Now these days, network security and electronic information go hand-in-hand for almost all businesses. Computer systems are now commonplace for storing important data and files. Industry regulations have some specific standards for them, including risk assessments and network security implementation. If right measures are not put in place and proper network security assessments not conducted on regular basis, a hacker or cyber criminal can enter your network system to usurp all important data and possibly exploit it.
The security of network, regardless of industry standards, comprises all tasks for protecting the data, including physical, technical, and social. Particularly, SMEs are more susceptible to the security threats, and to take precautions, such companies need to go through network risk assessments on regular basis.
A network security assessment involves social engineering, penetration testing, and proper audits of vulnerabilities. Security weak areas allow cyber criminals to enter and a network auditor tests these weak points. While checking your network system, the engineer may interview employees to perform vulnerability scans, test judgment, use ethical hacking techniques, examine operating system settings, and analyze past cyber attacks. As he examines these security aspects of your network, the following data is collected:
- The way network security policies are implemented and used
- Access all the control lists and their location
- Auditing of logs and their proper review
- System passwords and how easy they are to retrieve
- Security settings
- Compliance with best practices of industry, such as FFIEC or HIPAA
- Unnecessary applications and their un-installation
- Security of operating systems, including their consistency and updation
- Data backups, like how all data is stored, if it is up-to-date, and how easy it’s to access
- A network disaster management plan, if one is in place
- Configuration of cryptographic tools for the data encryption
- Any customized applications and if they according to the network security policies
- Documentation and review of code changes and configuration
- Review of past security breaches
After the assessment of all these aspects, an elaborative report is produced. This report enlists all the security vulnerabilities which are found along the perimeter and provides proper solutions for the mitigating the possible security risks. While network risks can never be eliminated, they can be mitigated to make the intrusion of hackers far more difficult.
Risk assessments with a reputed network security auditing company in India on regular basis are recommended for all types of businesses. However, the frequency in which they are required depends on the frequency of security and network updates. For maximum effectiveness, assessment of network risk should be performed whenever these structures are upgraded or modified.