“As each organisation’s IT system is different” regardless of how it looks, any mistakes when it comes to the Installation or Configuration of Networks, Servers, and other Infrastructure can cause a ripple effect through your entire organisation. Therein security of network devices is crucial for the operations of an organization. A single compromise may result in a huge loss of revenue and productivity.
What is a Secure Configuration Review?
The review intends to identify a portion of the network, assign a threat rating to each portion, and apply an appropriate level of security. It will identify the risks to the network, network resources, and data. It aims to help maintain a workable balance between security and required network access.
The IT policy of an organization should ensure that the network devices are configured with security in mind. As security misconfigurations are one of the most common gaps that criminal hackers look to exploit. Therefore, organizations need regular quarterly conduct Security Configuration Review of network and app infrastructure, for security measures that are implemented when building and installing computers and network devices in order to reduce unnecessary cyber vulnerabilities.
It plays a very important role, as a detailed review and verification of configuration settings of IT infrastructure components including systems, network devices & applications to measure the security effectiveness of the IT environment.
Typically, when deploying, maintaining or enhancing computing systems/network/network security devices, the expected secure configuration settings may not be implemented or maybe missed. Any poorly configured component of the IT environment then becomes a weak link that may allow adversaries to gain unauthorized access, leading to possible outages and security breaches.
- Default configurations of new software: Manufacturers often set the default configurations of new software and devices to be as open and multi-functional as possible. In the case of a router, for example, this could be a predefined password, or in the case of an operating system, it could be the applications that come preinstalled.
- Lack of reviewing – It’s easier and more convenient to start using new devices or software with their default settings, but it’s not the most secure. Accepting the default settings without reviewing them can create serious security issues, and can allow cyber attackers to gain easy, unauthorized access to your data.
- Web server and application server – Configurations play a crucial role in cyber security. Failure to properly configure your server’s each aspect from web to any application can lead to a wide variety of security problems.
- Computers and network devices should also be configured to minimize the number of inherent vulnerabilities and provide only the services required to fulfil their intended function.
Therefore, periodically evaluating the secure configuration of the IT environment is vital to ensure ongoing security within the organization. A typical secure configuration review activity is conducted in a white-box mode where the assessment team has access to the in-scope IT infrastructure configuration files to identify misconfigurations. Making sure that one’s data is secure and prompted towards safety. along with more advanced features.
- Reduction in risk of the network device compromise, and subsequent loss of revenue & productivity
- Extends the connectivity to achieve business objectives without sacrificing security
- Verification of the operating condition and the effectiveness of your security configuration and rule sets
- Establishment of a baseline for best security practices
- Ensuring the investment in security to increase effectiveness
Ways of prevention:
- Remove and disable unnecessary user accounts
- Change default or guessable account passwords to something non-obvious
- Remove or disable unnecessary software
- Disable any auto-run feature that allows file execution without user authorization and
- Authenticate users before enabling Internet-based access to commercially or personally sensitive data, or data critical to the running of the organization.
The notions of threats and harm, vulnerabilities, attacks and attackers, and countermeasures has always made attackers leverage threats that exploit vulnerabilities against valuable assets to cause us harm, but with proper knowledge and use of software we can devise countermeasures to eliminate means and opportunity as secure configuration review would identify the risks to the network, network resources, and data beforehand and save you from damage and conserve your time.
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