What's cyber security?

Computer security, cybersecurity or information technology security (IT security) is the security of computer systems in the theft of or damage to their own hardware, applications, or digital information, in addition to in the disruption or misdirection of their solutions they supply. The area is becoming more important because of greater reliance on computer technologies, the web and wireless system standards like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and as a result of development of "smart" devices, such as televisions, smartphones, and the numerous devices which constitute the"Internet of things". Due to its complexity, both regarding science and politics, cybersecurity can also be one of the significant challenges in the modern world.

What's cyber security?

Organizations face many threats to their data systems and information. Knowing all of the fundamental elements to cyber safety is the first step to fulfilling these threats.

Types of cyber security.

The reach of cyber protection is broad. The core regions are explained below, and some other fantastic cyber security plan must take all of them into consideration.

Critical infrastructure includes the cyber-physical systems which society is based on, for example, electricity grid, water purification, traffic lighting and hospitals. Plugging a power plant to the world wide web, as an instance, makes it vulnerable to cyber attacks. The solution for associations accountable for critical infrastructure would be to carry out due diligence to safeguard recognize the vulnerabilities and protect from them. Everyone else must evaluate the way an attack on critical infrastructure that they rely on could impact them and develop a contingency plan.
Critical infrastructure.
Critical infrastructure includes the cyber-physical systems which society is based on, for example, electricity grid, water purification, traffic lighting and hospitals. Plugging a power plant to the world wide web, as an instance, makes it vulnerable to cyber attacks. The solution for associations accountable for critical infrastructure would be to carry out due diligence to safeguard recognize the vulnerabilities and protect from them. Everyone else must evaluate the way an attack on critical infrastructure that they rely on could impact them and develop a contingency plan.
Network security guards against malicious intrusion in addition to malicious insiders. Ensuring network security frequently requires trade-offs. By way of instance, access controls like additional logins may be required, but slow down productivity. Tools used to track network safety create a great deal of information -- so much that legitimate alarms are often overlooked. To help better handle network security monitoring, safety teams are using machine learning how to flag abnormal traffic and alert to risks in real time.
Network security.
Network security guards against malicious intrusion in addition to malicious insiders. Ensuring network security frequently requires trade-offs. By way of instance, access controls like additional logins may be required, but slow down productivity. Tools used to track network safety create a great deal of information -- so much that legitimate alarms are often overlooked. To help better handle network security monitoring, safety teams are using machine learning how to flag abnormal traffic and alert to risks in real time.
The business's move to the cloud generates new safety challenges. By way of instance, 2017 has seen nearly weekly information breaches from badly configured cloud cases. Cloud suppliers are creating new safety tools to help business users secure their information, however, the bottom line remains: Moving into the cloud isn't a panacea for performing due diligence in regards to cyber security.
Cloud security.
The business's move to the cloud generates new safety challenges. By way of instance, 2017 has seen nearly weekly information breaches from badly configured cloud cases. Cloud suppliers are creating new safety tools to help business users secure their information, however, the bottom line remains: Moving into the cloud isn't a panacea for performing due diligence in regards to cyber security.
Application security (AppSec), especially web application security, has become the weakest technical point of attack, but few organizations adequately mitigate all the OWASP Top Ten web vulnerabilities. AppSec begins with secure coding practices, and should be augmented by fuzzing and penetration testing. Rapid application development and deployment to the cloud has seen the advent of DevOps as a new discipline. DevOps teams typically prioritize business needs over security, a focus that will likely change given the proliferation of threats.
Application security.
Application security (AppSec), especially web application security, has become the weakest technical point of attack, but few organizations adequately mitigate all the OWASP Top Ten web vulnerabilities. AppSec begins with secure coding practices, and should be augmented by fuzzing and penetration testing. Rapid application development and deployment to the cloud has seen the advent of DevOps as a new discipline. DevOps teams typically prioritize business needs over security, a focus that will likely change given the proliferation of threats.
IoT describes a huge array of crucial and non-critical cyber physiological systems, such as appliances, sensors, printers and safety cameras. IoT devices often ship in an insecure condition and give little to no security, posing risks to not just their customers, but also to other people online, since these devices frequently find themselves part of a botnet. This presents special security challenges for the home users and society.
Internet of things (IoT) security.
IoT describes a huge array of crucial and non-critical cyber physiological systems, such as appliances, sensors, printers and safety cameras. IoT devices often ship in an insecure condition and give little to no security, posing risks to not just their customers, but also to other people online, since these devices frequently find themselves part of a botnet. This presents special security challenges for the home users and society.

Best Network Automation Tools

Network automation is an excellent way for organizations to speed up their practices and rapidly scale aspects of their networking processes, configurations, and testing. However, done incorrectly, network automation can also propagate major issues on a large scale; imagine a machine doing a task incorrectly over and over without supervision, spreading the mistake throughout your ... Read more Best Network Automation Tools

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Network automation is an excellent way for organizations to speed up their practices and rapidly scale aspects of their networking processes, configurations, and testing. However, done incorrectly, network automation can also propagate major issues on a large scale; imagine a machine doing a task incorrectly over and over without supervision, spreading the mistake throughout your ... Read more Best Network Automation Tools

The post Best Network Automation Tools appeared first on DNSstuff.

Network automation is an excellent way for organizations to speed up their practices and rapidly scale aspects of their networking processes, configurations, and testing. However, done incorrectly, network automation can also propagate major issues on a large scale; imagine a machine doing a task incorrectly over and over without supervision, spreading the mistake throughout your organization. Network automation can be a path toward improving the speed, resilience, quality, and intelligence of networks, but it’s important to do it properly from the outset, or you risk creating a bigger headache than you bargained for.

High-quality network automation tools are the key to ensuring your processes don’t go haywire, and there are numerous software solutions available for you to try. My recommendation is SolarWinds® Network Configuration Manager (NCM), a well-known, stable, and well-supported tool. It provides high-quality network and configuration automation, which is especially useful because tracking configurations by hand tends to be labor-intensive and error-prone.

What Is Network Automation?

Network automation is the process of setting up software to automatically manage, configure, test, deploy, and operate network devices (whether they’re physical or virtual). It improves efficiency in large enterprises and can often reduce the operating expenses and human error associated with manual management. Manual approaches are becoming increasingly impossible with the growing number of devices in enterprises. Increasing IT automation is becoming essential for many businesses.

Some network automation tools allow network device mapping and device discovery, while others provide network configuration management, network resource provisioning, or capacity planning. Network automation can be primarily script-driven (i.e., using scripting and programming languages to execute tasks when a trigger appears) or software-based (also known as intelligent network automation). I’ll cover software-based tools today, as they can almost completely eliminate manual task performance.

Best Network Automation Tools

The purpose of network automation tools is to improve efficiency, reduce human error, and reduce operational expenses as a result. There are many types of tools for network automation. For both script-driven and software-based network automation tools, there are several kinds of platforms and interfaces.

best network automation tools

There are also many open-source network automation tools, including Ansible, Puppet, and Chef. These are decent and widely used tools for certain use cases, but they don’t have the out-of-the-box capabilities, easy-to-use interfaces, and vendor support of tools designed specifically for enterprise use. I won’t go into these open-source tools, as they’re covered widely elsewhere, and there’s plenty of information about them already. Instead, I’ll cover tools specifically designed to act as enterprise-grade IT management platforms. Many of these network infrastructure vendors provide software-based platforms with network automation tools alongside other monitoring tools.

☑SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager

Network Configuration Manager

My top choice for network automation software is SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM). NCM is easy to install, use, and set up, and the interface is user-friendly. This means it’s simple to get started, and you have a complete network configuration automation system right at your fingertips.

NCM allows you to perform quick and widespread configuration changes, leveraging network automation to make these adjustments in bulk. Bulk adjustments save time and can reduce the human error involved in trying to complete this process manually. NCM also allows you to design change templates and configurations, which means you can roll them out automatically and apply them to new devices or push new configurations across hundreds or thousands of devices on an as-needed basis.

Additionally, NCM tracks and records your device configurations and alerts you if a change has been made. If a change results in issues, you can immediately revert the change or quickly troubleshoot. You can also see whether an unauthorized configuration change has been made. This tracking (alongside the use of internal security policies and standards) allows your organization to maintain compliance with regulations. NCM can also audit your device configurations to ensure they comply and alert you to any vulnerabilities, such as operating systems needing to be updated. It also integrates with the National Vulnerability Database, so you can be alerted when a known vulnerability is detected in your system. NCM can then roll out a bulk change to fix the vulnerability.

Finally, your device configurations can be backed up, managed, and restored through the platform, which means you can quickly revert to an old configuration if a fault occurs or restore from a backup if there’s a failure or error. NCM provides the most critical network automation features, and it’s a high-quality tool with out-of-the-box configurations and compliance reports to help you get things started quickly.

NCM is available to try free for 30 days on the SolarWinds website.

☑ ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager

ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager

ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager is another excellent choice of network automation software. It works on a script-driven basis, using templates called “Configlets.” Configlets help the user execute commands to change passwords or enable SNMP, access control list commands, or other configuration changes. Template Configlets are already a part of ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager when you install it, but you can also add them manually if you need to customize something.

Configuration change scripts can all be automated using something called “Script Execution Mode.” This includes commands requiring user confirmation, and they can be automated even if there’s a delayed response after command execution or if you want to change the order in which scripts are executed. You can schedule all kinds of configuration tasks however you choose, and Configlets can be set up to prevent work from being repeated. You can schedule tasks to run hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or as needed. When a Configlet is executed, you’ll receive an email notification.

It also includes tools for real-time change management, user activity tracking, and compliance auditing. You can test out a free trial of ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager for up to 30 days.

☑ Lan-Secure Configuration Center

Lan-Secure Configuration Center

Lan-Secure Configuration Center is a network management tool designed to allow you to automate configuration rollouts, run backups, monitor the history of configurations, and restore old configurations. It’s a vendor nonspecific tool and is specifically designed to be used in a multivendor device environment. It operates by using Telnet, SSH shell protocols, and SNMP protocols.

It can be run manually or automatically, and you can set it to run at specific dates or times. Lan-Secure Configuration Center includes automatic auctions such as command execution, sending SNMP traps, or notifying you by email when configuration changes are made. With reporting, logging, and exporting capabilities, this is a good basic tool.

Lan-Secure offers their enterprise version priced on a per-switch basis, but you can try a free trial of Lan-Secure for up to 30 days.

☑ BMC TrueSight Automation for Networks

BMC TrueSight Automation for Networks

BMC provides numerous network monitoring and operations management tools, but TrueSight Automation for Networks is specifically designed for network configuration management and automation. You can use this tool to roll out broad configuration changes and roll them back or change tracking when necessary. It works using a policy-based approach with templates, customized rule sets, and integrated change management. With preconfigured policies designed to match up with regulatory requirements, you can also ensure your compliance needs are met.

TrueSight Automation for Networks includes threat remediation tools—such as automated vulnerability management and response—and uses the NIST National Vulnerability Database to identify vulnerabilities and update devices.

TrueSight Automation for Networks is a high-quality tool with many features, but it’s not as user-friendly as it could be. There’s no way to take the entire system offline or trial configurations, which can lead to a complex process of rollouts and rollbacks. It’s much easier to link with enterprise systems than tools such as Chef and Puppet, but it definitely requires some scripting experience to get started.

Though BMC offers free trials for some of their products, it appears they don’t offer one for TrueSight Automation for Networks.

Choosing an Automation Tool

Looking at all these options may seem a little overwhelming. However, the best approach is to consider whether the tool is designed for your purpose. Are you looking for something for enterprise-grade IT management, something for a small business, or something to test out? Tools such as Ansible, Puppet, and Chef are well-known, but they take time to set up and may not be suitable for a business needing tools they can use from the get-go.

The best network automation tools should always be easy to use. For enterprise-grade IT management, my top recommendation is SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager: they’ve provided solutions in the field of network automation for a long time, and they know what they’re doing. In addition, NCM integrates well with other SolarWinds products, allowing you to set up a full system for your organization without much effort.

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