I am sure you have heard all of the above used when talking about network security. Before we get into all of that, let’s talk about the real, tangible world for a moment.
Do you have an office, house or apartment? If I asked you to think about protecting it from break–in, you might think about locks, doors, gates, fences, cameras and guard houses. Believe it or not, you are pretty much on track to understanding the basics of network perimeter security.
Opportunities are available to you by doing business on the Internet. You might be able to automate sales by allowing your customers to purchase using a webpage, or perhaps you can automate customer service by using a Customer Relationship Management system. In any case, you want to be sure that your systems are protected when making them available to customers, suppliers, employees and consultants.
In the electronic world, the people looking to break in might be sitting in a foreign country half-way across the world. I am sure you have seen the email from someone you don't even know who is related to the dead oil minister that just happened to put 30 million dollars in a Swiss bank account. They need your help to get the money and they will even cut you in for 10%. All you need to do is send them a small fee to get started ;-)
You might think that your business has nothing to offer these people. Customer information, credit card transactions and disrupting your business is what makes these people tick. I am sure that you have seen articles in the newspapers which mention how Company X or Government Agency Y has lost a laptop with the private information of 50,000 of their employees.
Who is liable? Did they do everything to protect themselves or just let the laptops out of the door with the information? How can I prevent something like this happening to me?
In the real, tangible world, there are various strategies, procedures and products that you can put into place to secure your house, office and apartment. In the electronic world, the same holds true. You might have a gate around your building today—in the electronic world—you might need a firewall. In the real world, a guard house and in the electronic world—an intrusion detection system. The concepts are similar enough to understand. Now of course, it's not really this easy–but with the right partner it could be.
You need a partner who can come in and help you understand your risks. Other companies might call this a risk assessment. We call it a common sense way to understand your exposure based on your business needs. You need to protect certain items, like having a safe in the office to put your daily receipts. Some companies might call that a hardened systems strategy. We can talk routers, dial-up, switches, wireless networking, firewalls, intrusion detection, virtual private networks and network security assessments but we think that you would rather talk about how to improve your business and help you make larger profits.