Securing Networking Infrastructure Against Global Threats

Just how secure are the servers, routers and other high end hardware that is running the global Internet?  This is a question posed in a pair of recent articles from US-CERT, the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team.

Because of the significant skills and capabilities of organized cyber-criminals, politically motivated hacker collectives, nation-state cyber armies and similar threat sources, operators of global network systems face significant threats.

In order to mitigate these threats, US-CERT recommends:

  • Segmenting and segregating networks and functions.
  • Limiting lateral communication pathways.
  • Hardening network devices by using cybersecurity best practices.
  • Using out-of-band network management methodologies.
  • Validate hardware and software integrity.

A big part of the problem is associated with home and small business network routers and smart IoT devices that are lacking basic security solutions such as built in anti-malware software, proper identity and authentication mechanisms, and secure encryption.  These devices are rarely replaced by when they are out of service life, and are not generally automatically patched.

Solutions include:

  • Changing default passwords
  • Using longer passwords
  • Avoiding passwords that are on “worst password” blacklists
  • Make sure passwords are properly salted and hashed using strong encryption.
  • Disabling remote administration

You can read the following articles for more information and specific instructions.

More information:

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

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