The information collected and stored electronically by the organizations is sensitive, crucial, and private information. It most likely includes crucial business data, customers’ personal information, and other information that is valuable for business transactions. Unauthorized access to the network and its data creates a threat to security. Several networking fundamentals and statutory privacy requirements should be followed like HIPPA, FEPRA, etc. to prevent the data from unauthorized dissemination. Failure to do so will make them responsible for the consequences.
While all measures cannot ensure 100% security from the attacks, it can help minimize risks significantly. Here are five critical steps to secure your business’ network infrastructure:
Step 1: Run a network security audit
A network security audit is a process where the organization investigates their network security policies and verifies the network asses for potential deficiencies, which if ignored, may lead to a security breach. The network audits are mostly conducted by a third-party auditor who visits the organization periodically and submits their comprehensive report post-audit.
Step 2: Restrict user access privileges
Insider threats are increasing every year, and one of the reasons is mismanagement of user access to the network. A study shows that over 70% of the insider attacks are not reported. The best solution to restrict privileges is to follow the ‘principle of least privilege.’
Principle of least privilege:
The major benefit of practicing this principle is to reduce the risk of an insider from unauthorized access to the data. By restricting access to the network data, the amount of data that can be compromised reduces. Using the intrusion detection system (IDS), abnormal activity can be detected quickly.
Step 3: Review your cybersecurity tools
Does your organization have appropriate network security tools to detect and mitigate risks? It is not necessary that you should pick up every security tool available in the market. To ensure better safety of your network and its data, you should at least have basic tools that can help you in complying with the regulatory obligations and, at the same time, mitigate risks. The advice on the right tool can be obtained from an audit report. You can compile a list of various assets on the network that can enable you to respond to the biggest threats.
Step 4: Conduct cybersecurity awareness training
The biggest threat to your organization’s data is an ‘insider.’ In the absence of cybersecurity awareness training, employees of your organization may end up falling for phishing attacks, visit compromised websites, access malicious links, etc. They may not be aware of the password policy too. Cybersecurity awareness training lets employees learn about online risks and the difference between safe and unsafe browsing.
Step 5: Patch your software on time
Another important threat to network security is unpatched software. Any existing flaws in the software will give immediate access to hackers. An effective security audit lists out the software to be updated with their latest patches. If there is a software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer, it must be uninstalled and replaced with a new, updated program.
The fact is that a blog cannot give you all you need to know to secure your network. It takes a careful assessment of resources and tools to ensure that they are aligned to the utmost objective. A certified and experienced network defender can justify this role of network defense. EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (C|ND) gives a fundamental understanding of data transfer, network technologies, and software technologies so that network defenders understand their co-relation and fix them in place. C|ND is a skill-based, lab intensive program based on job-task analysis, accredited by ANSI, and complies with the NICE framework.