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The Five Top Network Security Secrets

What is the secret to network security? In the wake of recent high-profile security breaches like at LexisNexis and MasterCard, it's worth asking what it takes to nail down network security --- and what are the secrets not everyone knows?

"There's not really a secret," says Marcus Shields, enterprise product manager at Soltrus, Inc., a Canadian firm specializing in digital trust services. "There are a lot of things that organizations should be doing but aren't. A lot of it comes down to common sense."

The problem with common sense, it has been observed, is that it is not very common. Consequently, some of the basic precautions that any organization can take to secure its network might as well be arcane secrets of the security trade -- at least until you take them and make them a part of day-to-day procedure.

Assess threats and risks: "I'm always amazed at how many companies don't do threat and risk assessments." Shields says. "They don't know what assets they have and, consequently, they don't know where they're vulnerable."

Indeed, security is supposed to mitigate risks and plug holes, but you can't do that effectively unless you know what risks you're facing, and what holes you need to plug. Shields says that enterprises have been getting better, overall, at doing threat and risk assessments, but many -- perhaps a majority -- have no idea what they have connected to their networks, let alone what their biggest vulnerabilities are,

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