The Biggest Threat to Your Network
There are a lot of theories bandied about describing the biggest threat to network security. Some say that it’s malware and viruses. Others say it is Distributed Denial of Service attacks. Some present arguments for the recently popular BadUSB devices. But what does it really come down to? What is the #1 biggest threat to a network?
What do users have to go through in order to get on a network? If the company has fairly good security, they login with their credentials, and are granted permission to access the network. Following that, in most environments, they now have unfettered access to the network. This includes access to the internet, any files on the network, and in some cases even access to the servers.
We’re not saying that your employees, or family members, are going to do something malicious. Although, you should keep in mind that that is a possibility. What we’re saying is: humans are fallible. We make mistakes! What kind of mistakes? Here are some of the most common:
- Users let other people use their machines, or worse, they lend their passwords out.
- Users fall for phishing schemes. Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
- Users visit websites with malicious code that could infect your network.
- Users download content that could muck up your network with malware, ransomware, or any kind of horrible “ware”.
The list goes on and on. So, what can you do? How can you protect your network from the scourge of the users?
Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult and it is surprisingly affordable. You need an EdgeWall. You need what we refer to as “Adaptive Network Access Control”.
What does an EdgeWall do? Let’s break it down.
1) Identification – Yes, this is just reviewing credentials and passwords, but this is only step 1, and it is important!
2) Authentication – The EdgeWall makes sure that the credentials are legit. It even has an option to pair with a Two Factor Authentication service, which is highly recommended, for double security.
3) Authorization and Access– Users should not be granted 100% access to everything on the network. The good news is that the EdgeWall can enforce any rules you might set in place. For instance, very few people should be able to access financial files. Not only does the EdgeWall lock those files down, but it can completely hide them from other users. Those users wouldn’t even know those files exist.
4) Health – The EdgeWall checks each device on the network and makes sure it is in good health. It does this every single time someone connects. Are there viruses? Is there malware? If anything is wrong, the EdgeWall won’t connect the machine to anything. This protects the rest of your network from infection.
5) Remediation – If something is wrong with a machine, for example, if software is out of date, the EdgeWall will update it. The EdgeWall can even be told exactly what to update and when.
6) Ongoing Inspection – Traffic on the network is constantly inspected and matched against filters, protocols and rules. If anything a user does looks suspicious, it is immediately cut off. For example, if a user clicks on a questionable link from an email and the EdgeWall believes it to be a phishing scam, it can stop that connection.
It’s always difficult to imagine that the people we trust might be our biggest threat, but there’s no denying that it’s true. It may not be malicious, but someday someone is going to make a mistake. Are you prepared for that day?
For information on how you can prevent your organization from being breached, visit www.miltonsecurity.com or call 714-515-4011.