7 Steps to Avoid Dumb Network Mistakes that Put You at Risk
Smart hackers will take time to craft sophisticated exploits. Dumb hackers just need to find victims who’ve made dumb mistakes in managing their networks. It’s a good idea to take some time and review basic network practices to make sure you’re protected:
1. Check firewall configurations
Make sure firewalls aren’t disabled, and spend time reviewing the rules to make sure they reflect your current network configuration. If you don’t have a good understanding of why your rules exist, make a plan to document rules going forward so they can be managed appropriately.
2. Review network segments
A complex network architecture can be difficult to understand and create vulnerabilities, but lack of network segmentation means once an intruder is in, they can go anywhere. Take a look at your subnets and the rules controlling traffic between them.
3. Stop over-reliance on blacklists
Blacklists are effective, but they only prevent block suspicious activity you already know about. Whitelists offer greater protection because they limit activity to authorized processes.
4. Rethink password policies
It’s difficult to achieve the right balance with passwords. Make employees change them too often and they will reuse them; make the security rules too complex and they’ll write them down. If you don’t already use two-factor authentication, consider adding it, at least for remote access.
5. Review all configurations for default settings
Default settings may not match the security levels you require. Double-check all your critical tools to confirm the correct settings are implemented.
6. Review all admin accounts
Double-check all network products that have default admin accounts to ensure the accounts are disabled or passwords are changed from their default values. Check whether you are sharing admin accounts or if permissions are granted to individuals based on their roles. Make sure you have a process for reviewing the roles allocated to employees. At a minimum, make sure this is done if the employee takes on a new position within the organization or leaves the company. Ideally, this would be reviewed for every employee annually.
7. Search for unauthorized devices
Many network threats today come from internet of things devices that aren’t authorized and aren’t properly managed. Make a plan for detecting these devices and evaluating the level of risk they present.
Network management is a capacity, performance, and security challenge. Network services from Prescient Solutions ensure you succeed in all three aspects. Contact us to learn more about how our network services keep your infrastructure secure and high-performing.