Information Security … A Guide For Business#5 Do you know who is accessing your network?

Ten practical lessons businesses can learn from the FTC’s (business.ftc.gov) 50+ data security settlements.  This is part #5 for our Information Security: A Guide For Business … Segmenting Your Network and Monitoring Who is Trying to Get In and Out!

#5  Segment Your Network and Monitor Who’s Trying to Get In and Out!

When designing your network, consider using tools like firewalls to segment your network, thereby limiting access between computers on your network and between your computers and the internet. Another useful safeguard: intrusion detection and prevention tools to monitor your network for malicious activity. Here are some lessons from FTC cases to consider when designing your network.

Segment your network.

Not every computer in your system needs to be able to communicate with every other one. You can help protect particularly sensitive data by housing it in a separate secure place on your network. That’s a lesson from the DSW case. The FTC alleged that the company didn’t sufficiently limit computers from one in-store network from connecting to computers on other in-store and corporate networks. As a result, hackers could use one in-store network to connect to, and access personal information on, other in-store and corporate networks. The company could have reduced that risk by sufficiently segmenting its network.

Monitor activity on your network.

“Who’s that knocking on my door?” That’s what an effective intrusion detection tool asks when it detects unauthorized activity on your network. In the Dave & Buster’s case, the FTC alleged that the company didn’t use an intrusion detection system and didn’t monitor system logs for suspicious activity. The FTC says something similar happened in Cardsystem Solutions. The business didn’t use sufficient measures to detect unauthorized access to its network. Hackers exploited weaknesses, installing programs on the company’s network that collected stored sensitive data and sent it outside the network every four days. In each of these cases, the businesses could have reduced the risk of a data compromise or its breadth by using tools to monitor activity on their networks.