Things to Consider Before Performing Advanced Network Security

When we design a network, we design it for security, efficiency, and redundancy. Perhaps you did not know that many elements that are part of an advanced network project can remain the same for a long time, while some parts require constant maintenance and updating to always guarantee high levels of security. That is why one of the most important aspects to consider when it comes to network security is undoubtedly preventive maintenance. In this article, we offer 11 things to consider before performing advanced network security so as not to jeopardize the security of your corporate network.

Contents

  1. Good antivirus and anti-malware
  2. Do the updates
  3. Study Procedures and Policies
  4. Filter emails and sites
  5. To safeguard
  6. Use the firewall
  7. Do a security analysis
  8. Do the audit
    1. Familiarity with procedures and policies
    2. Systems control
    3. Network control
  9. Detect and prevent intrusions
  10. Perform log aggregation and analysis
  11. Create documents

1. A good antivirus and anti-malware

Any business with a single PC connected to the Internet needs some sort of virus and malware protection. There are often free versions of antivirus that can work well. Even a simple antivirus program can block most threats. Antivirus must be installed on every device and constant monitoring must be performed for it to be effective. But the good news is that you can minimize your risk as an organization by using Spin Technology, a SaaS data protection platform for all your SaaS applications.

2. Perform updates

It is important to keep the operating system and firmware up to date. The only exception may be when the update causes hardware or software malfunctions. The update should be performed by dedicated network maintenance personnel to ensure that the work is performed in a compliant manner and does not affect network performance.

3. Study Procedures and Policies

All businesses should have written guidelines for network use. A policy should include information about permitted actions, including which sites anyone using the network can visit and which cannot. The procedures in the event of an accident (loss of data, external intrusions, viruses, etc.) and the access rules in the event of external guests must then be explained.

These documents serve above all as a security blanket for each employee and as a check on inappropriate and potentially risky behavior for the company’s network, such as downloading illegal material or visiting sites of dubious character.

4. Filter emails and sites

It is important to use software to scan computers for malware. But some systems can block malware before it infiltrates the PC. Email scanning and website filters are among the behaviors necessary to ensure network security: monitor in real time attachments of incoming emails, messages and sites that may contain hidden malware in the code. Similarly, network administrators can set up web filters that only block certain sites such as online gambling sites.

5. Backup

It is important to back up all information, including device configuration and firmware versions. But while it ensures data recovery in case of loss, it also makes important sensitive data accessible to everyone. So, yes to back up but it’s still protected and encrypted on a secure system that limits access.

6. Use the firewall

Firewalls are an important part of the initial design of a network. They require regular maintenance to ensure optimal operation. This will allow you to delete old outdated rules and old users and configurations.

7. Perform a Security Scan

This is exactly what a hacker does before an attack. Network analysis reveals security issues and valuable information for the network administrator. The analysis sends a request to the servers via all possible paths. When a server responds, it is possible to know which service responded, which version and for how long. If I send a request to port 80 and get a response, it’s probably a web server. If I then go a little further I can know if it is a Microsoft or Linux server, I can also identify the version and, once I have this information, I know what the vulnerabilities are and by therefore, the attack.

8. Do the audit

Designing a safe environment from the start is a big step towards security. But as we all know, sometimes the initial conditions change. It’s a good idea to schedule a yearly review to ensure the safety of all the environment it needs. This process improves the awareness of administrators and engineers on the current situation.

Control can be divided into three categories.

  • 1. Control of procedures and policies

The policies are not subject to frequent change. But the adoption of new technologies in the company can make it necessary to add new rules. Reviewing existing guidelines ensures that they remain consistent and aligned with the environmental security landscape.

System monitoring typically focuses on servers and their configurations. It includes all domain services such as Active Directory and the accounts of former employees who no longer need access to company resources. Old hardware needs to be replaced and old operating systems stripped down and updated.

It focuses on each device that is part of the network and its settings. Ensuring that firmware is up to date is as important as performing Windows Updates. An annual or semi-annual check of the firewall rules is recommended. Having a document that contains all the rules is certainly a valid help in speeding up the entire control process.

9. Detect and prevent intrusions

Intrusion prevention and detection systems are used to control traffic at all communication levels. If, until recently, only large companies adopted these prevention and detection systems, it is now essential that small and medium-sized companies also use them and implement them in their network.

10. Perform log aggregation and analysis

Logs are used to check the status of a server. If there is a problem, there is also an error line printed somewhere in the system logs. Aggregating logs from different servers has always been a major need for organizations of all sizes. This is for two main reasons:

  • Having the logs aggregated means being able to view them from one place
  • Security incidents can be resolved and reconstructed

Depending on the available budget, different solutions can be found that provide for the aggregation and analysis of logs. The most powerful and rich in options allow you to intelligently group events and thus have a chronology for a specific event.

11. Create Documents

It’s not exactly a security measure, but being able to access important information in time is. Good documentation includes the network diagram, hardware vendor contact information, and any rules that impact network flow. Network documentation streamlines and speeds the troubleshooting and recovery process.

Networks, like machines, require regular maintenance to maintain peak performance. If this is not done, the network will sooner or later become more vulnerable, causing security problems and creating stoppages and loss of data and resources in working processes.

Kevin M. Risinger