If you’ve ever been involved in a data leak, you’ll know how embarrassing and financially damaging these mishaps can be. Simply connecting devices to your network can leave it vulnerable to hackers, who could see what’s happening on your computer or steal valuable information from anywhere else. In this post, I’ll teach you the steps to follow when finding and fixing vulnerabilities in your network equipment that may cause data leaks.
How to find vulnerabilities in routers
You might often think about how to find vulnerabilities in routers. To do this, you have:
- To inspect them thoroughly.
- To think from a hacker’s point of view and understand the possible threats that could disrupt your system. This process can be very time-consuming especially if you have a large network. In case there are a lot of devices, you will have to set aside dedicated resources – both financial and human – for this task.
- If your company doesn’t have a network team or a separate IT department, the first thing you should do is start talking about this topic with your colleagues and other employees who use their own Internet connection at home or at work (e.g., sales or marketing teams).
Network Vulnerability Assessment And Management
Network vulnerability assessment and management tools are used to scan the security state of the network. Such software allows you to verify potential risks and identify issues, so you can fix them before hackers may exploit them.
The basic solutions available on the market are both cheap and efficient. You can use them if you want to investigate how vulnerable your network is without investing too much money in this process.
- Using an automated vulnerability assessment tool is simple, all you need to do is set up the scanning process and monitor its progress instead of doing everything yourself manually.
- In order to understand how to use a network vulnerability assessment tool, you have to read the product documentation carefully.
- As a general rule, these systems scan only the most crucial devices – firewalls and routers – but they can check devices such as printers, computers, and workstations, etc. It all depends on your requirements.
- You should know that bandwidth consumption is an important factor so you have to choose a solution that suits your company’s needs as well as your IT infrastructure capabilities.
When checking for vulnerabilities in your network equipment that may cause data leaks, you should always run security tests regularly.
Malware scanning protection
To protect your network from malware, you should do it from the very beginning. Regular malware scanning should protect you and save a lot of hassle later on. These solutions find out whether there are any potential threats on your network and will try to remove them automatically.
You should consider using dedicated security software if you have a small number of devices on your network because it could be too intensive for other functions such as monitoring and bandwidth consumption.
Network monitoring software
Network monitoring systems automatically detect devices connected to the network and what they’re doing. They also monitor bandwidth consumption, monitor system logs, and perform other checks that will let you know if there’s any problem with your device or the whole network.
This process will ensure that if a hacker does try to enter your network using malicious software, your company will be notified.
Network intrusion detection
Network intrusion detection systems (NIDS) monitor and report malicious and unexpected traffic (e.g., packets sent to or by unauthorized devices). You should always install such software on all your devices so you can detect any abnormal activity as soon as possible.
You should also think about installing at least two NIDS on all your routers, so you can monitor traffic coming from or going out of them as well as from the other devices on the network, such as computers and workstations, etc.
NIDS can be configured to notify you if their configuration gets tampered with by hackers. This way, you will be able to take immediate action and change it back to the original settings, if necessary.
Network access control tools
Using a network access control system (NAC) is a good approach in case you have a large number of workstations and other devices on your network that have limited or no security functions. Such software can identify users and their devices, allow them to gain access only if they pass several security tests, and examine what’s going on in the networks.
Four types of NAC systems are available:
- Firewall-based NAC: this solution uses a dedicated firewall-based server that monitors traffic from workstations and routers, so it can let only approved users from accessing the system.
- Packet filter-based NAC: this solution uses small devices (e.g., tablets or smartphones) to monitor traffic from workstations and routers, so it can let only approved users from accessing the system.
- Network access control (NAC) with NIDS: this solution combines firewall protection features with NIDS-based monitoring systems.
- Stunner (NAC) with NIDS: this solution is specific for small companies that don’t want to buy dedicated hardware or software. They can use their existing network equipment.
You should always communicate regularly with all department managers and employees. Their help is critical for your system’s security issues to be identified right away.
List of the best antivirus software tools
This list includes most best antivirus software tools I’ve found available on the market today. Included in this list are both free and paid antivirus solutions that will help you protect your data from cyber-attacks.
- Kaspersky Antivirus: This is a security solution specially designed for home users, however, it’s highly effective when it comes to removing malware from a computer or a device connected to your network. This is a very powerful tool that offers advanced protection against viruses and worms.
- Norton Internet Security: If you want to be sure that your computer is protected against the latest cyber threats, you should use Norton Internet Security. It provides good protection against viruses, worms, and other malicious software, so your data will be protected at all times.
- Kaspersky Internet Security: This tool is designed for both home users and small or medium businesses that don’t want to invest in an expensive solution. It offers solid protection against malware, viruses, and other threats that can come from your computer. The product can be installed on several devices at the same time, including smartphones and tablets.
- McAfee Internet Security: This tool is designed for home users only, however, it will be a good idea to install it on your company’s computers as well. It offers solid protection against viruses and cyber-attacks that try to steal personal or business data from a computer. The product can be installed on several devices at the same time, including smartphones and tablets.
In this article, I’ve described how your organization can better protect its information from cyber attacks. I’ve also listed some of the best antivirus tools that will help you to do this and I’ve recommended some free and paid solutions.
I hope that this article was helpful and that it will help you to protect your business or even your personal data from cyber-attacks.