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Things To Consider While Upgrading Office Network

Business-grade office networking solutions has crucial productivity, security, and functional characteristics that make the solutions a preferred choice for all enterprises. As the organization grows or there is an advent of newer technology, businesses should consider upgrading their office networks.

While upgrading their office network, businesses should invest in high-quality network equipment that features: –

  1. Intelligent Networking – Networks aided by RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and machine learning provide maximum performance on applications and services. The intelligent system can adapt, learn, and defend itself is an AI-enabled network.
  2. Multiple Wireless Network Support – A single wireless network is often supported by consumer access points. Multi-wireless networks, often known as SSIDs (Service Set IDentifiers), are supported by business-grade access points. This allows versatility and protection. Inbound-outbound rules, encryption, authentication, and other features can be applied to such SSIDs to provide an extra layer of protection. Additional dedicated SSIDs guaranteeing network isolation and congestion-free communications channel are formed for IP cameras and wireless speakers. Office owners can also utilize dual-band routers with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
  3. NAS (Network Attached Storage) – A NAS is a data storage device. It’s a box with many hard drives configured in a RAID array to defend against hardware failures and faults. A network interface card connects directly to a switch or router and allows data to be accessed through a network. Data may be accessed using a shared drive from desktops, laptops, and servers. With NAS, there is no need to store copies of your papers on all of your assets and devices. It allows operators and business owners to deploy virtual computers and set up a media server that can stream to any device in real time.
  4. Network Security – Physical network security is the initial layer, and it should keep unauthorized people out of physical network components. Access to network components must be logged, controlled, with mandatory biometric verification requirement. Technical network security is the second layer, which safeguards data in transit as well as data at rest. External threat actors as well as harmful insider activities can be mitigated implementing a VPN and/or two-factor and multi-factor authentication techniques. Antivirus and firewall software must be updated to only allow access to authorized staff. The administrative network security layer is the last layer, and it comprises of security rules and processes that regulate network user behavior. Unauthorized network access to specific applications and devices is limited by unified endpoint management.
  5. Cloud Computing – The distribution of services through the internet is referred to as cloud computing. Software, storage, analytics, and servers are all examples of internet services that are referred to as “the Cloud.” A cloud provider will host and keep the data for all of these services in the end. Access to applications, servers, and data is no longer restricted locally, making remote work easier. Threat actors finds it more difficult to infiltrate the network on the cloud. Both employees and the corporation benefit from a cloud-based network as they can utilize file sharing, screen sharing, and team messaging over the cloud network. When deciding on a team collaboration tool, compare the benefits and drawbacks of the vendor products shortlisted. Another advantage for employees is that cloud computing decreases the workload of the network administrators and allows them to focus on other activities.

Centex Technologies provide complete IT and computer networking solutions for businesses. For upgradation and for conducting an IT audit of office network, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

Elements of Network Security

PDF Version: Elements-of-Network -Security

Enterprise Network Security: Zero Trust Security Or VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Networking. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic in real time and disguise your online identity. This makes it difficult for third parties to track your online activities and steal data.

How Does VPN Work?

A VPN hides an IP address by letting the network redirect it through a specially configured remote server run by a VPN host. This states that when surfing online with VPN, the VPN server acts as the source of your data. Due to this, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties cannot see the websites you visit or data you send or receive.

Benefits Of VPN:

  • Secure Encryption: VPN ensures secure encryption of data transmitted and received. User requires an encryption key to read the data. This makes it difficult for the hackers or third parties to decipher the data, even if they corrupt the network.
  • Disguise The Location: VPN servers act as a proxy for you on the internet. This ensures that the actual location of the user is not determined. Additionally, most VPN services do not store activity log which further ensures that no information about user behavior is passed on to hackers or third parties.
  • Secure Data Transfer: As the trend of working remotely is gaining popularity, secure data transfer has become immensely important. Organizations can make use of VPN servers to ensure the security of data being transmitted and reduce the risks of data leakage.

Zero Trust Security

Main tenet of “zero trust security” is that vulnerabilities can appear if businesses are too trusting of individuals. This model maintains that no user, even if allowed on the network, should be trusted by default because it may lead to end point being compromised.

How Does Zero Trust Security Work?

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is an important aspect of Zero Trust Security model. ZTNA uses identity based authentication to establish trust before providing access while keeping the network location (IP address) hidden. ZTNA secures the environment by identifying anomalous behavior such as attempted access to restricted data or downloads of unusual amounts of data at unusual time or from unusual location.

Benefits OF Zero Trust Security:

  • Increased Resource Access Visibility: Zero Trust Security model provides organizations better visibility into who accesses what resources for what reasons and understand the measures that should be applied to secure resources.
  • Decreased Attack Surface: As Zero Trust Security model shifts the focus to securing individual resources, it reduces the risk of cyber-attacks that target network perimeter.
  • Improved Monitoring: Zero Trust Security model includes the deployment of a solution for continuous monitoring and logging of asset states and user activity. This helps in detection of potential threats in a timely manner.

Zero Trust and VPN are both types of network security and although they seem to have different approaches, these can be used in conjunction for a comprehensive security strategy. Organizations can use Zero Trust concepts and VPNs to delineate clear network perimeter and then create secure zones within the network.

At Centex Technologies, we recommend network security protocols and solutions to formulate an effective network security strategy. For more information, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

Protecting Your Computer Network: Tips To Configure Firewall

Firewall is a critical part of first line of defense against online attacks. This makes configuring firewall an important step for ensuring network security. Breaking down the process of firewall configuration into simpler steps can make the process more manageable.

Following are some crucial steps for firewall configuration irrespective of the firewall platform:

Ensure Firewall Is Secure: Securing firewall is the first step towards configuration and management of firewall. So, make sure to –

  • Disable simple network management protocol (SNMP)
  • Rename, disable or delete any default user account and modify default passwords.
  • Establish additional administrator accounts based on responsibilities, specifically if firewall will be managed by multiple administrators.

Create Firewall Zones & Corresponding IP Addresses: The more zones you establish, the higher will be network security. Before proceeding to defend valuable assets, it is first important to identify these assets and then plan out network structure to position networks based on functionality and data sensitivity. Now design a secure structure and create equivalent IP address structure. The next step is to architect firewall zones and allocate them to firewall interfaces.

Configure Access Control Lists (ACLs): After firewall zones have been created and allocated to firewall interfaces, the next step is to determine the traffic that will flow in and out of each zone. This is facilitated by Access Control Lists. Use both outbound & inbound ACLs to each interface and sub-interface on the network firewall.

Configure Other Firewall Services To Required Standards: Depending upon the chosen firewall platform and its abilities such as Intrusion Prevention System, Network Time Protocol, DHCP, etc, configure relevant firewall services and disable additional services.

Conduct Network Firewall Configuration Tests: Test the firewall configuration to testing and verify that the firewall is working as expected. Include both penetration testing and vulnerability scanning to test firewall configuration.

Constant Firewall Management: After completing firewall configuration, ensure secure firewall management. Take following steps to effectively manage firewall –

  • Perform Vulnerability Scans
  • Monitor Logs
  • Regularly Review Firewall Rules
  • Update Firmware
  • Document Progress

In addition to these crucial steps, implement following additional tips for firewall configuration:

  • Fulfill standard regulatory mandates
  • Frequently change configuration settings
  • Set default setting to block all traffic and monitor user access
  • Establish & use secure connection only

For more information on tips on how to protect your computer network from cyber-attacks, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

Understanding Network Security Threats

What Is A Network Security Attack?

A network security attack is an action or attempt aimed at gaining unauthorized access to an organization’s network. The objective of these attacks is to steal data or perform other malicious activity. Network attacks can be classified into two main types:

  • Passive Attack: In this type of attacks, attackers gain access to the organization’s network and monitor or steal data but without making any change to the data.
  • Active Attack: In an active attack, attackers not only gain unauthorized access to the data but also modify data by deleting, encrypting, or otherwise harming it.

The main focus of network security attackers is to bypass peripheral security of an organization and gain access to internal systems. But in some cases, attackers may combine other types of attacks such as endpoint compromise, malware induction, etc.

What Are Common Network Security Threats?

The types of network security threats are defined by the threat vectors used by the network security attackers to penetrate the network:

  • Unauthorized Access: The attackers gain access to the network without receiving legitimate permission. Some causes of unauthorized access are weak passwords, insufficient protection against social engineering, compromised accounts, and insider threats.
  • Distributed Denial of Service Attacks: Attacks build a network of bots and compromised devices to direct false traffic at the organization’s network or server. This overwhelms the server resulting in interruption of security layers.
  • Man In The Middle Attack: It involves interception of traffic between organization’s network and external sites. If the communication is insecure, attackers can circumvent the security and steal the data being transmitted.
  • Code & SQL Injection Attacks: Many websites accept user inputs through forms but do not sanitize them. Attackers fill out these forms or make an API call, passing malicious code instead of expected data values. Once the code is executed, it allows attackers to compromise the network.

What Are The Best Practices To Stay Protected Against Network Security Threats?

Following are some best practices to stay protected against network security threats:

  • Segregate the organization’s network
  • Regulate internet access via proxy server
  • Place security devices correctly
  • Use network address translation
  • Monitor network traffic
  • Use deception technology

For more information on things to know about network security threats, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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