any organization. The choice of a network provider significantly influences the effectiveness of cybersecurity measures. As cyber threats evolve, embracing network security best practices becomes crucial for protecting sensitive data, ensuring operational continuity, and enhancing overall network resilience.

Here are the top six practices while choosing a network provider:

  1. Embrace a zero-trust security strategy and implement zero-trust network access, emphasizing macro and micro-segmentation for a resilient infrastructure. Adopt a phased approach for micro-segmentation to ensure proper implementation and avoid organizational disruptions.
  2. Explore solutions leveraging Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) for redundancy, enabling dynamic traffic rerouting and creating an efficient, automatically containerized network in case of a path failure.
  3. Leverage virtual chassis capabilities to enhance reliability in critical areas. This enables redundancy resiliency and supports in-service software upgrades (ISSU) with cost-effective solutions for simplified network management and high availability.
  4. Prioritize a solution ensuring configuration backups from network switches, facilitating restoration in worst-case scenarios or when needed.
  5. Implement Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) for powering network resiliency, providing a seamless backup virtual router in case of primary router failure.
  6. Strengthen security best practices with Secure Diversified Code, randomizing code segment locations on switches for heightened security. Additionally, undergo an independent verification and validation (IVV) process conducted by a third-party cybersecurity expert to identify and eliminate potential vulnerabilities, backdoors, malware, or system exploits, and further enhancing security.

Now that we have covered the top best practices while choosing your secure network provider let us explore why organizations must invest in robust and secure network solutions to navigate cybersecurity threats.

Why Is Investing In Resilient and Secure Network Solutions Crucial?

Investing and implementing security best practices is crucial, but planning is key to the optimal allocation of resources. Consider the following areas before initiating your investment:

  1. Align with organizational requirements: Ensure your network design aligns with organizational needs. Identify critical and sensitive areas, updating them from previous designs. For critical areas, explore options like adding backup servers and multiple connections.
  2. Prioritize incident response: Acknowledge the importance of incident response time. The rise of AI and ML capabilities enables IT and operation teams to proactively address network or security issues, improve response time, and enhance security through real-time alerts and configuration audits and are only growing.
  3. Opt for hardened switches: Consider ruggedized Ethernet switches for challenging environments. These switches, designed for durability in extreme conditions, reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by utilizing a common Operating System.

Some models feature intrusion alerts and alarm relays for external systems and support MACsec for secure data communications. Virtual Chassis capability in ruggedized switches improves redundancy, resiliency, and scalability.

Transitioning from the imperative of secure networks, it becomes evident that investing in resilient and secure communications solutions is equally critical.

Why Should You Invest In Resilient and Secure Communications Solutions?

While robust security best practices are being implemented, the global landscape has underscored the significance of government-citizen communications in recent years. Government agencies that intend to invest in communications solutions to guarantee security and resilience should consider the following essential factors:

  1. Redundant and resilient architecture. Ensure a fully redundant and resilient architecture. Duplicate call servers in critical areas, implement remote site redundancy, and duplicate essential application servers for additional protection.
  2. Automated workflow with triggers. Create a workflow with automatic triggers (human, IoT, or system) to notify key individuals of system issues, expediting recovery promptly.
  3. Strong encryption standards. Deploy strong encryption based on industry standards native to the solution, ensuring secure communication without compromising voice quality and performance.
  4. Collaborative tools integration. Implement collaborative tools complementing the communication solution with features like voice, video, and instant messaging. Enable seamless communication, efficient collaboration, and contextual awareness by exchanging images, videos, and surveillance feeds.

Ensure hybrid communications for secure connectivity between on-premises and the cloud, providing uninterrupted connectivity in challenging situations.

Protecting people and assets

Governments must prioritize the safety of people and assets, necessitating flexible, secure, and highly available real-time communication and notification systems. These solutions, integrating with public safety or smart city control centers, streamline call dispatching, prioritize tasks, exchange contextual information with IoT data, and enhance collaboration among first responders and stakeholders for improved decision-making and coordination.

Integrating IoT devices within buildings, venues, and cities, coupled with analytics and AI, transforms the communication landscape. This proactive approach, enabled by sensors, video surveillance, workflow, and AI, enhances process efficiency, supports decision-making, and reduces emergency response times.

Asset tracking, smart lock control, and light management streamline operations, while communication recording and action logging simplify post-event analysis, enhancing security processes.

For secure, real-time communication platforms, a robust infrastructure is crucial. This includes appropriate software, high availability networking protocols, and ruggedized network switches that seamlessly integrate into ecosystems, enduring harsh environmental conditions.

Reliable security best practices in physical security systems include video surveillance infrastructure, providing sufficient bandwidth and power over Ethernet for cameras, and seamless integration with management systems.

In situations requiring asset tracking, locating individuals or equipment is essential. An effective asset-tracking solution enhances safety and security by quickly dispatching assistance. It provides accurate location information, displayed on a floor plan map, and insights into usage patterns, optimizing resource utilization.

Closing Lines

Hyperscaling network security cannot be overstated, particularly as cyber threats evolve. The six outlined practices for selecting a network provider emphasize adopting zero-trust strategies, AI-driven analytics, and resilient infrastructure planning.

Additionally, investing in secure network and communications solutions requires careful consideration, alignment with organizational needs, incident response prioritization, and stringent security best practices.

Governments, in particular, are crucial in prioritizing secure communications and integrating IoT for enhanced safety, asset tracking, and streamlined processes in real-time. A robust infrastructure, reliable security practices, and seamless integration with management systems are pivotal for ensuring secure, efficient operations and facilitating swift responses to emerging challenges.

Delve into the latest trends and best practices through our comprehensive security-related whitepaper library.