Network and system security is an issue that every business and administrator should take very seriously. After all, without strong security policies, plans and strategies, it won’t take long for you to recover from a catastrophe that could leave your data in exposure to ne-do-wells (or worse).
Anyone in this industry fully understands that it is only a matter of time before a company can deal with security breaches. But you must consider what you can do to alleviate such situations. To that end, what tools should your administrators know about protecting your company, systems, users, and data?
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I have a short list of five types of tools your administrators need to know (and use) to keep tabs on your desktop, servers, and networks. With this listing, you’ll be able to integrate a toolkit that is perfectly suited to help you build a solid foundation for your company’s security.
With that said, let’s get on with the list.
Pentesting tools (aka penetration testing tools) are essential for measuring the security of your system. These tools mimic a variety of attacks on your devices to see if they can breach your set of defenses. These tests will reveal weaknesses that you would never know otherwise. If your company has not already hired a Pentaster (otherwise known as an ethical hacker) this is a position you must consider. Why? Because administrators may not have time to learn the ins and outs of Pentecost, or they may not have the time to run this type of work regularly.
There are plenty of Pentasting tools (such as Metasplot, John the Ripper, Hashcat, Hydra, Burp Suite, Z Attack Proxy, Scalmap, and AirCrack-NG), however, your best bet might be to use a full-fledged operating system. The system is specifically designed for penetration testing (such as ink Linux), which will include most of the Pentasting tools you will need for successful vulnerability testing.
Security Auditor / Vulnerability Assessment
While a good Pentasting distribution will include most of what you need to assess your vulnerabilities, you may not have the staff with the knowledge or skills to use those tools. In that case, you can go to a security auditor / vulnerability assessment tool. While Pentasting allows your administrators to run very specific tests against your system, these tools are more common and will run extensive, sweeping tests against your operating system, and applications installed for vulnerabilities.
One of the advantages of auditor / assessment tools is that many of them will report to you in a way that you can solve the problems at hand. Some auditor / vulnerability tools will even show vulnerabilities in CVE (which will allow you to do more research on how the problem (s) can be solved. , SolarWinds Network Vulnerability Detection, Tripwire IP360, Nessus Professional, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, Acunetix, ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus and Intruder.
For those who have never scanned the network, you’ll be amazed at how much traffic is coming and going on your network. Most of that traffic is probably legitimate… but not entirely. How do you say which one? One way is to use a network scanner. These tools make it possible for you to not only view all of your network traffic, but also track specific packets, view only specific machines or source / destination IP addresses.
A network scanner is an absolute must for any security administrator who wants to keep their network as secure as possible. While these tools do not suggest solutions or reveal software vulnerabilities, they do a great job of helping security professionals track systems that have been targeted by hackers and can (sometimes) lead you to the source of the hacking. Some of the best network scanners include Wireshark, nmap, Site24x7 Network Monitor, PRTG Network Monitor, Angry IP Scanner, IP Scanner by Spiceworks.
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A firewall should be considered an absolute must. With a firewall on your network, you can block certain traffic (coming or going), blacklist specific IP addresses or domains, and prevent unwanted traffic / packets from entering your system. Of course, most operating systems have their own firewalls, but some are either too complex or not strong enough to meet your company’s growing demand. If you see this, you may want to consider installing a firewall device specifically designed to protect your network.
While these devices can be expensive, the results they provide are often worth the cost. For enterprise business, a firewall becomes even more important (especially with sensitive company / client data within your network). The best firewall devices on the market include Cisco ASA, Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks Next-generation PA series, Cisco Meraki MX and Zscaler Internet Access.
Unauthorized entry detection
Intrusion detection is exactly what it sounds like একটি a tool to alert admins when an intruder is identified within a network or system. Many of these tools go unnoticed and automatically lock suspicious IP addresses (for example, after the X number of failed login attempts).
The intrusion detection system monitors network traffic for suspicious activity and works according to how they are configured. These automated systems are a great first line of defense against hackers, but should not be considered as the best for your security. Set up an IDS and let it do its job, but realize that every piece of software is wrong (that is, you want to assign other types of protection). However, having a good intrusion detection system working for you is an absolute must as the first line of defense. Some of the best IDS include CrowdStrike Falcon, Snort, Fail 2 Ban, AIDE, OpenWIPS-NG, Samhain and Security Onion.