Now, more than ever, there is a need for an effective security strategy to protect your network. However, efficient methods of protection are also needed for your computers, servers and mobile devices to ultimately protect the data that is often exchanged between such systems.
With digital, we are now paperless!
I’m sure we are all familiar with the term “cybersecurity.” The term has come to the forefront of our everyday lives as both workers and consumers, since we are all embracing unavoidable digital transformation. Indeed, the new normal has changed the way we use technology and connect with colleagues, friends and family. With many of us working from home and “zooming” into meetings from our laptops rather than commuting to an office, our perception of connectivity as a lifeline is more powerful than ever and the value of our online personal data has dramatically changed as a result. We need a continuous level of confidence in ensuring that the files we create, share and store cannot be compromised by any cyberattack.
Cybercriminals now increasingly understand the value and importance of data, after all, it has been said that data is the new currency. But, alas, these criminals are abundantly aware of the typical tools that are used to protect an infrastructure against attack – tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection and, of course, anti-malware and virus software. With digital transformation affecting us all, we need to start thinking differently as to how we protect our information and new strategies need to be developed to protect the data centers that hold our information.
Choosing to protect your data at the lowest layer in your architecture can assure integrity across your entire stack.
Layer 1 protection
You see, things like our everyday utility bills and other services are predominantly delivered digitally these days; whether that’s via email or a notification via your smartphone. In fact, the majority of our everyday services now provide an option to go paperless. But businesses today must make a choice in terms of where in their ecosystem they choose to begin to secure their infrastructure. Often such infrastructures are multi-layered and choosing to protect your systems at the right level within its architecture offers consumers a greater level of confidence when choosing products or services.
So, at what level do we start initiating the protector or guardian across our networks and, naturally, where do we begin to offer the protection across our businesses? I may have already mentioned before that I have had a long career in the wireless and telecommunications sector and, for me, there is one obvious start and that’s at “Layer 1” – there are, of course, seven to choose from – but let me explain …
Cybersecurity at which level?
Most, if not all, system architectures use the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model – a conceptual template, if you like, that standardizes how communication flows across your computing or telecommunication infrastructure. The model comprises seven layers, where data is managed and processed at different stages through the stack.
Here’s a summary of the seven layers in the OSI model:
||The application layer represents the software application, such as a web browser or Microsoft Word, where services are provided to the end-user.
||The presentation layer prepares and parses data in readiness for the application layer; encryption and decryption may also be managed at this level.
||The session layer manages communication between different devices where the initial conversation is set up, managed and ultimately terminated once concluded.|
||The transport layer provides reliable data transfer using the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) as well as offering segmentation, acknowledgement and multiplexing.|
||The network layer receives data frames from the data link layer and delivers them to their respective destinations using the address(es) provided.|
||The data link layer has two sub-layers, namely the Media Access Control (MAC) and the Logical Link Layer (LLC), which together are responsible for packaging data into frames with data correction that may have occurred at the physical layer.|
||The lowest layer in the OSI model manages raw and unstructured data bits from its corresponding peer device.
The OSI model allows you to manage and protect data at any level. However, choosing to protect your system at the lowest layer in your architecture can assure integrity at a rudimentary level, in turn, increasing confidence with overall data integrity across your entire stack.
Until next time …
If you start protecting your data whilst it’s in motion – you know, those raw data bits – you will establish a holistic strategy to effectively protect your entire store of information. and, in the process, ramp up your security. In essence, Layer 1 security provides operators with a robust and comprehensive defense mechanism across their computing and telecommunication systems. For me, it just makes sense!
So, this is where your “always protecting his digital interests” Dr. G signs off.