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How To Protect Your Network Infrastructure
By PCS | 3 November 2023
Cyberattacks are becoming more common and even more sophisticated, and these network security attacks are not going away. Therefore, protecting your network infrastructure is a critical priority when it comes to securing client data and maintaining total privacy. If your network is infiltrated, hackers gain control of the whole infrastructure, including devices. It will halt productivity and hinder network connectivity, resulting in misdirected traffic, data theft, and denial of service.
Vulnerabilities & Threats to Network Security
A vulnerability is an existing condition or a weakness that opens the network to outside attacks; thus, vulnerabilities aren’t the result of any action. Some common network infrastructure vulnerabilities that make easy targets for hackers include improper installation of hardware/software, outdated operating systems, inadequate physical security, and poor password practices.
Any vulnerability is at risk of being compromised by a threat or attack. Network attackers focus on penetrating the network’s border to gain access. Once inside, attackers often add/combine other types of strikes.
Some of the most prevalent types of network attacks to be aware of are:
- Code & SQL injection – online forms and user inputs can allow attackers to pass malicious code (malware).
- Data theft – results from unauthorized access.
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) – botnets can direct false traffic in high volumes to overwhelm a server.
- Insider threats – someone inside the company, obtains private information to misuse.
- Password attacks – unauthorized use of a password due to guessing or stealing.
- Privileged escalation – once inside, a hacker gains access to adjacent systems.
- Social engineering – private data is obtained by convincing others with false requests, e.g., phishing emails.
Recommendations to Improve Network Security
With so many ways your network infrastructure can be compromised, IT professionals must be prepared with selected tools and measures to monitor and secure the network consistently.
Here are some of the most common tools and solutions that help to protect network infrastructure:
- Network segmentation prevents lateral exploits by segmenting functions and networks.
- Virtual private networks (VPNs) use advanced methods for encrypting connections.
- Grant access sparingly. Limit access to allow only authorized users.
- Use password best practices. Utilize a password policy requiring multi-factor authentication, minimum length, complexity, and age.
- Continually test and troubleshoot. Behavioral analytics programs monitor users’ activity and report anything suspicious. Always assume your network isn’t secure.
- Limit unnecessary lateral communications. Unfiltered emails can allow intruders to spread into the network.
- Harden network devices. Use anti-virus software, firewalls, and file encryption to mitigate malicious software attacks and secure configuration baselines in conjunction with laws and regulations.
- Perform out-of-band (OoB) network management. This monitors and takes corrective actions, all while preventing hackers from observing.
- Validate the integrity of hardware and software. Purchase products only from authorized resellers.
It’s important to note that one or two network security measures won’t be enough. Combine security methods and best practices for a comprehensive strategy in order to secure your network infrastructure, as much as possible.
Apply a Zero Trust Model
The idea behind a Zero Trust network assumes attackers come from outside and within the network; therefore, no user or device is automatically trusted. Zero Trust requires all users, no matter where they are located, to be authorized and authenticated, all the while being continuously validated to maintain access to apps and data.
Physically Secure Your Network Equipment
Did you know a hacker can easily bypass most network security measures if they can physically access your server? The first step in developing a robust and secure network infrastructure is to keep your servers and devices in a safe location. Do not allow public access to this area. Make sure to lock the door and keep a log of designated people with keys.
How PCS Can Help
Establishing and maintaining a feasible network security strategy requires time, effort, and significant planning. You’ll want some help from a knowledgeable source, like us at PC Solutions (PCS). We can help clarify any confusion and provide solutions to protect your company from an increasingly threatening cyber landscape. PCS applies industry standards and follows best practices to increase security and reduce attack surfaces. Our team of professionals will assist in this essential and ongoing process. Click here, and tell us about your project. We’ll discuss network infrastructure solutions to fit your specific security needs.