Beyond the Firewall – Preventing Security Breaches
The Top 5 Must-Do Tasks for your Business
You are probably very familiar with what the term “Firewall” is and does but for those of you who are not, it is basically a piece of software or hardware that is in the middle of your internal network and the internet. It protects you from having your complete network wide open to anyone with an internet connection. That said, firewalls are no longer “enough” security to protect your critical network and business data. Here is why;
The internet and networks used to be pretty simple and hackers or would be bad actors would use uncomplicated attacks to gain unauthorized access to computer systems and networks. Firewalls were created and implemented as a means to simply filter and block unsolicited connections to your internal network from the outside internet, in short, “Ingress Attacks”. However, as time went on, attackers were able to circumvent these firewall systems and gain unsolicited access to internal networks. One such attack is known as ” an egress attack” better known as “Reverse Shells”. Reverse shells would allow an attacker to get a user to open a malicious file on their local internal computer and once done would make a reverse connection “outbound” back to the remote attackers’ machine, thus bypassing the filtering and blocking from the outside world in as we discussed above.
With Egress attacks, Remote Shell attacks are still common today. However, with the invention of Egress Filtering methods among other technologies such as IDS and IPS systems, those types of attacks were minimized. But, the Network Security game is a cat and mouse game after all. Attackers are normally always one step ahead of Network Security measures. Remember, it’s an attacker’s “job” to create new attacks and bypass security rules and measures.
Sadly, because of that, there is no one single security measure or technology to completely protect your network or systems. If you want to be 100% secure from malicious internet-based attacks you would need to unplug your internet modem completely, Scary, right? But it would be silly to unplug your modem since nearly 95% of today’s business is conducted with the use of the internet in some way or another.
“So what do we do?”, you ask? Great Question! Companies need to take a Layered approach to improve and maintain their Network Security posture.
Here are 5 ways to better your Network Security
1. Employee Training
Sadly the common threat and weakest link in any Network Security Policy is the Human Element. Attackers use what we call “Social Engineering” to trick unsuspecting employees into opening programs, clicking on malicious links, etc. They achieve this by exploiting the inbuilt level of default trust we all inherently have. They use tricky and deceptive measures to exploit this weakness.
2. Layered Security Technologies
As mentioned above one device or one software is not enough to defend your security posture against malicious attackers. By having the knowledge and ability to layer different technologies together will create hurdles for attackers that might discourage them from continuing or outright stop them in their tracks.
3. Knowledge and Management
Hiring people or a company to manage and maintain your Network Security is a MUST. Attacks these days are usually very complicated in nature. You need to hire someone who is as knowledgeable as the attackers and attacks. Someone who stays current on such events and can mitigate attacks before they happen.
4. Security Auditing
Regular Security assessments and audits are certainly regulated and mandated by the government for such businesses who may be Medical Offices, Financial Institutions, etc. However, it is a good practice to have your business (no matter its size or business type) to have regular security audits done by a certified professional 3rd party company. This will help pinpoint and mitigate any security threats before the bad guys discover them.
5. Re-read and Repeat steps 1-4
Seriously. We encourage everyone to fully understand the risks associated with ignoring proper Network Security. Of course, this is a pretty short list of things to do, but these are the core fundamentals of ensuring a proper network security posture.
If you would like to discuss your companies Network Security needs with us in more detail, please contact us HERE or call 631-403-1104