The network security is probably the main concern that IT managers face day after day. However, even when security threats and challenges emerge every day, according to several cybersecurity reports there are three main vectors of attacks that cybercriminals usually exploit to access corporate networks. They are:
This is the number one vector regarding revenue streams for attackers. According to the Internet Complaint (IC3), between 2013 and 2016 cybercriminals obtained the significant amount of 5.3 million dollars for attacks on corporate emails. And only in 2016, they reached the amount of one billion dollars for ransomware attacks.
Following we find this form of attack that consists in stealing information from the user and in consequence, taking of the digital information of the company. Spyware is one of the most effective ways to break the network security; take control of devices and increase malware infections.
In a study, it was found that 20% of the companies interviewed presented three families of spyware: Backdoors, adwares and droppers. Generally, companies do not even know they have these problems until it’s too late.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another exploitable area preferred by cybercriminals, and is of recent data. To tell the truth, as companies are still discovering the uses of the IoT; the excitement about its scope veils security and protection from the threats it poses.
Also, cybercriminals continue to improve their attack strategies at impressive speeds. That is to say, as they discover and exploit vulnerabilities and new measures and tools appear to counteract them; they are already creating new methods to undermine emerging methodologies for network security.
So, the plan remains the same: Counting on a security system that shield your networks from exploits and clandestine incursions. In other words; you need to cover many aspects of network security in parallel to provide strength and robustness to your information systems.
Then the next question is, what are the factors that guarantee your network security to shield your business assets? There are three:
1. Apply appropriate configurations in your security systems
Generally, the main security flaw occurs when designing and programming the systems. In the general plan for the implementation and deployment of any system; operability and functionality are pondered above all else. Parallelly, security is neglected or delegated to a secondary plan.
Programming a system to act and react autonomously to a security event is essential to enhance network security. We achieve this with concise adjustments on the attributes and security parameters of any system.
Same, the appropriate configurations must include all the devices that intervene in the network. That is to say; servers; databases; desktop applications and other systems that use the corporate network to transmit information.
Let’s start from the same parameter: Any device needs to use compatible ports to establish communication through the network. Also, depending on their use, they discriminate into known and private ports.
With thousands of ports used at the same time on a server; security management becomes critical. For this reason, we must adequately determine which of these ports should be opened; closed or blocked at certain times.
In order to face this safety factor; we must rely on both, supplier guides and IT managers to properly customize products and systems; and improve the operating system security to obtain a reliable configuration.
With the purpose of balancing security and ease of use; we need to establish some password rules. For example, blank passwords for servers and system passwords renewable every 48 hours.
2. Keep updated the operating system, firmware and applications
As we explained before, there is a certain imbalance between security and productivity during the configuration of the network parameters. When we look for impermeability against vulnerabilities, the picture totally changes.
In order to shield your networks against attacks by vectors; it is necessary to apply the most recent security patches to reinforce the protection in combination with a continuous risk assessment to make decisions (eradicate or ignore).
Here are some best practice tips for improving your network security:
- Security scans must be applied regularly; at least once a week, in order to detect new vulnerabilities.
- Analyze the findings in the event records in order to locate those exploits detected abroad; and determine if they are vulnerable inside.
- A vulnerability analysis must be performed with a dedicated administrative account.
- Register in up-to-date publications regarding network security issues to know identified malwares trends and risks.
3. Monitoring network security processes
As we know, vulnerability management solutions helps to strengthen our systems against discovered vulnerabilities. On the other hand, solutions for security configuration allow us to protect our systems from conditional vulnerabilities.
However, if we do not automate the IT processes to guarantee the continuity factor to these efforts; we will be in the same initial conditions.
In this sense, all organizations have a wide variety of devices that connect in a network. Then, although the multiplicity of devices multiplies the possibilities of attacks at any time; the automation of IT security processes forces us to create continuous assessment routines.
La comunicación entre los sistemas y gestión de eventos de seguridad es un aspecto importantes para mantener este proceso de forma continua. Los sistemas de gestión de vulnerabilidades generan advertencias al sistema de configuraciones.
Communication between systems and security event management is an important aspect to maintain this process over time. Vulnerability management systems generate warnings to the configuration system, and these information warnings create requests to perform evaluations on the established configuration.
Protecting our networks is a priority and as such, we need to devote part of our budgets to network security. Like this, we’ll avoid overlooking any anomaly that threatens to destroy our defenses, and our information.
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