Sometimes, after a long day, I just need to curl up with a nice blanket on a cold and stormy night to help feel extra secure. Of course, my pit bull helps, as well. Occasionally, whether it’s an actual blanket or something else, we all need that feeling of comfort. Do I ever wake up in a cold sweat, feeling uncertain about my network and reach for my security blanket? No….
What helps me feel more secure about my network? Does my dog help with this too?? Well no, while Fido has many talents (such as helping me finish the leftovers from dinner), network security is not really his thing. That’s one reason I use netTerrain for network documentation.
Ok, does documenting the network really help secure the network? The answer here is: yes and no. Let’s face it: it is hard to lock down a network if you do not know what you have or where it is. If, for example, there is some entry or exit point to your network that is connected to the internet and you don’t know about it well….yikes! You can’t secure a building if you don’t know its points of entry – and the same goes for your network. It only takes one unlocked window or door to let an intruder in.
When you know and can visualize what you have, where it is and how it’s all connected, you can best secure your network. At a minimum, you want to document the points of entry and exit into your systems so you can get a better idea of where certain situations could arise in the future. Putting some solid network documentation in place gives you points to concentrate on when reviewing your security and making sure your equipment is updated with the latest security patches.
Another key place where documenting can help out is by giving you visibility of your web accessible systems: document the systems and applications that are running on your internal systems. Solid network documentation can also help keep track of the applications and servers that are facing out to the world.
So: go forth, go ahead and document the network and … try to feel a little more secure at night and get better rest. Oh, and don’t forget to give your dog a cookie (or share those dinner leftovers).