Network hardening is a security strategy that tops every CISO list. As the meaning of communication has changed, these issues have become more complex and dynamic.
Network infrastructure is a highway network for high-speed data movement, which is important for the efficient operation of business services. When network infrastructure is compromised, sensitive data can be compromised, services can be disrupted and your business can come to a standstill.
Network security includes the following protections that protect your devices from unauthorized access and abuse. Traditionally, network hardening techniques have focused on firewalls that prevent unauthorized outsiders from accessing the company’s network. Consider cybersecurity practices such as building moats around forts.
Today, the line between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of a castle is not as clear as it used to be. Organizations have resources on-premises, in the private cloud, and in the public cloud. In addition, third parties and employees can access affiliates from remote locations.
You can manage and secure all main routes with traditional connections. You don’t have much of the infrastructure, such as cloud network infrastructure or on-premises staff.
When the network has no direct control of the highway, network security requires multiple layers of protection from the network edge to the core. This includes ensuring that characters, devices, applications, data and systems (including servers and workstations) are protected from unauthorized access at all times. A network security strategy should keep bad guys out of the network and prevent them from roaming while on the network.
Figure: Completing Network Boundaries
Network Security Components to Improve and Ensure Security
Networks often contain devices that support access and data flow. All of these elements should be considered in your network security strategy.
Devices with which users, data and applications interact with the network, such as:
- User workstations such as desktops and laptops
- Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets
- Smart devices are networks Part of (IoT)
- delinea-blog-network-switches Network switches: These are devices on a network that run traffic in a local area and allow endpoints to connect to the network.
These are network devices that manage and forward traffic to and from various networks, including to and from the Internet.
Major Threats and Risks of Unprotected Networks
Organizations face many threats when their networks are unprotected or weak. Once attackers gain access for the first time, they can roam the network invisibly, allowing them to perform malicious activities such as:
- distributing malware or ransomware
- developing viruses or spyware
- phishing to steal credentials or send malware
- Email response 4 4 corporate leaks Sensitive data
- Performing DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks
- Executing financial fraud
- Securing your network as usual
- In the past, most organizations used a variety of network security measures to protect networks from unauthorized
access from the public internet:
delinea-blog -firewall Firewalls: The primary security role of a firewall is to filter traffic inside and outside using rules/rules that allow or block traffic.
DMZ (Demilitarized Zone): The DMZ is a barrier between the public Internet and the local area network (LAN), providing a highly reliable and unreliable security system.
delinea-blog-intrusion-prevention Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): This network security tool monitors network traffic for malicious activity. It can broadcast, block or allow traffic to protect the network according to the protection rules.
delinea-blog-intrusion-detection Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): Like IPS network security devices, IDSs detect malicious activity and issue an alert when detected.
delinea-blog-vpnVirtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN provides a private connection between the edge and the network and adds an additional level of access to ensure traffic is not interrupted by unauthorized access. VPNs work well for access, but cannot control the access of large numbers of users.
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Cybersecurity in 2022 and Beyond
The problem with relying entirely on the traditional cybersecurity rules listed above is that the network is not clearly defined. Thanks to the cloud, mobility, connectivity and remote working, today’s business is primarily cloud-based and services are distributed across society.
The world is quickly ruled by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model, where employees bring their own devices to the business network. In this model, you can ensure secure access to business services and applications by enforcing strict rules and security controls that prevent access to all devices to protect your network, thus preventing individual devices from individually managing the company’s network. (Unfortunately, some organizations don’t go that far, resulting in a mix of corporate and personal devices being accessed on the network.)
BYOD and Bring Your Own Office (BYOO) have evolved today. Workers from home can now access business services and apps directly from their home network.
As a result of this change, the security of your business and services has to change. To protect networks today, you have to go through the process of integration and competition.
15 Security Best Practices
The following 15 steps are best practices for making your network stronger against intrusion and abuse.
1.Asset inventory and software controls:
It is important to fully understand your network (always onsite or in the cloud). Continuous scanning and discovery lets you know when new devices or software are added to your network so you can monitor for suspicious activity.
2.Physical access security:
Always ensure that your network infrastructure is not easily accessible to employees or visitors. Physical access is an important part of security management to prevent criminals from adding malicious devices to the network to facilitate shell recovery or remote access.
3.Look for open ports:
Scan your network to see what network services are enabled and check for open ports. One of the most common methods used by attackers is to open ports to determine the access path to the network. By knowing your open ports, you will also learn how attackers can view your network and systems.
See hardening your systems and endpoints against cyberattacks. This multi-part blog thread covers some of the most common vulnerabilities that attackers use to gain access and support privileges. It contains details on how attackers scan and enumerate open ports to determine system performance and system performance.
4.Support your network
Manage and Monitor Your Firewall: A firewall is never done. Periodically review firewall configurations, rules, and policies. Ensure that only authorized personnel have access to your firewall and access control security with a Permissioned Access Management (PAM) solution to ensure access is controlled with maximum security.
I cannot stress enough the importance of segmentation as a fundamental concept of network consolidation. Network segmentation enforces policy and security controls so that only authorized users and devices can access certain parts of the network, whether on-premises or in the cloud. A flat network is easy to manage, but it also means that the risk of an attacker completing your job is very high.
While segmentation is important, it’s just like a security check blocking access on every segment. For example, you want to keep backups on a separate network and restrict access between production and network backups.
Learn how one of Canada’s largest hospitals implemented network deployment as part of its security strategy. They use Microsoft’s authentication system called Privileged Access Workstation (PAW) to create an environment where valuable accounts can operate with minimal risk.
6.Get rid of unused equipment:
As part of the review process and inventory research, always look for unused equipment that is not needed by moving it to standard deprovisioning layers. Unused network devices are often forgotten and often left behind as weak credentials, making them prime targets for attackers to hack and gain access to.
7.Scan and monitor all network access:
Gain visibility into your network by monitoring network access requests and testing for malicious or suspicious activity. This can take a long time, so try using smart filters and machine learning to identify any unusual activity. Just as it is important to review and monitor access, it is also important to archive access so that you can check logs later when a security incident occurs.
8.Patch Application and Security Updates:
Systems should be patched according to the severity and risk of security vulnerabilities. Not all patches are created equal, so evaluate each patch against the risks to your business. Automate as much as possible.
9.Uninstall unused software and programs:
Periodically review your program lifecycle and software catalog to determine which programs and software should be removed. Outdated services and software can pose a high risk to businesses, especially if they are not maintained or updated to new versions. This can result in weak configurations, weak credentials, or vulnerabilities that open the door for attackers to gain unauthorized access to systems and data.
10.Control and restrict administrator access:
Attackers are always looking for credentials that allow administrator access, especially network access, which leads to a struggle that leads to increased rights. Temporarily remove and eliminate excessive regulatory authority. Follow the minimum order principle and gradually move to just-in-time (JIT) orders.
Download Delinea’s eBook on Enforcing Least Privilege Network Security:
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11.Multi-Factor Authentication Anywhere (MFA):
Enforcing MFA on the network is no longer enough . If an attacker breaks into the network and the only security check is a password, it’s only a matter of time before the attacker has ownership of the entire network. It is important to use MFA everywhere for critical infrastructure and network infrastructure. Don’t assume that just because a request comes from your network, it should be trusted. Check out
Delinea’s blog on MFA here and here.
12.Privileged Access Management:
An important aspect of network security is security and control of access to the network. This means using a policy management solution that allows you to protect policies through strong passwords, controls, security controls, and policies. Check out
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A strong backup plan is essential for smooth operation and performance. Protect your backups from unauthorized network access and keep them separate from production.
14.Secure Remote Access:
All access to your network should be regularly verified, authorized and secured. Make sure passwords are not the only security check against network access. Integrating identity and access management (IAM) with single sign-on, multiple authentication and effective access control makes your network more manageable, forcing attackers to take more risks. Then the attackers will be detected or move on to other easier targets. See how
Secure Remote Access integrates with your PAM solution, allowing remote workers and third parties to access your network without a VPN.
15.Zero Trust Network Strategy:
Never trust devices or access to the network. To implement the concept of zero trust network security, all devices must continually verify the authentication and authorization of the application.