Sophos. Network security best practices for any holiday season

It’s that time of year when people in many parts of the world are look forward to spending time with family, friends, and taking a bit of a break.  However, it’s also when bad actors, and adversaries switch into high gear, looking to take advantage of the fact that many networks are less utilized and less scrutinized over the holiday period. Ransomware attacks, to give just one example, typically increase at this time of year.

With that in mind, here are some quick and easy best practices to better protect your network while you take some well-deserved time out.

1. Shut down unneeded systems

This is especially important for any systems that offer RDP access as it is often used by adversaries as an entry point or tool to move laterally within a network. The same advice applies to IoT devices.  If they aren’t needed, shut them down for the holidays. If you really need to have some systems with RDP access enabled, double-check and then triple-check the security.

If you haven’t already, consider ZTNA to secure access to your RDP systems and other applications.  In fact, the holidays maybe the ideal time to start a Sophos ZTNA free trial for you and your team. At the very least, make sure any RDP solutions are protected with multi-factor authentication to prevent brute-forced or stolen credentials from being a point of compromise.

2. Update firewall and network infrastructure firmware

If you have a Sophos Firewall, we recently released v19.5 which includes a number of security enhancements, performance improvements, and new features such as:

  • Xstream FastPath TLS encrypted traffic inspection
  • SD-WAN load balancing
  • VPN performance improvements
  • High Availability enhancements
  • New Azure AD integration for secure login
  • And much more!

Regardless of your preferred vendor, make sure your firewall and other network infrastructure such as VPN concentrators, switches, and other devices are all running the latest release as they often contain important fixes for known vulnerabilities.

3. Call on Sophos Rapid Response if you experience an attack

If you experience an emergency incident over the holidays (or anytime), you can engage our fixed fee Sophos Rapid Response service. Our team of expert incident responders will help you triage, contain, and eliminate active threats, and remove all traces of the attackers from your network. Whether it is an infection, compromise, or unauthorized access attempting to circumvent your security controls, we have seen and stopped it all. Sophos Rapid Response is available 24/7/365, including over the holiday period.

Download the network security best practices whitepaper

For our full list of network security best practices to protect your network from ransomware, download our new whitepaper. In the meantime, I wish you a happy – and secure – holiday season!

Source: Sophos