Cybercriminals love to target networks, both on-prem and cloud-based to find new ways to gain access to corporate information assets. As network topographies becoming increasingly complex, the challenge of ensuring security becomes magnitudes more difficult. That is the a network security assessment should be one of your most significant elements of your security strategy.
What Is A Network Security Assessment?
It’s no secret that networks are the backbone of all IT infrastructure and with the expansion of and acceptance of cloud-based services, the potential risks magnify significantly for both on-prem and cloud-based infrastructure. This brings a spotlight on network security is all of its forms. SANS defines network security as:
“Network security is the process of taking physical and software preventative measures to protect the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized access, misuse, malfunction, modification, destruction, or improper disclosure, thereby creating a secure platform for computers, users, and programs to perform their permitted critical functions within a secure environment.”
Amy Larsen DeCarlo wrote a TechTarget blog titled “Find network security vulnerabilities by assessing risk” and suggests:
“IT staff needs to regularly review network security vulnerabilities and security gaps to battle rising cybersecurity breaches and keep costs under control through risk assessments.”
The article goes on to also talk about why a network security assessment is valuable:
“Through a risk assessment, the enterprise defines the most perilous internal and external threats to its business and outlines what controls and protections are in place. A risk assessment also requires a thorough asset inventory -- systems, network infrastructure technology and nontechnology assets -- including what business services those resources support and which stakeholders are charged with maintaining them.”
4 Steps To an Effective Network Security Assessment
Truly effective Network Security Assessments examine the environment from the external view to identify vulnerabilities that may allow access to confidential areas of a network, allow a denial of service to be performed, or obtain sensitive internal information. The results will reveal risks to your systems and networks that attackers could find and exploit.
Truly effective Network Security Assessments will also accommodate:
- IP Ranges and Test Blocks: you should start your network assessment by defining the IP ranges and/or blocks to be tested and defining a timeline for conducting the engagement, which includes testing times and notification methods.
- Root Cause Analysis: you should perform a thorough review of the network infrastructure, provide root cause analysis, and uncover recommendations for mitigating each issue.
- Custom & Open Source Tools: You can feel comfortable using open source tools to perform reconnaissance and information gathering on the in-scope hosts. This will uncover information including frameworks and languages in use, developer information, hosting provider, host information, etc.
- Analyze Vulnerabilities: You should also perform network analysis by mapping and scanning for open ports, assessing network isolation, and fingerprinting services and application versions. After analysis, you should attempt to exploit discovered vulnerabilities when possible.
It’s no secret that network security assessments generate unique challenges for securing your on-prem and cloud infrastructure. The sheer number of configurations alone can be daunting. Weigh that against all of your other DevSecOps priorities and you will probably come to the conclusion that talking with an experienced partner would be a great first step.
Network Security Assessments Made Simple
We have blogged before on Why 6 Security Assessments are Better Than 1 as well as how to handle security assessments for mobile and IoT specifically, so you should check out that to expand your research if you haven’t read it already. Once you’ve caught up on that, you will be ready to see how network assessments can further protect your security posture.
nVisium empowers organizations to eliminate application and cloud security vulnerabilities before cyber threats exploit them with proven in-depth security assessments, remediation and training programs. Our experienced team of security-savvy developers and engineers guide organizations to build best practices with high ROI into their engineering and secure development lifecycles across applications, operating systems, networks, mobile, cloud and IoT through services, software solutions and R&D unique to business operations and compliance initiatives. Additionally, nVisium provides a fully managed platform for tracking and measuring performance as well as instructor-led and online training.
Your on-premise, cloud, and hybrid network environments are under continuous attack. Our network security assessments explore the digital footprint of an organization and rigorously tests your organization’s defenses ability to withstand attacks and prevent a compromise. Our penetration testers emulate a sophisticated attacker and exploit your networked devices, endpoints, and servers to reduce risks before breaches occur. Give us a call when you start your Network security strategy update or better yet, schedule a consultation today or download our new eBook titled “Demystifying DevSecOps” to get started yourself.