October is National Cyber Security Month: Why Network Diagrams Matter

Ah, October. Falling leaves, changing colors, a chill in the air (all dependant upon where you live, of course), and of course, the ubiquitous pumpkin spice in everything. Less well known, but not any less important, is that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) dates back to 2004, an initiative that came out of the National Cyber Security Division (a part of the Department of Homeland Security) working alongside the nonprofit organization National Cyber Security Alliance. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness about just how crucial good cybersecurity is.

Each week in October, different themes for cybersecurity are cast into the spotlight. This year’s themes were:

  • Week 1: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety
  • Week 2: Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity
  • Week 3: It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work
  • Week 4: Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

So, how does this month-long look at cyber security impact our customers who work as network administrators and engineers? While the first two weeks are geared more toward the general public, the third week focuses on the importance of ensuring online safety at work: if you manage a network, you know good network documentation is crucial to ensuring your network is in compliance with security protocols.

Solid network documentation can ensure you’re in compliance with standards and regulations such as:

  • The Clinger Cohen Act,
  • Federal Data Center Consolidation Act of 2013,
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS),
  • and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

PCI DSS’s Requirement 1.1.2 requires up-to-date network diagrams are kept that depict any connections to cardholder data (this includes networks that are wireless). Further, the requirement states a process must exist for ensuring such diagrams are current and actually reflect the network.

When you buy in to documenting the network, and to keeping it documented, you have the information you need to safeguard the network: which devices you have, how those devices are connected, and where exactly they are. When you have diagrams of the network, you know where your entrances and exits are…crucial information if you need to secure said entrances and exits.

Automated network documentation software, such as netTerrain, can help you do heroic things: with it, you can automatically create diagrams of the entire network and ensure they stay continuously updated. Depending upon the solution you choose, you can import or automatically bring in data from anywhere. Bottomline? With up-to-date IT documentation, you can safeguard your network and comply with current federal regulations, institution-wide policies, industry standards.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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