4 Things you must have to Protect against an Attack on your Network

As an IT Consultant we come across instances everyday of networks being compromised. A majority of these disruptions are due to dental practices with insufficient protection in place for their networks. A single security solution such as anti-virus will not entirely protect you from a malicious attack. You need multiple lines of defense to ensure proper coverage when securing your network.

To Safeguard your Network against attack we always recommend the following Solutions:

4 Lines of Defense:

  1. A Backup Solution & Monthly Monitoring An off-site backup solution is recommended if your network should be attacked. If you don’t have a backup in place you could be in jeopardy of losing all your data. We recommend a monthly monitoring solution to ensure backups occur every 60 minutes in case of attack. With this in place you only lose 60 minutes of data vs. potentially losing all of your network data.
  2. A Correctly Configured Firewall Hardware Device provides several forms of protection at the edge of your network. Intrusion Prevention scans all network traffic for worms, Trojans, software vulnerabilities, backdoor exploits and other types of malicious attacks. Gateway anti-virus and anti-spyware block potential threats before reaching the network. This helps to protect your organization from the latest global threats with dynamically updated databases and an extensive list of virus and malware signatures. Geo-IP filtering can actually block all traffic coming from certain countries. Application filtering can stop all traffic from specified applications like bittorrent or TOR networks.
  3. A Content Filtering Subscription screens and excludes access to websites that are known to contain content that is potentially threatening. This subscription dynamically updates in real time, to not only block malware, botnets and phishing over any port, protocol or app, but also to detect and contain advanced attacks before they can cause damage.
  4. An Anti-Virus Subscription and Monitoring. The above solutions protect communications between computers, but what about files on the computer itself? A properly configured anti-virus will scan USB keys as they are inserted, and check to verify the safety of the files residing on your computers already. Anti-virus software is good to have but if not managed actively it can be turned off by users and updates can be ignored. Managed/monitored anti-virus ensures that definitions are updated and scans take place that don't disrupt work flow.

Without "all four" of these Solutions in place you are exposing yourself to threats.

At Dental PC we reference your Home Security as a good Analogy to Network Security.

  • You have a fence around your home to keep out 10% of intruders out
  • A security system is put in place to keep out another 45%
  • Security cameras are installed to protect another 25% of your asset
  • A safe inside your home covers the final 15%
  • Homeowner self-precautions and awareness of surroundings makes up the remaining 5%

By taking all these precautionary steps you essentially reduce your exposure to theft, the same goes for your Network. The more layers of defense the more secure you are.

The Diagram Below Represents the 4 Lines of Defense Necessary for a Secure Network.

Note on the Diagram that with these 4 Lines of Defense you are 95% Covered. So what about the remaining 5%? This requires User Education. Insufficient education of your staff could expose yourself to threats such as downloading unsanctioned software’s, opening unknown emails and clicking on attachments, visiting unapproved sites, etc. We recommend you regularly educate and reinforce network security to your staff to ensure you have all your bases covered.

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Remember, your practice needs a layered line of defense for protection, there is no silver bullet to secure your network.

For more information on how to implement these 4 Solutions in your office contact us today!