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IT Auditing Services

How secure is your network?

BT provides penetration testing and IT security audits to help maintain compliance, protect critical information and keep your systems running smoothly.

BT goal is to protect your business with ultimate performance.

BT security auditors using varios advanced security auditing tools to scan your network to identify security holes and flaws in their networked systems.

The cause of network outages can often be difficult to identify, and may require costly and time consuming investigations. An essential component of any risk management strategy or program; a network audit will assess the risks to the business network and provide valuable insight and information. A network audit conducted by BIMA Networks provides customers with detailed systems documentation, including a list of all hardware and software being used. BIMA Networks' auditing services put your current network architecture through a security orientated battery of tests to show strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement. Our audit services aim to present an objective and detailed reporting of the current security mechanisms and controls already in place on the network as well as to show the level of protection on a relative scale. Our test results elaborate on vulnerabilities not just at the network level and what threat agents the network is most vulnerable to.

In the wake of today's ever increasing compliance awareness, network security auditing is high on the list of data security software tools. A network security audit is a means by which the ongoing level of performance of an organization's network security can be monitored and it allows for the investigation and pinpointing of chosen trends and specific security incidents. Various kinds of network security audit features exist in all modern computing platforms, such as security event logs and journals of database activity. Less commonly found are the audit tools that allow a level of merging or consolidation of information across different platforms.

 The network security audit looks at two broad categories of information. The first is the static data, such as system definitions, protocols used, password rules, firewall definitions and the like, whereas the second category of this kind of data security software deals with the activities that have taken place. Access to databases, transfer of files, and when and where users log on are just some of the more common items viewed in the network security audit.

Wireless Network Security Audit

A single weak link poses a valid security threat to the entire corporate network. Wireless (Wi-Fi) networks can provide sufficient security if configured properly and accompanied by an adequate password policy. BT Wireless Security Auditor exposes security problems in your wireless network to allow network administrators taking appropriate measures and adopting a proper password policy.

BT Wireless Security Auditor examines the security of your wireless network by attempting to break into the network from outside or inside. BT Wireless Security Auditor works completely in off-line, undetectable by the Wi-Fi network being probed, by analyzing a dump of network communications in order to attempt to retrieve the original WPA/WPA2-PSK passwords in plain text.

BT Wireless Security Auditor allows carrying out a password audit within a limited timeframe. Representing state-of-the-art in password recovery, BT Wireless Security Auditor uses one of the fastest and most advanced tools for recovering Wi-Fi passwords. If BT  Wireless Security Auditor fails to recover a Wi-Fi password within a reasonable time, the entire wireless network can be considered secure.

BT Wireless Security Auditor performs an advanced dictionary search attack in order to expose weak passwords consisting of words and phrases in spoken languages. Allowing highly customizable mutations of ordinary dictionary words, BT Wireless Security Auditor performs hundreds of mutations to each word in order to ensure the widest coverage.

BT Audit Checklist

The following items should be included in every network audit. The BT auditor fix any deficiencies identified in each area, but should not be making any modifications of any kind to the existing network during the audit process.

  1. Network topology and physical infrastructure documentation in Visio or similar electronic format.
  2. Network addresses and names are assigned in a structured manner and are well documented.
  3. Network wiring is installed in a structured manner and is well labeled.
  4. Network wiring between communications closets and end stations is generally no more than 100 meters.
  5. Network availability.
  6. Network security for basic security, including the following: passwords are reasonable; passwords are protected from casual observation in config files; dialin ports are protected.
  7. Inventory of all routers and switches. Include the following for each device:
  8. Location (city, address, building, floor, wiring closet, rack, slot-in-rack - as detailed as is reasonably possible).
  9. Security of physical location.
  10. Configuration.
  11. Model and serial number (if easily available)
  12. Software version loaded
  13. Routing table
  14. Routing protocols in use
  15. Neighbor table (CDP if Cisco gear)
  16. ARP table
  17. CAM table (for switches)
  18. Spanning tree information for switches
  19. Memory utilization (at multiple points during a day, if possible)
  20. CPU utilization (at multiple points during a day, if possible)
  21. If Cisco routers, output of 'show ip access-list' (and other access lists if routing other protocols)
  22. Passwords for all equipment (if encrypted passwords are used)
  23. Special redundancy measures (HSRP, etc)
  24. Link information. Make sure that the corresponding data volume on an interface is captured at the same time that other supporing data is captured so that they can be correlated.
  25. Traffic volume (bytes) every 5 minutes during at least one business work day. Best if this information is taken for several days in each of several weeks and reports of average/max values on each segment. Highlight segments with high levels of utilization for the technology in use on the segment. Report number of bytes sent/received on the interface, and the bytes/sec on the interface
  26. CRC errors of each segment. Report total errors and errors/Mbyte.
  27. Report errors on each segment. Breakdown of error types according to the media (collisoins and late collisions on Ethernet, soft errors and beacons on Token Ring, etc,) For each error type, report total errors and error/Mbyte of transferred data on the interface.
  28. On Token Ring segments, number of soft errors not related to ring insertion and the total amount of data. Number of beacon frames. Report total errors and errors/Mbyte.
  29. Volume of broadcast traffic traffic on each network segment.
  30. Number of dropped packets (in and out).
  31. Report frame size. Report on any frame sizes less than the optimum for that link.
  32. Identify WAN links that terminate in routers outside the AS
  33. Contact at external AS
  34. Method of route sharing with the external AS (static routes, BGP, IGP, etc)
  35. WAN link physical clocking rates (e.g. T1, 56K, etc. Warning - do not depend on Cisco 'bandwidth' statements)
  36. CIR for Frame Relay circuits
  37. WAN Circuit ID and carrier and contact phone number
  38. Document physical interconnecting media for each segment (10BT, Fiber, etc)
  39. Identify locations of major servers
  40. Locate network management stations
  41. Identify and locate all firewalls and respective topologies
  42. Contact information at each remote site (primary and secondary contact person name, email address, and phone number).
  43. Document the services and clients that exist at each site and their relative importance to the business.
  44. Document the charges for each WAN circuit.

BIMA Technologies (BT) Ultimate Network Security Checklist

Ultimate Network Security Checklist: provides you with the areas of information security you should focus on, along with specific settings or recommended practices that will help you to secure your environment against threats from within and without.

Using this checklist as a starting point and working with the rest of your IT team, your management, human resources, and your legal counsel, BT  will be able to create the ultimate network security checklist for your specific environment. That’s an important distinction; business requirements, regulatory and contractual obligations, local laws, and other factors will all have an influence on your company’s specific network security checklist, so don’t think all your work is done. BIMA will tweak this to suit your own environment.

BT will break this list down into broad categories for your ease of reference. Some of the breakdowns may seem arbitrary, but you have to draw lines and break paragraphs at some point, and this is where we drew ours.

1. Policies

The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry, and nowhere can this happen more quickly than where you try to implement network security without a plan, in the form of policies. Policies need to be created, socialized, approved by management, and made official to hold any weight in the environment, and should be used as the ultimate reference when making security decisions. As an example, we all know that sharing passwords is bad, but until we can point to the company policy that says it is bad, we cannot hold our users to account should they share a password with another. Here’s a short list of the policies every company with more than two employees should have to help secure their network:

1. Acceptable Use Policy
2. Internet Access Policy
3. Email and Communications Policy
4. Network Security Policy
5. Remote Access Policy
6. BYOD Policy
7. Encryption Policy
8. Privacy Policy
 

2. Provisioning Servers

When asked why anyone robbed banks, it was answered “because that’s where the money is”. If you could ask a hacker why s/he breaks into servers would probably reply with a similar answer “because that’s where the data is”. In today’s society, data is a fungible commodity that is easy to sell or trade, and your servers are where most of your company’s most valuable data resides. BT team will give you some tips for securing those servers against all enemies – both foreign and domestic. BT team will create a server deployment checklist, and make sure all of the following are on the list, and that each server you deploy complies 100% before it goes into production.

Server list
BT will maintain a server list that details all the servers on your network – SharePoint is a great place for this. At a minimum it should include all the name, purpose, ip.addr, date of service, service tag (if physical), rack location or default host, operating system, and responsible person. We’ll talk about some other things that can be stored on this server list down below, but don’t try to put too much data onto this list; it’s most effective if it can be used without side to side scrolling. Any additional documentation can be linked to or attached. We want this server list to be a quick reference that is easy to update and maintain, so that you do.
 
Responsible party
Each server must have a responsible party; the person or team who knows what the server is for, and is responsible for ensuring it is kept up-to-date, and can investigate any anomalies associated with that server.
 
Naming convention
Naming conventions may seem like a strange thing to tie to security, but being able to quickly identify a server is critical when you spot some strange traffic, and if an incident is in progress, every second saved counts.
 
Network Configuration
BT will ensure that all network configurations are done properly, including static ip.addr assignments, DNS servers, WINS servers, whether or not to register a particular interface, binding order, and disabling services on DMZ, OOB management, or backup networks.
 
IPAM
All servers should be assigned static IP addresses, and that data needs to be maintained in your IP Address Management tool (even if that’s just an Excel spreadsheet). When strange traffic is detected, it’s vital to have an up-to-date and authoritative reference for each ip.addr on your network.
 
Patching
Every server deployed needs to be fully patched as soon as the operating system is installed, and added to your patch management application immediately.
 
Antivirus
All servers need to run antivirus software and report to the central management console. Scanned exceptions need to be documented in the server list so that if an outbreak is suspected, those directories can be manually checked.
 
Host intrusion prevention/firewall
If you use host intrusion prevention, you need to ensure that it is configured according to your standards, and reports up to the management console. Software firewalls need to be configured to permit the required traffic for your network, including remote access, logging and monitoring, and other services.
 
Remote access
Pick one remote access solution, and stick with it. I recommend the built-in terminal services for Windows clients, and SSH for everything else, but you may prefer to remote your Windows boxes with PCAnywhere, RAdmin, or any one of the other remote access applications for management. Whichever one you choose, choose one and make it the standard.
 
UPS and power saving
BT will make sure all servers are connected to a UPS, and if you don’t use a generator, that they have the agent needed to gracefully shut down before the batteries are depleted. While you don’t want servers to hibernate, consider spinning down disks during periods of low activity (like after hours) to save electricity.
 
Domain joined
Unless there’s a really good reason not to, such as application issues or because it’s in the DMZ, all Windows servers should be domain joined, and all non-Windows servers should use LDAP to authenticate users against Active Directory. You get centralized management and a single user account store for all your users.
 
Administrator account renamed and password set
Rename the local administrator account, and make sure you set (and document) a strong password. It’s not a foolproof approach, but nothing in security is. We’re layering things here.
 
Local group memberships set and permissions assigned
Make any appropriate assignments using domain groups when possible, and set permissions using domain groups too. Only resort to local groups when there is no other choice and avoid local accounts.
 
Correct OU with appropriate policies
Different servers have different requirements, and Active Directory Group Policies are just the thing to administer those settings. Create as many OUs as you need to accommodate the different servers, and set as much as possible using a GPO instead of the local security policy.
 
Confirm its reporting to management consoles
No matter what you use to administer and monitor your servers, make sure they all report in (or can be polled by) before putting a server into production. Never let this be one of the things you forget to get back to.
 
Unnecessary services disabled
If a server doesn’t need to run a particular service, disable it. You’ll save memory and CPU, and it’s one less way bad guys will have to get it.
 
SNMP configured
If you are going to use SNMP, make sure you configure your community strings, and restrict management access to your known systems.
 
Agents installed
Backup agents, logging agents, management agents; whatever software you use to manage your network, make sure all appropriate agents are installed before the server is considered complete.
 
Backups
If it’s worth building, it’s worth backing up; no production data should ever get onto a server until it is being backed up.
 
Restores
And no backup should be trusted until you confirm it can be restored.
 
Vulnerability scan
If you really think the server is ready to go, and everything else on the list has been checked off, there’s one more thing to do – scan it. Run a full vulnerability scan against each server before it goes production to make sure nothing has been missed, and then ensure it is added to your regularly scheduled scans.
 
Signed into production
Someone other than the person who built the server should spot check it to be sure it’s good to go, before it’s signed into production. By “signing” it, that user is saying they confirmed the server meets your company’s security requirements and is ready for whatever the world can throw at it. That person is also the second pair of eyes, so you are much less likely to find that something got missed.
 

3. Deploying workstations

BT will making sure that the workstations are secure is just as important as with your servers. In some cases it’s even more so, since your servers benefit from the physical security of your datacenter, while workstations are frequently laptops sitting on table tops in coffee shops while your users grab another latte. Don’t overlook the importance of making sure your workstations are as secure as possible.

Workstation list

BT will keep a list of all workstations, just like the server list, that includes who the workstation was issued to and when its lease is up or it’s reached the end of its depreciation schedule. Don’t forget those service tags!

Assigned user
BT will track where your workstations are by making sure that each user’s issued hardware is kept up-to-date.
 
Naming convention
It’s very helpful when looking at logs if a workstation is named for the user who has it. That makes it much easier to track down when something looks strange in the logs.
 
Network Configuration
You’ll probably assign IP addresses using DHCP, but you will want to make sure your scopes are correct, and use a GPO to assign any internal DNS zones that should be searched when resolving flat names.
 
Patching
Since your users are logged on and running programs on your workstations, and accessing the Internet, they are at much higher risk than servers, so patching is even more important. Make sure all workstations are fully up-to-date before they are deployed, update your master image frequently, and ensure that all workstations are being updated by your patch management system.
 
Antivirus
Here’s how to handle workstation antivirus: 100% coverage of all workstations; workstations check a central server for updates at least every six hours, and can download them from the vendor when they cannot reach your central server. All workstations report status to the central server, and you can push updates when needed.

Host intrusion prevention/firewall
Consider using a host intrusion prevention or personal firewall product to provide more defense for your workstations, especially when they are laptops that frequently connect outside the corporate network. Make sure that the configuration does not interfere with your management tasks, like pushing antivirus updates, checking logs, auditing software, etc.
 
Remote access
Like servers, pick one remote access method and stick to it, banning all others. The more ways to get into a workstation, the more ways an attacker can attempt to exploit the machine. The built-in Remote Desktop service that comes with Windows is my preference, but if you prefer another, disable RDP. Ensure that only authorized users can access the workstation remotely, and that they must use their unique credential, instead of some common admin/password combination.
 
Power saving
Consider deploying power saving settings through GPO to help extend the life of your hardware, and save on the utility bill. Make sure that you have Wake-On-LAN compatible network cards so you can deploy patches after hours if necessary.
 
Domain joined
All workstations should be domain joined so you can centrally administer them with unique credentials.
 
Administrator account renamed and password set
Rename the local administrator account and set a strong password on that account that is unique per machine. Trust me, one of these days you will have no choice but to give some travelling user the local admin account, and if that is the same across all machines, you will then have to reset them all. Use a script to create random passwords, and store them securely where they can be retrieved in an emergency. It seems like a lot of work up front, but it will save you time and effort down the road.
 
Local group memberships set and permissions assigned
Set appropriate memberships in either local administrators or power users for each workstation.
 
Correct OU with appropriate policies
Organize your workstations in Organizational Units and manage them with Group Policy as much as possible to ensure consistent management and configuration.
 
Confirm its reporting to management consoles
Validate that each workstation reports to your antivirus, patch management and any other consoles before you turn it over to the user, and then audit frequently to ensure all workstations report in.
 
Backups/ Restores
You probably won’t perform regular full backups of your workstations, but consider folder redirection or Internet based backups to protect critical user data.
 
Local encryption
There is no excuse for letting any laptop or portable drive out of the physical confines of the office without encryption in place to protect confidential data. Whether you use Bitlocker, TrueCrypt, or hardware encryption, make is mandatory that all drives are encrypted.
 
Vulnerability scan
Perform regular vulnerability scans of a random sample of your workstations to help ensure your workstations are up to date.
 

4. Network equipment

Your network infrastructure is easy to overlook, but also critical to secure and maintain. We’ll start with some recommendations for all network equipment, and then look at some platform specific recommendations.

Network hardware list

Maintain a network hardware list that is similar to your server list, and includes device name and type, location, serial number, service tag, and responsible party.

Network Configuration
Have a standard configuration for each type of device to help maintain consistency and ease management.
 
 
IPAM
Assign static IP addresses to all management interfaces, add A records to DNS, and track everything in an IP Address Management (IPAM) solution.
 
Patching
Network hardware runs an operating system too, we just call it firmware. Keep up-to-date on patches and security updates for your hardware.
 
Remote access
Use the most secure remote access method your platform offers. For most, that should be SSH version 2. Disable telnet and SSH 1, and make sure you set strong passwords on both the remote and local (serial or console) connections.
 
Unique credentials
Use TACACS+ or other remote management solution so that authorized users authenticate with unique credentials.
 
SNMP configured
If you are going to use SNMP, change the default community strings and set authorized management stations. If you aren’t, turn it off.
 
Backups/Restores
Make sure you take regular backups of your configurations whenever you make a change, and that you confirm you can restore them.
 
Vulnerability scan
Include all your network gear in your regular vulnerability scans to catch any holes that crop up over time.
 
Switches VLANs
Use VLANs to segregate traffic types, like workstations, servers, out of band management, backups, etc.
 
Promiscuous devices and hubs
Set port restrictions so that users cannot run promiscuous mode devices or connect hubs or unmanaged switches without prior authorization.
 
Disabled ports
Ports that are not assigned to specific devices should be disabled, or set to a default guest network that cannot access the internal network. This prevents outside devices being able to jack in to your internal network from empty offices or unused cubicles.
 
Firewalls,  Explicit permits, implicit denies
‘Deny All’ should be the default posture on all access lists – inbound and outbound.
 
Logging and alerts
Log all violations and investigate alerts promptly.
 
Routers, Routing protocols
Use only secure routing protocols that use authentication, and only accept updates from known peers on your borders.
 

5. Vulnerability scanning

Weekly external scans scheduled
BT will configure your vulnerability scanning application to scan all of your external address space weekly.
 
Diffs compared weekly
Validate any differences from one week to the next against your change control procedures to make sure no one has enabled an unapproved service or connected a rogue host.
 
Internal scans scheduled monthly
Perform monthly internal scans to help ensure that no rogue or unmanaged devices are on the network, and that everything is up to date on patches.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

6. Backups

Tape rotation established

BT will make sure you have a tape rotation established that tracks the location, purpose, and age of all tapes. Never repurpose tapes that were used to backup highly sensitive data for less secure purposes.

Old tapes destroyed
When a tape has reached its end of life, destroy it to ensure no data can be recovered from it.
 
Secure offsite storage
If you are going to store tapes offsite, use a reputable courier service that offers secure storage.
 
Encryption
Even reputable courier services have lost tapes; ensure that any tape transported offsite, whether through a service or by an employee, is encrypted to protect data against accidental loss.
 
Restores confirmed regularly
Backups are worthless if they cannot be restored. Verify your backups at least once a month by performing test restores to ensure your data is safe.
 
Restricted access to tapes, backup operators groups
Backup tapes contain all data, and the backup operators can bypass file level security in Windows so they can actually back up all data. Secure the physical access to tapes, and restrict membership in the backup operators group just like you do to the domain admin group.
 

7. Remote Access

Only approved users and methods

BT will set up and maintain an approved method for remote access, and grant permissions to any user who should be able to connect remotely, and then ensure your company policy prohibits other methods.

Two factor authentication
Consider using a two factor authentication – like tokens, smart cards, certificates, or SMS solutions – to further secure remote access.
 
No split tunneling
Protect your travelling users who may be on insecure wireless networks by tunneling all their traffic through the VPN instead of enabling split tunneling.
 
Internal name resolution
If you are going to do split tunneling, enforce internal name resolution only to further protect users when on insecure networks.
 
Account lockouts
Set strong account lockout policies and investigate any accounts that are locked out to ensure attackers cannot use your remote access method as a way to break into your network.
 
Regular review of audit logs
Perform regular reviews of your remote access audit logs and spot check with users if you see any unusual patters, like logons in the middle of the night, or during the day when the user is already in the office.
 

8. Wireless

In addition to the items in the network equipment list above, you want to ensure the following for your wireless networking.
 
SSID
Use an SSID that cannot be easily associated with your company, and suppress the broadcast of that SSID. Both aren’t particularly effective against someone who is seriously interested in your wireless network, but it does keep you off the radar of the casual war driver.
 
Authentication
Use 802.1x for authentication to your wireless network so only approved devices can connect.
 
Encryption
Use the strongest encryption type you can, preferable WPA2 Enterprise. Never use WEP. If you have barcode readers or other legacy devices that can only use WEP, set up a dedicated SSID for only those devices, and use a firewall so they can only connect to the central software over the required port, and nothing else on your internal network.
 
Guest Network
Use your wireless network to establish a guest network for visiting customers, vendors, etc. Do not permit connectivity from the guest network to the internal network, but allow for authorized users to use the guest network to connect to the Internet, and from there to VPN back into the internal network, if necessary.
 
BYOD
Create a “Bring Your Own Device” policy now, even if that policy is just to prohibit users from bringing their personal laptops, tablets, etc. into the office or connecting over the VPN.

 

9. Email

Inbound and outbound filtering
Deploy an email filtering solution that can filter both inbound and outbound messages to protect your users and your customers.
Directory Harvest prevention
Ensure that your edge devices will reject directory harvest attempts.
 
Antivirus/Antispam/Antiphishing
Deploy mail filtering software that protects users from the full range of email threats, including malware, phishing and spam.
 
 
 
 

 10. Internet Access

Provide your users with secure Internet access by implementing an Internet monitoring solution.
 
Filter lists
Use filter lists that support your company’s acceptable use policy.
 
Malware scanning
Scan all content for malware, whether that is file downloads, streaming media, or simply scripts contained in web pages.
 
Bandwidth restrictions
Protect your business-critical applications by deploying bandwidth restrictions, so users’ access to the Internet doesn’t adversely impact company functions like email, or the corporate website.
 
Port blocking
Block outbound traffic that could be used to go around the Internet monitoring solution so users are tempted to violate policy.

11. File shares

Here’s where most of the good stuff sits, so making sure your secure your file shares is extremely important.
Remove the Everyone and Authenticated Users groups

The default permissions are usually a little too permissive. Remove the Everyone group from legacy shares, and the Authenticated Users group from newer shares, and set more restrictive permissions, even if that is only to “domain users.” This will save you a ton of time should you ever have to set up a share with another entity.

Least privilege
Always assign permissions using the concept of “least privilege”. “Need access” should translate to “read only” and “full control” should only ever be granted to admins.
 
Groups
Never assign permissions to individual users; only use domain groups. It’s more scalable, easier to audit, and can carry over to new users or expanding departments much more easily than individual user permissions.
 
Avoid Deny Access
If you have a file system that tempts you to use “Deny Access” to fix a problem you are probably doing something wrong. Reconsider your directory structure and the higher level permissions, and move that special case file or directory somewhere else to avoid using Deny Access.
 

12. Log correlation

If you have more servers than you can count without taking off your shoes, you have too many to manually check each one’s logs manually. Use a logging solution that gathers up the logs from all your servers so you can easily parse the logs for interesting events, and correlate logs when investigating events.

 

13. Time

BT will use a central form of time management within your organization for all systems including workstations, servers, and network gear. NTP can keep all systems in sync, and will make correlating logs much easier since the timestamps will all agree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Update: November 15, 2013

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