Though it is impossible to completely eliminate network security breaches, you can be proactive and implement a number of helpful safeguards to combat malicious individuals. Let's take a look at some of the best network security measures that are easy to implement. Follow these guidelines and you can confidently say that you have done your part to protect your network from security threats.
Inspect the Security Logs
Do your best to review system logs on a daily basis. If you don't have the time, outsource the task to a trusted employee. If you can't outsource the work, at least, take a look at the system logs every other day at a bare minimum. Security logs represent your firm's first line of defense. As an example, if you review your Windows server security logs and find that there are several Logon Failure 529 events in which there is an unknown user name and/or an improper password, you should be on edge. Sure, it is possible that a valid user really did forget his password. However, in some instances, such information on the server log is a clue that a malicious individual has attempted to access the network.
Alter Passwords on a Regular Basis
It is absolutely shocking to find out just how many applications and devices are protected by simple passwords and user names. Some organizations even stick with the default usernames and passwords. Unfortunately, hackers are well aware of the fact that many people stick with these basic login credentials. It is imperative that you and your team regularly update your passwords and usernames. Make sure that employees understand the importance of using highly complex passwords with a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters. Still, any password outside of the default is better than nothing.
Update and Patch on a Regular Basis
You can greatly enhance your network security by keeping your application software and operating system up to date. As long as your firm's operating system and applications are safe, any potential outside exploitation of the network will fail. There are all sorts of different products that will verify whether your computers are updated and have the required patches.
Disable User Accounts of Employees Who are Terminated
If you terminate an employee or if he turns in his notice, you must disable his accounts. Vengeful former employees are often quite inclined to use their insider information to harm the company network.
Never Re-Use Passwords
People really do unintentionally share the same usernames and passwords. Some employees will even rehash old usernames and passwords when the system prompts them to select new information at certain intervals. This is a critical mistake that hackers are well aware of. All a hacker needs to do is get his hands on a password/username combination and try it in a variety of avenues. Your staff should never make life that easy for cyber criminals.
Take Note of Outbound Network Traffic
Modern malware has become so advanced that it can avoid many types of detection. You can expose malware by watching outbound network traffic. If there is a deviation in the number of outbound connections or traffic from the regular baseline operation, you should be uber-suspicious. It is a clue that sensitive data is being pilfered or that there is an email engine sending out spam. You can also use your firewall applications to regularly study outbound traffic.
Perform Frequent Network Scans
You will find it quite valuable to compare your regular network scans to an operational baseline inventory. This comparison empowers you to figure out if rogue equipment has been planted on the network. It will even tell you when
the network was installed. You can scan your network with Microsoft's built-in command net view. Others choose to perform the scan with freeware programs such as NetView.
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