Apr 25, 2016

Is Your Business Network a Hardened Vault or a Cardboard Door?

IT Security, IT Tips, Network Security Blog


Is Your Business Network a Hardened Vault or a Cardboard Door?        

Whether a desktop, laptop or mobile device, almost every computer we use is connected to some type of network. More than simply internet access and email, our corporate networks let us work more efficiently, be more productive and save money doing it. They are integral components for functions like purchasing, selling, collaboration and customer service.

The advancement of modern networking technology means we have greater access to more data available than ever before. And we’re continuously adding more business applications and databases year after year. This increases the complexity of our operations and our access to them.

 “The nastiest growing threats for businesses today are hardware-centric cyberattacks, ransomware, zombie botnets and identity theft.”

Unfortunately, this advancement and complexity is also adding to our security concerns due to the growing number of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks on small and medium sized organizations. It’s no longer just data hijacking or DDS attacks that are growing, the nastiest growing threats for businesses today are hardware-centric cyberattacks, ransomware, zombie botnets and identity theft.

Still, we seldom think of our physical networks unless they’re broken. We simply rely on them to work. In reality, the security and availability of networks is critical to everyone.

Andy Daudelin, VP of Cloud at AT&T frames the issues nicely in an article posted on their website. In it he says “The brutal truth is that securing your organization’s network and protecting the way you do business is getting more complex.”

He goes on to list four top imperatives for business today:

  • Cybersecurity is simply the way to do business today.
  • Proactive detection and response systems, guided by trusted threat intelligence are required.
  • Network visibility and control provide the best combination for detecting and neutralizing threats. 
  • Business complexity requires security strategies to be easily deployed and enforced. 


So we thought this was a good time to mention an often-neglected network security check that every organization should make sure is being done. 


Every typical network security assessment begins with the standard Nmap, Nessus and other security scans to identify potential or real vulnerabilities. Since we already discuss the more common recommended network security activities here in our website, we’re providing you with an additional checklist of security recommendations for your physical network security.

We also recommend that you, or a network consultant you trust, literally walk through your network system and conduct the following 6-Point Physical Network Checklist:

  1. Verify your network drawings are accurate all the way down to the physical port connections;
  2. Check the port connections to ensure that unauthorized connections are not attached to open ports;
  3. Check that ALL network architecture, including switches, routers, hubs, taps, etc., and any modifications, are accurately up to date on the network drawings;
  4. Investigate older hardware devices for outdated technology and potential vulnerabilities, and replace them with new hardware;
  5. Ensure that network architecture and cables are structurally secure, check items that should be tied down, installed in racks and so on — and that the equipment is not subject to overheating or freezing; and
  6. Confirm that all vents are clean, and that all cooling fans are operating properly.


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