Network security is a big concern for many institutions in
today’s world. Businesses are wary of having their systems broken into by
malicious actors. So they invest a lot of money in tools and strategies meant
to keep their networks safe.
The best way to take on the threat from vulnerable networks
is to plug those vulnerabilities. But you won’t be able to do this unless you
know how to find those loopholes. You will want a clearly defined, stepwise
procedure for identifying issues with the network and fixing them quickly.
That’s what a network
audit checklist affords you. You can document the screening process for
your networks, and note the steps that need to be taken. The aim here is to make
sure every possible weak point is examined. The more items on that list you’re
able to tick as completed, the fewer the sources of risk you don’t know
Network audits aren’t just about spotting security lapses.
They could also help you find out why your network is slow or coverage is
If you are drawing up a network audit checklist, you should
include these five things and make sure to check on them.
There are many possible points through which malicious actors
could break into your networks. You want to fix the gaps in those points before
anyone exploits them. Some of the things you should be checking are the devices
on your network, third party applications, and the strength of passwords being
used on the network.
Another concern will be the means of access to your private
WiFi. See if external devices can get into your main WiFi networks. Scan all possible access points, including
those on bands other than what your company uses.
Penetration tests (also called ‘pen testing’) offer network
engineers a way to ascertain the weak points in the network setup. Here, you
make a mock attempt at hacking into your own systems and devices (ethical
hacking). If they hold up against your attempts, they pass the test. If they
don’t, you’ll have to fix the weaknesses exposed by the test.
Your checklist for network vulnerabilities should include a
procedure for conducting penetration tests.
2. Bandwidth Issues
If your bandwidth isn’t adequate to carry the data that your
devices take in and give out, your network
performance will be slower than it should be.
Know how your network is sharing your bandwidth across its
various points. Find out what devices are consuming the most bandwidth.
Ascertain whether users or hardware are taking up more data than they should be
doing. If you find instances where resources could be used more efficiently,
come up with a plan that can make this happen.
The focus here is freeing up clogged channels so that data
transmission is quickened, and overall network speeds improve.
3. Bring Your Own
Device (BYOD) Policy
Perhaps your organization allows its staff to use their own
devices at work. This could mean that they connect these devices to your
network, to access files, and collaborate on projects. However, you can’t
always be sure that their devices are as secure as you hope they would be.
If employees' systems are vulnerable, those systems could
become conduits through which malware or malicious actors can get into your
That’s why you should make a review of your BYOD (Bring Your
Own Device) policy part of your network audit process. And if you don’t already
have a policy guiding this, be sure to draw one up. Your employees should know
how to connect safely to your networks.
You probably need to track the effects of non-company
devices linking to your networks. Network monitoring software could help in
4. Data and File Security
Where do you or your employees keep sensitive data? Are
those storage points safe? And who you should have access to your
organization’s sensitive information?
A data and file security audit should help you answer these
questions. This audit should begin with a reversal of folder settings to
‘private.’ This should be followed by a review of the trustworthiness of the
persons in your organization, and whether they must have access to high-value
data. You can reassign access to persons who meet your trust and relevance
Ideally, only devices configured for authentication by the
network security apparatus should be able to get into the company’s files. The
screening post of a VPN
(Virtual Private Network) is also a must.
You should store sensitive data in encrypted folders, away
from regular data.
5. Network Infrastructure
Audit the components of your network infrastructure: cables,
switches, access points, firewalls, etc.
There are two ways to test software that deals with
sensitive information: static testing and dynamic testing. Static tests examine
the code of the software program while it’s not running. Active tests involve
checking software code for vulnerabilities while it’s running.
Another thing you need to have is a network map. It’s a
visual representation of the devices on your network and how they are
connected. With it, you can tell where problems with network traffic could be
coming from, and quickly act to fix them.
6. Network Activity
Sometimes, a potential vulnerability could be missed due to
an inefficient network activity logging process, or if there’s no logging
process at all.
You can correct this lapse by setting up a network activity
logging process. You could also outsource security incident and events
management to a managed
IT service firm such as Layer3.
If you want to protect your data and files and keep your
networks in the best shape, a network audit checklist is a tool you should
have. With it, you can spot looming problems in your networks and fix them
before they cause you to lose your data, files, and money.
Layer3 is helping companies
in various industries secure their networks. Besides providing expert advice,
it also manages their network infrastructure so they can devote more time to
their core business.
If you would like Layer3 to help you with managing and
securing your networks, click here to contact us.
let’s Journey A Bit Into The Past, Just Before Wireless ...
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04 Aug 2020
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