Part of network security is securing actual devices, including end devices and intermediate devices, such as network devices.
When a new operating system is installed on a device, the security settings are set to the default values. In most cases, this level of security is inadequate. For Cisco routers, the Cisco AutoSecure feature can be used to assist securing the system, as described in the figure. There are some simple steps that should be taken that apply to most operating systems:
- Default usernames and passwords should be changed immediately.
- Access to system resources should be restricted to only the individuals that are authorized to use those resources.
- Any unnecessary services and applications should be turned off and uninstalled, when possible.
All devices should be updated with security patches as they become available. Often, devices shipped from the manufacturer have been sitting in a warehouse for a period of time and do not have the most up-to-date patches installed. It is important, prior to implementation, to update any software and install any security patches.