Following best practices should really be a no-brainer but sometimes administrators managing security have a habit of forgetting one very important practice – that of letting technology help them. Too often, admins are bogged down by numerous manual tasks that could easily be automated – and in so doing, improve overall security and efficiencies. A network security scanner is one tool that should be in every network security best practice manual because it helps them follow best practices with minimal effort. Let’s see why.
1. Antivirus solutions are up-to-date:
It is good to have a desktop-based antivirus solution; this however will be of little use if for some reason your antivirus definition files are outdated. Making sure each machine has an updated antivirus package can be really time-consuming. Luckily, many good network security scanners can do that for you and automatically inform you when any antivirus definition fields are out-of-date.
2. Good patch management:
Performing proper patch management is tricky business. Deploying patches as they are made available might seem like the proper thing to do, especially since this will reduce the vulnerability window but patches change software at a core level. This can cause compatibility issues which, in turn, can cause downtime – just what you’re trying to avoid. For this reason patches need to be tested in an environment that mirrors your live environment as much as possible. A network security scanner can generally provide the information needed to be able to build such an environment.
Once patches are tested and deployed on the live environment, it is important to ensure they have been deployed successfully. Failing to do this verification can result in a false sense of security as the environment you’d believe is secured with the latest patches might actually be missing a patch that failed to be deployed.
A good network security scanner reduces the time required to do all the above, allowing the administrator to focus on more urgent tasks.
3. Change Management:
Some users will try, and manage, to get around company policies. They might do this with the best intentions by installing software to help them do their job more efficiently – even though software installs are not permitted. Or they might break the rules with intent. A good network security scanner can scan your machines and look for any change no matter what it might be. This can be very difficult, if at all possible, to do manually.
A good network security scanner can make the life of an administrator much easier because it allows them to follow many network security best practices with little effort. In security, doing the absolute minimum and not thinking things through properly can be as risky as ignoring security altogether. If time is an issue, implementing a network security scanner could give you a lot more breathing space.
This guest post was provided by Emmanuel Carabott on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. Discover what other benefits a network security scanner can offer your organization.
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