How to Design Security Architecture

Posted February 15, 2013 by Alice Julia in Security

For accomplishing effective security architecture and planning strategy for security posture, it’s important to apply sound principles. A selection of the most effective principles provides fundamentals for mitigating threat and manages risk within the context of security. A list with principles of secure network design is as follows:

design computer network security

  • Defense in depth: This is the major umbrella based on layered approach and end to end security, defined by architectures comprising of other guidelines. Its objective is for creating domains and then separating them with different security controls. It also defines redundancy of controls, where the other layers help in mitigating the failure of one layer.
  • Compartmentalization: It’s important that various assets with their specific values reside in their specific security domains, whether logical or physical. Though it is difficult to create the security domains but a trust built within the similar compartments help in mitigating risk, attacks which approach the higher level assets in higher domains through the lower level domains can stay restricted within the lower levels.
  • Least Privilege: A methodology determined by military and other such operations states that if limited people share specific information then the risk of unauthorized access automatically decreases. The same principle is applied in network security, where need to know approach is followed for maintaining trust relationship between the security domains. Only the required users are authorized to access the information and everything and everyone else is by default not allowed.
  • Weakest Link: The most fundamental requirement that forms the basis of network security where the importance of security is equal to the importance of its weakest link. The use of layered approach in security design helps in mitigating the risk by keeping the less protected assets in the separate security domains.
  • Rotation and Separation of Duties: When more than one person gets assigned on tasks, the chances of fraudulent activities decrease. The basic principle of this approach applies to both human procedures and technical controls.
  • Hierarchically trusted components and protection:  The main objective of this principle is providing structured security controls and classification of data. The assumption of this principle is that if hierarchical approach is easy for implementation and management which will result in similarly managed compartmentalized security controls.
  • Mediated Access:  When security controls are centralized for protecting security domains or asset groups such as proxies, firewalls and so on; then all the components would less likely fall into a single point of failure.
  • Accountability and Traceability: This principle implies for becoming aware of the risk, managing it, and mitigating it and not avoiding or removing it. Network security architectures should emphasize on developing mechanisms for tracking activities of attackers, users, and even administrators. Moreover accountability and no repudiation should be provisioned.

About the Author

Alice Julia

Hey everyone, I’m Alice! By profession I’m an article writer and with this I have validations from Cisco and CompTIA for being a certified professional.


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