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What Is Defense-in-Depth and Why Should You Use It?

By Chris Boudreau | July 3, 2023


While technology has increased our productivity and efficiency, it has also created new opportunities for cybercriminals to steal data and wreak havoc in the online space. Cyberattacks have become very dangerous to organizations worldwide. According to Statista, in 2022, the average cost of a data breach in Canada was $5.64 million, up from $5.4 million the previous year.

Therefore, businesses need to defend themselves and secure their network from cyberattacks. But oftentimes, most businesses rely on a single security tool, which, when breached, can cause untold damage to the business’s entire network or system. As a result, the need to strengthen their network and maintain a balance between security and defense with a defense-in-depth strategy is essential. 

Defense-in-depth is a cybersecurity strategy that uses multiple layers of security to prevent security breaches and keep the entire IT system secure. It addresses security flaws, manages security in the IT space, and helps secure the network. This multi-layered protection can boost your organization’s security posture and reduce the dangers of potential cyberattacks. 

Read on to learn more about defense-in-depth and see why you should use it in your organization.

What Is Defense-in-Depth?

Defense-in-Depth (DiD) is a multi-layered cybersecurity approach to protect a business’ sensitive data or network. It uses various advanced tools such as firewalls, data encryption, intrusion detection systems, malware scanners, and network security control to improve the overall system security and manage a wide range of attack vectors. 

Defense-in-depth also leverages cybersecurity redundancy, which makes it particularly effective in preventing all types of cyberattacks. Its goal is to help organizations reduce vulnerabilities, eliminate data breaches, and prevent cyber threats before they happen. 

It is now common knowledge that a single security tool cannot fully safeguard a network because breaking down the singular defense leaves the whole system available for the hacker’s use. However, with a multi-layered defense, if hackers break one layer of security, they will be stopped by the next layer. 

Therefore, a robust defense-in-depth strategy can detect attackers at all stages of their attack cycle, reducing cybersecurity risk and preventing further damage.

Why Should You Use a Defense-In-Depth Approach?

A defense-in-depth approach increases the cybersecurity level of a company in the best way possible. Here is how it does this, and why you should opt for this unique approach:


It incorporates monitoring and prevention strategies


Defense-in-depth employs a variety of tactics and procedures to help organizations identify, monitor, and prevent cyber threats and data breaches from damaging or destroying the company network. 

Many hackers succeed in their operations because there is no adequate monitoring in place to detect unusual activity within networks. However, as defense-in-depth uses various strategies such as auditing and logging, vulnerability scanning, and sandboxing, this helps identify and monitor suspicious activities. This, in turn, prevents hackers from successfully invading the network.

Defense-in-depth also assists users and staff in monitoring and preventing cyber threats within the company through AI. Using cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics, defense-in-depth helps organizations conduct behavioral studies of people and devices. It significantly assists security personnel in identifying abnormalities and preventing attackers from launching malware or other cyberattacks into the network. 


Includes data backup and protection


Defense-in-depth uses data security tools such as encryption and hashing to improve data security and prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive files. It also incorporates various forms of data backup, which is known to play an essential part in any defense-in-depth approach. Data protection and backup are crucial to preventing data loss while ensuring the safety and privacy of a business’ database. 

Also, a dependable backup and restore solution, such as the use of physical storage devices or a cloud solution, allows you to retrieve confidential data at any point in time. A delay in restoring sensitive data can significantly affect a company’s recovery and, subsequently, its activities and growth. Therefore, companies must use a backup system that stores data securely in the cloud, enabling accurate and rapid recovery. 

Adding this to your defense-in-depth layers is essential because it allows organizations to restore their data without delay, especially after an attack. This builds business resilience and saves your business from unexpected crises.


Incorporates robust authentication methods


Defense-in-depth employs several authentication procedures to grant users access to control devices and systems by determining if a user’s credentials match the requirement provided by the data authentication server. 

Authentication technology, such as multi-factor authentication, requires users to provide a combination of proofs of access such as passwords, fingerprints, and other authentication factors to access a specific device. This helps ensure that the right users can access permitted levels in a network or system and discourage unauthorized users.

Therefore, with a DiD approach that incorporates authentication, organizations can secure their networks by limiting access to protected resources such as computer systems, websites, networks, databases, and other network-based applications or services to only users or processes already authenticated. This ensures that, again, only the people can access the network, no matter where they access it from. 


Enhances network security


Defense-in-depth uses various mechanisms such as firewalls, VPNs, network segmentation, intrusion detection, and prevention systems to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the system and data within the network. 

For example, network segmentation allows enterprises to better safeguard sensitive data from unwanted users by establishing separate wireless networks for internal and external users. Similarly, firewalls are hardware or software appliances that use policies and rules to limit network access. VPNs provide a safe conduit for external users to enter a network. Also, IDS and IPS detect and block harmful network activity. 

All of these (or some) can be included in the Defense-in-Depth approach, and combined with other layers, it is sure to discourage hackers. 


Enhances endpoint security


Endpoint security prevents threat actors and campaigns from exploiting endpoints or end-user devices such as laptops, smartphones, and servers. Adding this security layer to your defense-in-depth approach will ensure that all endpoints and access points are constantly secure. 

Moreover, endpoint security in itself is not enough to secure a business network. However, when paired with other layers in the Defense-in-Depth approach, it provides a multi-layered security system that guards the business and its data against cybersecurity threats. 

Improve Your Security Posture with PartnerIT Today

Defense-in-depth must be used by organizations most especially security experts across all IT platforms to protect the network against Wi-Fi-based man-in-the-middle attacks and secure the endpoint devices. 

This is where PartnerIT comes in. We have skilled IT specialists that understand how to manage your IT security, protect your data, and develop a defense-in-depth strategy tailored to your business.

Contact us today at 519-772-2525 (Kitchener) or 519-672-0900 (London), or reach us online.


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