It doesn’t matter if you own a small business or a multi-million-dollar corporation, network security is a top priority. Even if you don’t have to deal with the regulatory concerns related to managing stored data, the fact that there are hundreds of new threats released every minute against the business world means your attention is a must.
While there is no amount of security that will ever be able to provide you with total protection against the theft or loss of data, you can reduce the impact of the attacks on your network by using a few tips regarding your network infrastructure, how it is setup, maintained, and managed. Some of these tips are found here.
Regularly Audit Your Network Infrastructure
From time to time, you should audit your business’s network architecture to ensure you know what assets are present. This will also let you see the type of operating systems and software that is being run.
You may wonder why this is so important and why it is necessary to conduct this audit regularly.
It is important to understand that it is virtually impossible to create a complete network protection strategy if you aren’t aware of what assets are on the network, to begin with. If there are unknown assets on your infrastructure, they will pose a serious threat because they are elements that your cybersecurity strategy or plan has not accounted for.
When it comes to why audits need to be done from time to time, this is because your business may be adding new assets to the network architecture occasionally. Until these assets have been accounted for and audited, they may serve as weak points that attackers may use to breach your entire network.
Even when you have carefully cataloged new assets when they are added to your system, it is still easy for something to be missed. This is why you need to take time to audit your network from time to time (i.e., annually, or more frequently for businesses that add assets more often). This is a crucial step when it comes to protecting your network.
Don’t Just Rely on Perimeter Defenses
If you want to ensure you have protected your network from an attack, it requires much more than just a perimeter firewall at the point of connection between your business network and the rest of the world. Even though firewalls are essential for filtering out most outside attacks, they won’t do anything to stop threats from inside.
There are too many options that malicious attackers have to bypass your perimeter defenses. Some of these methods include:
- Convincing employees to download malware (phishing): Some attackers will use phishing to trick your workers into downloading malware files or to click on links that lead to malware-rich sites.
- Employees who are misusing account privileges: Along with the accidental download of malicious software, your employees may intentionally abuse their account privileges to steal data or cause harm.
- IP Spoofing: Some attacks will use IP spoofing which will disguise malicious data packets as being normal to bypass the firewall. This type of spoofing will only work on the less sophisticated firewall that doesn’t include deep packet inspection.
These just represent a few of the strategies and techniques that attackers are using to bypass your network security.
Create Network Use Policies for Employees
Since your workers are one of the top points of network failure, you must take steps to minimize the potential of intentional or accidental misuse. This will usually include the creation of network use policies for your workers and restrict the access they have to your network to the minimum that is needed to handle their jobs.
When it comes to protecting your network, there are several factors that must be considered. Being informed and knowing what to do is the best way to do this. If necessary, hire a third-party service provider to ensure that your network is as secure as possible.