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 analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, Bob also conducts security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. Bob also teaches Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. Bob works as an instruction for CompTIA’s non-profit IT-Ready Program in the Twin Cities. IT-Ready is a tuition free 8-week program designed to teach students of all ages the fundamentals of IT support to prepare them for an entry level position in Information Technology Support. Graduates of the classes take the exams to become CompTIA A+ certified. Bob is a frequent speaker at conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. Bob has been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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