Network security appliances have come a long way in the last two decades. Today, there exist state-of-the-art firmware solutions that can protect a network from almost all external security threats. However, all those high-tech network security resources can’t account for intrinsic vulnerabilities of a network infrastructure.
Every network infrastructure features some vulnerabilities from day one or develops them with time. These vulnerabilities in individual and collective capacities put the entire network’s well-being into jeopardy.
To avoid downtimes, data losses, and reputation loss, you should worry about these ten things about your network infrastructure security.
A Checklist for Network Infrastructure Security
1. Unattended Use of Flash Drives
Many enterprises don’t realize that USB or flash drives are among the biggest sources of infecting devices and networks. No matter how robust and well-prepared your network infrastructure is against external/online threats, it can fall victim to an internal/offline security lapse as soon as a corrupt flash drive is connected to any network device.
Strictly ask your employees not to connect their personal flash devices with work computers. If they have to use flash drives for timely work delivery, issue the company’s drives with no personal use authorization. Your IT team can also carry out comprehensive security scans of the company-issued drives anytime without encountering privacy issues.
2. Portable Devices at Network Endpoints
It has become common for employees to work from their laptops and tablets instead of using the conventional desktop computer. These portable devices also pose a severe threat to your network infrastructure security. For starters, you can’t keep track of where employees have taken the laptop and connected to how many unsecured networks.
Also, giving network access to portable devices when your digital infrastructure boasts sensitive data makes data theft exploits easy. If you have to provide access to portable devices, make sure they use a custom-made encryption module for sensitive data. Also, make sure that VPN and network connection settings have to be configured every single time on the portable devices trying to establish the connection.
3. Wireless Access Points
Wireless Access Points (WAPs) can become the Achilles’ heel of a network if they are not taken care of. If anyone can establish a connection to your wireless network through their device without needing any authorization, your network infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to a cyber exploit.
Network eavesdroppers can sense which type of data is being handled at the organization by using that unsecured WAP connection. Many times, stores offering public Wi-Fi have fallen victim to cyber-attacks instigated to steal customers’ information from the store’s network.
First, make sure that your WAP devices use WPA2-enterprise security certification with RADIUS authentication. If you have to offer free public Wi-Fi at your enterprise’s premises for a better user experience to visitors, make sure that the public internet operates in isolation and is not connected to your main secure network in any way.
4. Internal Connections and Accessibilities
A network always remains vulnerable to internal connections and accessibilities. Internal devices connected via the intranet and have access to the company server always pose a threat to its security. Your IT team has to continuously vet all those internal connections to protect the network infrastructure.
5. Poor Server and Data Center Access Management
Many network infrastructures also boast on-site data centers and server rooms. With time, the access management of those highly sensitive network areas turns negligent. Employees start using each other’s authorization cards and passcode to access data centers and servers. While agile accessibility to data centers makes for efficient operations, the security threat it creates for the network doesn’t make a good tradeoff.
6. Physical Security of Workstations
Network infrastructure security is not just about virtual elements, especially when your enterprise deals with highly confidential data. You also need to factor in the physical security of workstations to ensure your network remains safe. For instance, make sure that no one can use workstations after working hours. Also, set up workstations in such a way that no unauthorized individual can steal a look at their display.
7. Email Communication
Email server and communication is another weak link of any network infrastructure. Employees communicate with each other and clients via email, making it a potential entry point for external threats. This is why cybercriminals heavily rely on socially-engineered phishing attacks to infiltrate networks. You need to rigorously train your employees for all sorts of phishing attacks to avoid network infrastructure exploits through email communication.
8. Automated Script Running
If you configure the network to run incoming scripts in an automated manner, it will remain highly vulnerable to security risks. Cybercriminals exploit network settings via web browsers to send and run malicious scripts on the network, including cryptovirological exploits. Make sure that the malware/virus script check is in place. Also, disable automated script load and run and guide employees to practice safe internet search.
9. Undefined Admin Account Privileges
If you run network infrastructure without defining and implementing privilege tiers, it can eventually become a security breach victim. You need to establish a privilege hierarchy and ensure that some sensitive regions of the network are only accessible to well-protected admin accounts.
10. IoT Connections
Lastly, you also need to worry about the IoT devices connected to your network infrastructure. There is a range of smart devices that might connect to your network. These devices are still in the formative phase and don’t boast good security features. Criminals can exploit the poor security of IoT devices to hijack them and then use them to infiltrate into your broader network environment. If there are IoT connections, make sure they are not accessible to everyone. Your IT team should also continually monitor their activity.
If you want to get your unique network infrastructure diagnosed and troubleshot for its vulnerabilities and weak links, get in touch with experts at Microsys. The company’s mission is to deliver affordable and high-quality technology solutions that enable small, medium, and enterprise businesses to meet their goals more efficiently.
You can also hit us up for free professional IT assessment.