Network Security: How You Can Improve It Today
Some practical advice for system administrators from Perspective Risk’s network security expert Neil Gibb.*
Post the recent WannaCry ransomware attack which struck at the heart of the NHS and big names in the private sector, it’s become clear that the basics of network security are often widely overlooked. This enabled a relatively old virus to be used against systems that should have been made secure a long time before.
Of course there are challenges. The fast moving world of IT propels sysadmins into a maelstrom of choices. You are required to be skilled and imaginative, and there are myriad options for configuring your network. Faced with this heady cocktail and a heavy workload, it can be easy to forget the simple things you can do to keep your network secure
Is there one thing a systems administrator can do to improve their network’s security? The answer to this is yes, and the good news is it’s simpler than you think.
Going Back To Basics with Your Network’s Security
My advice is to go back to the basics by keeping your network up to date. Installing patches and ensuring systems are up to date is one of the most important tasks a systems administrator can perform. And, because it’s straightforward, it’s achievable.
When listening to many sysadmins, I often observe that more importance is given to advanced configuration tasks. The fundamentals, which can be seen as boring, lose out to the sexier tasks or are buried under the day’s load.
The truth of the matter is these basic jobs are the bread and butter of a network. They hold far more importance than all other configuration tasks. Give me mundane and tedious to the horror of finding out my network has been hacked any day. And knowing it happened because you didn’t update an operating system or install a patch takes that clammy feeling to a whole new level.
So, to conclude, my advice for the one thing you can do to keep your network secure is prioritise updates and patching. Pin this task to the top of your daily to-do list and deal with it before you’ve drained your first mug of coffee. Then you will be free to move on to the cool stuff with peace of mind.
If you would like team PR’s help with your network security, feel free to contact us today.
*Neil Gibb was employed by the IT Lab group at the time of writing.