Network Security

For those new to the realm of network security and database management, there are tricks and security tips that should be followed to safeguard your infrastructure against potential cyber-attacks or harmful behavior within the network.

Let’s explore some crucial network security tips offered by experienced engineers in the field.

1. Use Complex and Unique Passwords Across Devices

On a personal level, repeating passwords across multiple platforms is a bad practice. The risk lies in the possibility of your password leaking on any of these less secure or non-essential platforms. This could potentially lead to compromising more critical accounts. For instance, imagine you create an account on a relatively unknown website, “Y,” which doesn’t prioritize network security recommendations and stores passwords in an unencrypted format in its database.

Now, suppose a hacker succeeds in breaching this database and publishes it online. Did you realize the danger? In such a scenario, any intruder could take your email and password and try it on significant accounts like Google (if you use Gmail) or financial platforms such as Binance for cryptocurrency trading. If you use the same password, they might gain unauthorized access. The same principle applies to device passwords.

They should vary from one device to another within the network to prevent an intruder from easily navigating through the network. One of the crucial network security tips is ensuring that all passwords are complex and not easily guessable. This means incorporating a substantial number of characters, exceeding eight, and including a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, along with symbols.

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2. Frequent Password Changes – Network security tips

Password management solutions have become widely adopted and exceptionally diverse. Manually changing passwords is time-consuming, especially for large companies with a considerable number of devices.

This necessitates the presence of a specialized unified solution to secure and regularly update passwords. Password policies are established by addressing several questions: What is the password length, and how complex should it be? Has it been used in the system before? When should it expire, and when should I update it? Consequently, users can set a time frame for password expiration, enforcing its change if any abnormal behavior is detected in the account on the network. This requires an efficiently automated system. You can explore the features of ManageEngine Password Manager Plus.

3. Changing Default Settings

Almost every device comes with default settings and passwords when used for the first time. It is then up to the user whether to alter usernames and passwords and customize specific settings.

Best practices and network security tips recommend changing all these settings and utilizing a tool to assess their strength, such as ensuring the system does not contain devices with default passwords.

This ensures resistance against various cyber security attacks. Unfortunately, many companies install devices without giving much attention to configuration and maintenance settings. It is crucial to prioritize these aspects to enhance overall security.

4. Setting Up a Dedicated Network for Sensitive Components

One of the best network security tips is to segregate servers, databases, and highly sensitive devices into a private Local Area Network (LAN). This decision helps reduce abnormal traffic within the system, isolates servers from the rest of the network, and provides better control over access to these resources, ensuring a high level of security.

5. Recording Login Activities and Focusing on Suspicious Behavior

Auditing is a crucial process in any system; it doesn’t only go beyond accepting or rejecting connection attempts! Instead, it involves logging and monitoring every user operation, coupled with a detailed analysis of their behaviors using artificial intelligence techniques. This approach provides a vast amount of unstructured information, enabling the creation of a highly rich database that aids in the detection of cyber attacks.

6. Narrow Down Traffic in Your Network

One of the key network security tips is to restrict traffic and allow only essential communications both entering and leaving the network. This involves deactivating unused applications and shutting down open ports that are no longer necessary. The same principle applies to less frequently used and often overlooked devices within the network. These devices, in particular, are more susceptible to electronic attacks, as attackers tend to target vulnerabilities in networks.

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7. Block Suspicious IP Addresses – Network security tips

It’s a mistake to allow any IP address unrestricted access to your networks. I always recommend blocking certain IP addresses from countries that have no relevance to your project, neither closely nor remotely.

For instance, if your project targets citizens in Saudi Arabia and some Arab Gulf countries, it makes sense to block traffic from countries like China, Korea, Russia, Argentina, or Ecuador. Such visits could be suspicious for your network since your project is not intended for them in the first place.

As part of network security recommendations, consider blocking countries that are not needed in your network or those you anticipate could pose a threat. Of course, this precautionary measure doesn’t guarantee complete security, but it will, at least, deter malicious entities from meddling in your network.

8. Revise the Business Rules for Cybersecurity – Network security tips

Consider that the primary issue in your network’s cybersecurity might stem from deficiencies in the design of the business itself, not adequately structured for automation and security.

For instance, scrutinize the security of payment processing mechanisms, especially those involving credit cards. Ask yourself, “Is their design genuinely secure?” Hence, reorganize your documents and diagrams, establishing security controls within your operations. Keep in mind that a  single weakness in the design of a single step in the authentication process could potentially lead to a critical breach in your network.

9. Administering and Controlling Permissions

Organizations must implement Privileged Access Management (PAM) to grant distinctive permissions to an individual or program for a limited time frame. Failure to implement this type of management in your network exposes it to threats from malicious entities, increasing the potential for them to embed their malicious software more effectively with elevated privileges.

There are various solutions available for managing Privileged Access (PAM) that restrict attempts to access sensitive permissions within your network. Implementing these network security tips will significantly deter attackers from persistently targeting your company.

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