Enterprises are leveraging a variety of technologies to protect their end-point devices and networks. However, many have neglected to safeguard their core storage systems.
This has resulted in storage device configurations becoming unprotected, allowing infiltration to the storage estate that contains vital data for many critical business applications.
Continuity is an important aspect of enterprise storage security. It is a simple, yet important, check that all wires operating on the same circuit are functional.
One way to test continuity is with a multimeter. This is a digital device that sends a small current through a wire or cable assembly to measure resistance.
When the meter detects a closed loop (the presence of a complete path for current flow), it sounds off. A meter that doesn’t sound off indicates the wire or cable is open.
The same is true of storage configurations and policies. A SAN network, for instance, needs to have zoning and masking to prevent hosts from accidentally accessing block devices.
The wrong zoning and masking settings, along with improper LUN creation or deletion, can leave an array’s LUNs accessible to an attacker. These settings also need to be backed up and maintained for recovery.
Encryption scrambles readable text into a type of secret code that only the intended recipients can read, which helps protect sensitive data such as banking information, medical records and other personal information. Cybercriminals can only access encrypted data if they have the decryption key.
Enabling encryption is essential to protecting data from cybercriminals, and it can also help organizations stay compliant with government regulations and industry guidelines. For example, healthcare providers and institutions of higher learning must encrypt data that is shared online to comply with HIPAA and FERPA.
Security Configuration Baselines
A security configuration baseline is a set of settings that an organization must establish for its information systems. These settings are established and derived from the organization’s security policies and standards.
However, a security configuration baseline is only part of the larger cybersecurity architecture. There are many additional requirements that an organization must follow in addition to how a system or application is configured, such as industry-specific cybersecurity frameworks or other regulations.
Authentication is the process of ensuring that the user who wants access is actually who they say they are. This includes determining whether a person has the correct access to data or applications, or has been unauthorized to use them.
Traditionally, authentication involves a combination of one or more factors: something the user knows (e.g., password or PIN), something the user has (e.g., an email address or security token), and something the user is (e.g., a fingerprint or voice recognition device).
A security configuration baseline for enterprise storage systems should include authentication processes that are secure, scalable, and easy to administer. Ideally, authentication should also be customizable to the unique needs of each environment.
When adopting a zero-trust architecture, it’s important to identify entry points as early as possible. This is especially important for cloud and other software-based storage solutions that are used across the entire enterprise. Regardless of who has access to what, it’s crucial that every person within the organization understands how to protect against threats.
An audit is an important part of securing your enterprise storage systems. This process includes research and planning, fieldwork, summarizing and reporting, and follow-up.
Audits can help you recognize potential risks and identify weaknesses. They also help you develop a plan for mitigating those risks.
In this way, the results of an audit can improve the credibility of your financial statements and help you obtain funding or credit for your business.
Security configuration baselines should be updated frequently, as changes occur in your environment or as new security standards are enacted. This includes changes to software and service packs, as well as any system configuration settings that are modified.
Some vendors, such as Microsoft, offer tools to help create a security baseline. These tools use templates based on security policy standards, such as OSPP or PCI-DSS, and enable administrators to customize the baseline to match their environments.