3 Biggest Keys To Ensure A Secure Computer Network

This is an analysis based on work by Israel Austria, senior solutions engineer for Milestone and an expert on the best practices and recommendations for IT professionals to consider when securing their networks. Today, virtually every IT professional’s business depends heavily on networks. If any of the components within a network are malfunctioning or are breached by internal or external threats, the system will not be able to perform its intended functions. Any breach can reach far beyond the originally targeted element and affect the rest of the organization’s IT infrastructure.

Any peripheral device, such as cameras, are vulnerable aspects of a network.  Fortunately, there are a number of recognized platforms that combine all the of best practices for network design and maintenance. You need to know how to make network management easier, such as by using SD-WAN software. There are a lot of SD-WAN benefits in regards to security.

Here are some aspects to consider if you want to maintain network security. You should follow them carefully if your goal is to keep your network from being breached.

Be prepared for brute-force attacks

Peripheral devices are among the most vulnerable parts of a network. Most cameras are capable of encrypting the command line and control traffic, but to do so, they must be assigned a certificate which is usually a self-signed certificate which, under certain requirements, may not be the most secure practice. This illustrates the need for Certificate Authorities.

Another option to consider is policy enforcement tools, which can prescribe password changes and the creation of more secure passwords. You need to recognize the risks of network breaches if a password is compromised. Regular password changes can do a lot to help mitigate this risk if a password is exposed.

There is another benefit of regular password changes. It can take days or weeks for hackers to use a password cracker to exploit the network, since they have to run through millions of possible permutations before discovering the right password. If the password is changed, then it will need to start over before discovering a password it has already tried.

Finally, automated password recommendation tools use random strings of numbers and characters. This makes it harder for hackers to brute-force the system, since they usually rely on dictionary cracker tools. Passwords that don’t contain real words in them will be a lot tougher to crack.

However, securing the passwords isn’t enough. You also need to make sure that you have a way to detect attempts to access the network without authorization. A directory auditing solution can help with this task and allow administrators to be alerted to suspicious activity before a full-blown attack occurs.  In addition, it is recommended that a comprehensive active directory disaster recovery plan be in place for each enterprise network in order to minimize the impact of an attack, as well as to make it possible for the network administrator to reverse the damage within a few hours.

Loss and theft of company devices

Networks can also be compromised much more easily when company devices are lost or stolen. They often have a lot of sensitive data stored on them. If they aren’t encrypted, then the hacker could use it to gain more insights into the network, such as weak points and passwords. This would give them a lot more access. They might also be able to use the device to mimic an authorized user, since the device would be recognized by the network.

Network segmentation is very useful within the overall design of a security system. It is surprising that there are video management software systems (VMS) that do not use any network segmentation methodology, because through these we can introduce elements that make it more difficult to access some components of a network.

Physical access vulnerabilities

Many companies’ server rooms and data centers have physical vulnerabilities (false ceilings or raised floors) that are easy to exploit, and do not even require a computer breach of the network.

Optimal physical protection requires a combination of several security strategies, including the use of professional-grade access control systems and locks that require authentication, as well as proper wall and structural design that reduces gaps and has physical barriers. Locating alarm sensors within potential unauthorized access points is also a good strategy. Also, of course there is a need for a clear, well-detailed and documented security and access policies should be established, communicated to employees, and rigorously followed by them.