Network security is a primary concern for organisations in today’s marketplace. With many businesses operating across borders, and the ubiquity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture in offices around the world, the potential for security breaches is massive. Like most things, though, holistic network security starts with having a solid foundation. Your router configuration is one of the most important places to start if you want to build your network from the ground up with security in mind.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some router configuration tips for optimal network security.
Keep your router configurations standardised
Standardising your router configuration might not seem like much of a security solution, but it goes a long way towards securing the flow of data around your network. Make sure that all your routers use the same banner information, the same disclaimers, and a uniform naming convention that is easy to understand. Standardising your router configuration not only makes network security more robust, it also makes correcting any issues easy, regardless of where in your environment a problem may arise. Once uniformity is achieved, it then becomes easy to spot – and resolve – abnormalities as they occur.
Security policies should be uniform across all devices
BYOD culture has become an intrinsic feature of 21st century office culture. Many network managers take an iron fist approach to devices in the workplace, but it isn’t necessary to exile every unsolicited mobile phone or tablet that enters your office – in fact, encouraging productive use of brought devices is likely to make your staff happier and more efficient. With Network Monitoring Software, it’s possible to universally apply security policies to all devices on your network without configuring each individually, saving your IT department time and eliminating the chance of finger error. The trick, it seems, is to find the sweet spot between flexibility and securing your environment. If this is achieved, your business can perform significantly better with the added knowledge that its information assets are safe and sound.
Always keep your router tidy
Keeping security policies uniform across your environment is only one way of safeguarding against security threats, and while it might be important, it’s part of an overarching methodology on good network management: keep everything in your environment as tidy as possible. Implementing the right router configuration is essential, but there are various components that you’ll have to consider:
- Maintain well-defined QoS conventions
Quality of Service (QoS) conventions are important in optimising capacity planning, but they also have a secondary security benefit: restricting bandwidth on unwanted traffic like bulk downloads and streaming media will result in less time spent on potentially unsecured sites, therefore reducing your network’s exposure to security breaches. For a guideline on good QoS practices, read our blog on the importance of QoS settings for your environment.
- Keep naming conventions clear and consistent
When you’re managing a large-scale Wide-Area Network (WAN) that relies on many network devices across potentially vast physical distances, it’s vital to use a naming convention that makes it easy to tell which device you’re dealing with at a glance. If your environment relies on Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF), having an unregulated naming convention will quickly result in a tangle of virtual servers and devices that may take a considerable amount of time and money to fix. Read our blog about the importance of good naming conventions here.
- Track your incoming and outgoing data
Arguably the most important aspect of keeping your network secure is staying well-informed. Using a Network Management Software suite that aligns with the needs of your network will allow you to understand the way data flows in your environment, making it easy to identify problems and apply solutions. To see how IRIS’ Network Management Software could benefit your organisation, feel free to request a demo today.
- Use a single listen address for your routers
Lastly, it’s important to assign a single listen address for all the routers in your environment. Having a single “block” of IP address space makes it easy to understand what’s happening in your network at a glance, and results in less time spent trying to navigate your own environment.
IRIS offers a scalable, flexible Network Management solution
IRIS is a trusted supplier of Network Management Software that can help you optimise your router configuration, network security, capacity planning and more. IRIS offers a flexible and responsive IPAM (Internet Protocol Address Management) tool that can cater to the needs of any network, regardless of scale or complexity. To find out more, visit the IRIS IPAM product page.
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