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Ensuring Branch Office Security: A Deep Dive into FS Multi-Branch Network Solution

Posted on Jun 5, 2024 by
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FS AmpCon™ Management Platform

In today's digital age, branch networks serve as the lifeblood of many businesses, enabling seamless operations across multiple locations. However, ensuring secure connectivity and communication between headquarters and remote branches has become a critical challenge. According to Gartner, global cybersecurity spending is projected to reach $363 billion by 2025, highlighting the increasing seriousness of cyber threats and the urgent need for enhanced security measures. Read on to learn more about the essentials of branch network security and how FS multi-branch network solution can effectively ensure enterprise network security.

What Is Branch Office Security?

Unlike the main headquarters, branch offices often operate with limited IT resources and sometimes weaker security postures, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals. To address these vulnerabilities, branch office security refers to the measures and technologies used to secure the networks and communication channels that connect remote branch offices to the central corporate network.

These measures are crucial for protecting sensitive data, preventing unauthorized access, and ensuring the integrity and availability of communication lines. They include strategies such as firewalls, encryption, multi-factor authentication, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits. By implementing these technologies and protocols, organizations aim to create a secure and resilient network infrastructure capable of withstanding potential cyber threats and vulnerabilities, thereby ensuring the seamless operation of their distributed business environments.

The Challenges of Branch Office Security

Securing branch offices can be a formidable task due to several factors that pose significant challenges for IT teams.

  • Limited IT Resources: Branch offices typically have smaller IT teams compared to centralized headquarters. This limited staffing makes it harder to implement, monitor, and maintain robust security measures. Smaller teams may lack specialized skills or the bandwidth to stay updated with the latest security practices, leading to potential vulnerabilities.

  • Complex Network Structures: With multiple locations, branch offices introduce numerous access points into a company’s network, increasing the number of potential vulnerabilities. Managing and securing a sprawling network requires sophisticated solutions and constant vigilance to prevent unauthorized access and mitigate risks.

  • Inconsistent Security Policies: Without consistent and uniform security policies across all branches, branch offices are at risk of becoming weak links in an organization's cybersecurity strategy. Different branches might adopt varying levels of security measures, leaving gaps that can be exploited by cyber attackers.

  • Legacy Equipment: Many branch offices rely on older, outdated equipment that may not be compatible with modern security solutions. These legacy systems often lack the necessary features to defend against current threats, leaving the network vulnerable to attacks. Upgrading such equipment involves significant costs and logistical challenges, which may not always be feasible for smaller branches.

  • Compliance Requirements: Different locations may be subject to varying legal and regulatory requirements, making it difficult to implement a unified security strategy across the organization. Keeping up with these disparate regulations requires continuous monitoring and adjustment of security practices, complicating the overall management of cybersecurity.

Understanding Multi-Branch Network Solution

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, your enterprise branch offices and midsize businesses need a powerful, easy-to-deploy solution that not only protects against these threats, but also enhances network performance. Branch environments need to be supported by reliable, secure, and experience-sensitive networks across the full stack in all domains. This includes reliable wireless and wired access across in the LAN, a high-performance WAN with backup connections, and simplified operations for network administrators. All locations need reliable and consistent Wi-Fi coverage.

Therefore, FS launched a comprehensive multi-branch network solution designed to meet the evolving needs of modern enterprises. This robust solution includes several cutting-edge components: the PicOS® operating system, the AmpCon™ automated management platform, next-generation firewall for enhanced security, WiFi 6 Access Points, and an advanced security surveillance system. By integrating these elements, FS has created a system that automates network operations, enforces zero-trust security protocols, and provides in-depth network analytics.

FS multi-branch network solutions must continually measure and support optimal experience in all domains and for all network users (employees, guests, customers and operators), providing high-performance, easy-to-manage, and secure enterprise networks.

Branch Network

How to Effectively Ensure Corporate Network Security

A proactive and comprehensive approach to branch network security is crucial for defending against modern cyber threats and ensuring the resilience of your business' widespread operations.

PicOS® Enhances IoT Device Security

Dealing with BYOD security issues and IoT deployments has become a daily routine in most enterprise networks. As a result, policy-based centralized access control for all the network’s access ports has become essential for effective network security defense. From a high-level point of view, NAC is a typical SDN application that leverages a centralized controller to manage network access authentication and authorization across multiple switches.

PicOS® stands out due to its seamless integration with leading NAC policy managers, supporting comprehensive security mechanisms and enabling fully automated network access policy enforcement. This includes compatibility with Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE), Aruba ClearPass, and the open-source PacketFence project. Such automation greatly enhances operational efficiency while also providing a simplified user experience and improving cybersecurity posture.

Branch Network

PicOS® Switches serve as a vital network-wide policy management tool for enterprise network security. They support a comprehensive set of advanced security protocols to provide secure access layer implementation for IoT devices, authorized users, and guests. These protocols include 802.1x for secure network access control, RADIUS for centralized authentication, TACACS+ for detailed user activity logging, and AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting) for thorough security management. Additionally, PicOS® switches support Access Control Lists (ACLs), which are critical for defining and managing fine-grained access permissions, ensuring the network remains secure and resilient against unauthorized access and potential threats.

AmpCon™ Enforce Security and Network Compliance

AmpCon™ is a network controller that offers users an intuitive and user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) to simplify operations. A point-and-click type environment, it is designed to automate routine tasks, virtualize the network, and streamline network security configurations, enabling IT teams to accomplish more with fewer resources.

Moreover, AmpCon™ makes it easy to enforce day-to-day security and network compliance policies on switch groups, including global/regional configurations, compliance, remediation, license maintenance, Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA), status monitoring, role-based access control (RBAC), as well as offering configurable security controls.

Next-generation Firewall Protection

FS's multi-branch network solution includes next-generation firewalls (NGFW) that deliver exceptional security performance, scalable on-demand expansion, robust advanced threat detection and defense capabilities, and intelligent automated policy operations. Key features include:

  • L2-L7 Layer Network Security: Our NGFW offers comprehensive network protection from Layer 2 to Layer 7, utilizing advanced technologies such as Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Anti-Virus (AV), URL filtering, and various anti-virus mechanisms.

  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI): This advanced firewall supports deep packet inspection (DPI), enabling accurate identification and management of thousands of network applications to ensure unparalleled visibility and control over your network.

  • Advanced Threat Detection: Equipped with sophisticated network traffic anomaly detection and analysis technologies, our solution can promptly detect and respond to unusual network activities, ensuring uninterrupted security.

  • Flexible Policy Management: The solution supports strategic risk optimization through a flexible policy management layer, allowing for dynamic and adaptive control over network security policies.

  • Batch IP Blacklist Import: Simplify your security management by leveraging the ability to batch import IP blacklists, enhancing efficiency in threat prevention and response.

    Branch Network

Deploy Secure Wi-Fi Access Points

In branch wireless networks, any computer within the signal range can potentially access the network, making the transmitted information (including encrypted data) vulnerable to interception by unauthorized users. To counter this, FS wireless access points with enterprise-grade security can be deployed. These Wi-Fi 6 APs are equipped with advanced security protocols such as WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3), WIDS (Wireless Intrusion Detection System), and RF interference tracking.

WPA3 is the latest iteration of Wi-Fi security, delivering stronger encryption and a higher level of security for both personal and enterprise networks, making it significantly more challenging for hackers to breach. WIDS provides real-time monitoring and detection of unauthorized access points and potential security threats, ensuring the network remains protected against intrusion attempts. Additionally, RF interference tracking helps maintain the optimal signal quality by identifying and mitigating sources of interference, thus ensuring smooth and secure communication.

Branch Network

Whether for small branch offices or large enterprise environments, implementing FS wireless access points with enterprise-grade security is a pivotal step towards achieving uncompromised network security and exceptional performance.

Conclusion

Ensuring robust branch network security is a challenging but essential task for protecting sensitive data and maintaining seamless business operations. FS’s multi-branch network solution offers a fortified platform designed to combat emerging cyber threats, providing granular and precise policy control. Furthermore, regular security training for employees strengthens the overall security posture. Explore our multi-branch network solution and connect with our experts today to learn more.

You may be interested in:

FS Multi-Branch Network Solution: How It Gets You to Ultra Unified Network Experience?

4 Challenges Multi-Branch Retail Networks Face and How FS Resolves Them

A Guide to Choose the Right FS S5810 Series Switches

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