As much as we don’t like to think about it, our computer networks are vulnerable. Bugs and hackers are always trying to find weaknesses to exploit, whether that’s through patches in our technology, a flaw in our business procedures or a lack of knowledge in our employees.
But there’s a lot you can do to minimise risks to your company’s network security. In the first of a two-part blog, we show you easy steps you can take to protect your organisation from online ailments.
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1. Vulnerability Scanning
Using a vulnerability assessment scanner lets you complete periodic reviews of your whole network. It covers all the systems under your ownership and identifies any risks posed to these, plus any systems that haven’t been previously included.
Authenticated scanning can help you to flush out any false-positive results. Before starting your scan, think about how you’ll react to any threats you find.
Sandboxing is the process of singling out executables from the rest of your system in a secure space (called a sandbox). If you identify a threat, you can test your executables on it in a sandbox without interfering with the rest of your network.
For more efficiency, try integrating your sandbox with other technologies that deal with blocking bad content, and always use a firewall.
3. Patch Management
A common way bugs get onto your network is through known glitches in your technology. Regular patch management and security updates can reduce the chances of known bugs interacting with your system.
Updates are often something you can automate, and many systems install these automatically so you don’t have to do a thing. To help the process, you could teach your staff not to ignore update messages when they appear.
4. Configuration Management
Sometimes, problems with your technology aren’t easy to see. That’s what configuration management is for. You can set this up to alert you if something unusual pops up in your system, and solve the issue.
For best results, you can make use of file integrity monitoring to let you know of any non-compliant behaviour in your system. Alternatively, some vulnerability assessment scanners can run and compare reports against industry safety standards to see how you match up.
5. Reputation Protections
This method monitors and prevents online activity with networks and devices that are know to be untrustworthy. A lot of technologies that use this approach can spot and act on factors such as emails, IP addresses and contact numbers.
You can make this procedure even more useful by comparing your system against existing industry lists, using reputation controls in emails and generating regular reports about common attacks.
6. Web Application Scanning
A web application’s main duty is to perform reviews of web-based applications, whether these are created internally or purchased elsewhere, and report on how safe they are.
Some of the best practices for adopting this strategy include regularly scanning internal and external apps and carrying out credentialed scans to uncover flaws in your business processes. The latter also covers coding vulnerabilities, which aren’t as easy to spot.
And There’s More
By making the most of the tips we’ve shared, you can substantially cut your chances of being struck by a cyber-attack. We’ll be publishing even more tips soon, so be sure to come back to our blog for part two of this series.
There's more advice like this in our Quick Guide to Cyber Security. You can get smarter in minutes, so download your copy.