There are a lot of different components to consider when compiling a network for your business – with safety, hopefully, being the most important aspect of that project. Unfortunately, ensuring a network’s safety isn’t comprised of simply checking-off items on a list and never thinking about them again. Safeguarding a network’s security level is a series of checks and balances that needs to be run-through on a consistent basis to assure that you are operating at the securest level possible.
So, where does one start? Well, thinking about it in terms of home security is a helpful guide. Firstly, do you have an alarm system, and is that alarm system sufficient for the size of your house? Your network’s security system should run at the same caliber as your business itself. Just as the Louvre in Paris wouldn’t rely on an ADT home security system to ensure the safety of the Mona Lisa housed within its walls, your network’s security safeguards shouldn’t be single-faceted or insufficient for the task at-hand.
Recently, a bank in Bangladesh was involved in a hacking-heist to the tune of 81 million dollars. After the hack was discovered, it was made known that the bank’s network security system was missing a basic firewall. In addition to that missing critical, basic security element, their network switches were refurbished $10 switches that did not offer any kind of security safeguards from network infiltration. Now, hindsight dictates that installing a firewall would’ve been a good place to start, but if you’re running a high-scale enterprise, then simply connecting a firewall to your system and calling it a day isn’t going to provide you much security for very long. Your network’s security system should exist in layers because hackers are smart and know how to find vulnerabilities at any and every turn.
Once you have multiple security layers in place for your network, IT system audits are a great way to ensure that those layers are doing their job in protecting you from multiple angles of vulnerability. If having a firewall is like having an alarm system on your house, and quality network switches the equivalent to keeping your jewelry in said house inside of a locked safe, then system audits would be like a security inspector coming out and testing all of your equipment on a regular basis. Further, when you get around to scheduling that audit, make sure that the IT professionals conducting the audit on your system know more than just how to uninstall malware! There is a growing network of “reformed” hackers – bad guys gone good, one could say – that are making it their mission to find your network’s vulnerabilities and alert you of them before the actual bad guys even have a chance to stumble upon them. Remembering to take that extra measure for network security will keep you and your customers safest in the long run!