15 Quick Security Wins for Your Network - Page 2

 By Paul Rubens
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The following advice doesn't fall into the category of "quick wins," but is worth considering:

1. Secure Network Engineering

Advice: If you are starting from scratch, make sure your network is secure by design. This implies looking for single points of failure, and building in "choke points" you can monitor.

2. Penetration Tests and Red Team Exercises

Advice: Carry these out regularly, from inside and outside the network perimeter. Use your own staff, automated tools, and outside consultants as well. Remember, a penetration  test that finds no vulnerabilities tells you nothing.

3. Incident Response Capability

Advice: Make written preparations in advance so you can react quickly and efficiently during an incident, instead of going in to panic mode and risking making the wrong decisions and making things worse.

4. Data Recovery Capability

Advice: Make sure backups are performed regularly and are stored offline and offsite. Backups should include applications and operating systems as well as data.

5. Security Skills Assessment and Appropriate Training to Fill Gaps

Advice: Just half an hour of training per year explaining how to choose a secure password and why, or why clicking on email attachments from unknown sources is a bad idea,  can pay huge security dividends.

For more formal, detailed advice for each of these controls, visit SANS' 20 Critical Security Controls - Version 2.1 guidelines.

This article was originally published on Nov 4, 2009
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