Opening Our Network Security Playbook

With all the ransomware and security exploits running around these days, we have been very busy strengthening our defenses. For the month of April I am committed to sharing some of our best practices around network security to raise awareness. Here goes:

  1. STANDARDIZATION - We are big believers of standardization for many reasons. When it comes to security, it is very important that you are managing the least amount of vendors' products as possible. It is hard to be an expert in one vendor’s products, let alone many. The particular product that you choose is not as important as taking the stance of insuring that you standardize on it across your client base or fleet. Once you decide on your vendors, try to leverage their feature sets as much as possible and continually engage the vendor for best practices.
  2. CENTRAL MANAGEMENT - Security solutions that can be centrally managed from one pane of glass will save you precious time and allow you to focus on bolstering security. Solutions such as Watchguard WSM or Sonicwall GMS are excellent examples of firewall management solutions. They both offer excellent feature sets that allow you to manage 100s of firewalls with the least amount of administrative effort. Most firewall management solutions will also allow you to use templates for the configurations that will help you avoid mistakes that can expose you to very dangerous security risks.
  3. CONSTANT REFINEMENT - It is very important to constantly refine and improve your playbook. We spend a substantial amount of time mining the data that we collect from our firewall infrastructure, monitoring tools and endpoint security to look for ways that we can add additional layers of protection that will not impact our end users. Most organizations that find themselves in the middle of a security nightmare have stopped investing in tightening their defenses.

I am very excited about the discussions that will come out of sharing some of our best practices. Hopefully some of our hard earned lessons will help others build a ten foot brick wall between them and the bad guys.