The field of cybersecurity services can seem difficult to understand to folks who aren't versed in it. Every network security services provider uses a handful of skills to secure their clients' systems. Here, you can look at three concerns a professional has whenever they look at a network for the first time.
Every piece of software that runs on a system has to have some level of privileges to do its job. Computer professionals think of privileges as the basic rights of a program, such as the ability to read or write certain files. Privileges may go as high as executing programs or even changing the operating system.
It's important to make sure that, when a specific user runs a particular service or application, that everything is running with the lowest level of privileges possible. A good network security services technician will limit even their own privileges, only logging in with escalated privileges when necessary to do major tasks, such as updating the operating system.
Unnecessarily elevated privileges pose three dangers. First, an authorized user could do something by mistake, such as overwrite key operating system files. Second, an unauthorized user could gain control of a small part of the system and then use it to gain more control. Finally, a service or application could make unintended changes.
Controlling Open Ports
A port is a method that one computer uses to talk to another. For example, your email client might send a request to port 587 to ask a server to send it mail. This is perfectly normal behavior, but it has to be controlled. A server that promiscuously interacts with all requests on a port is an invitation to hackers. Likewise, you want to limit the number of ports on a machine to limit the number of potential hacking targets. Hackers scan ports to fish for easy opportunities.
Generally, a cybersecurity services technician will close all unused ports. Similarly, they will limit access of ports to only the IP addresses needed to let your organization do its job.
Running unpatched software is another open invitation to hostile parties. If you have an operating system that hasn't been updated in two years, that's two years' worth of potential unpatched vulnerabilities that a hacker can test. They might easily peel up the corner of your network security by finding, for example, an unpatched Wi-Fi protocol that allows them to gain access to your network. For this reason, a professional will update all of the systems on a network.