December 17, 2007 - The year 2008 is expected to continue the 2007 trend of increasing size, scope and concentration of attacks on computer networks nationwide.


To protect computer networks from compromise, here are the top eight 2008 New Year's resolutions any diligent network manager should make and keep in the year ahead, according to Perimeter eSecurity:


  1. Implement comprehensive patch management. Invest in a patch management solution offering full visibility into your network and covering all operating systems and vendors.
  2. Conduct employee security awareness training. Choose a training program that offers up-to-date courses, ensures users understand policies and procedures and provides reporting to management.
  3. Utilize host-based intrusion prevention systems (HIPS). Consider host-based intrusion prevention (HIPS) that can monitor your system by looking for anomalous behavior, applications attempting to be installed, user escalation and other nonstandard events.
  4. Perform network, operating system and application-level testing. It is important to perform testing at the application level.
  5. Employ URL filtering. Organizations that still allow employees to browse the Web freely should understand and confront the risks of doing so. Web browsing opens a large window to viral attacks. A better alternative is to proactively manage sites that employees are allowed to surf, limiting them to safe, approved sites from reputable Web publishers.
  6. Centralize desktop protection. Make sure you have centralized management and reporting.
  7. Enforce a robust policy management system. For some, policy management means enforcing complex passwords that change regularly. For others, it is restricted access from the administrator controls on a workstation. Still others think this is a way of reporting on anti-virus updates, patch levels and operating system service pack levels. Implement a robust policy management system which includes all of the above at a minimum.
  8. Adopt an extrusion management solution. Take the first step, which might simply be an email content filtering solution that will allow you to monitor for sensitive data being sent through simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP).

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