Network intrusions have in the past cost businesses lots of money and information, prompting most of these companies to start thinking of ways to reduce the risk of intrusion. Not a single network can be fully secure but with the deliberate effort against attacks, it is possible to save money and keep vital information private. In addition to the ultimate network security checklist, here is how to reduce the risk of network intrusions:
- Network mapping
It is important to map your network and define its architecture so you can define proper security measures. A network is either flat (easily compromised) or segmented to prevent intruders from compromising the entire system. Understanding the nature of your network is the first step to reducing the chances of intrusion.
- Web proxy
Effective reduction of the risk of network intrusion includes investing in a web proxy capable of blocking any access to unsecured sites.
- Limit privileges
Normal users with administrative rights pose a problem as they are mainly to blame for letting in intruders. Network system administrators are best advised to reduce the number of people with such privileges. On the same note, it is required that users come up with complicated passwords including making a point of changing them regularly.
- Review your security policies
The specific measures taken to reduce the risk of intrusion should be constantly reviewed to ensure that they are at par with modern day demands. It is at this time when you must ensure that you have the users’ permissions to monitor the entire network in an attempt to detect intrusions.
- Implement a software patch management system
Hackers look for vulnerabilities in necessary software to lead them into the network. This is why developers are constantly releasing patches to seal these openings and reduce the risk of intrusions. A software patch management system makes sure that your network benefits from patches as soon as they are released.
- Multifactor authentication
This is paramount whenever users need to remotely access any part of the network. This ensures that there are different layers of authentication that exist before a user gains access.
- Understand the kind of data in the network
It is important to know exactly the type of data handled by your company so that you may define proper measures to preserve it. Confidential and sensitive information naturally demands stronger protection from intruders.
- Maintain logs
Maintaining logs for core infrastructure systems is critical, especially those that store sensitive data and internet facing systems. Security experts advise companies to keep such logs for at least a year – or longer – if possible. It is by regular monitoring of these logs that administrators would identify possible intrusion pathways.
- Restrict access
Employees should be discouraged from accessing personal email on company networks. Many attacks are usually launched via email and it is largely possible that personal emails would be clicked by unsuspecting individuals. Thus, workers should only be able to access work-related data on the organization’s network.
- Employ credible security firms
The in-house team might work hard to monitor and implement measures to mitigate the likelihood of intrusion but outsiders may be better placed to see vulnerabilities. Each company must seek the services of a credible security firm to inspect their network, conduct network vulnerability scans, as well as conduct occasional penetration tests.