Asian firms don't configure network right

update For every networking device installed in the region, an average of 30 configuration issues are identified, notes new Dimension Data report.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

update For each networking device installed in the Asia-Pacific region, an average of 29 configuration issues or policy violations are committed, findings of a new study revealed.

Asia's count of 29 is second only to the Middle East and Africa, which clocked in at 39 configuration issues per device, according to the report released Thursday. The Americas scored an average of 28, while Australia and Europe followed closely at 27 and 26, respectively. Over 150 organizations were included in the study.

In the report, Dimension Data noted that most successful security breaches occur due to poor network configurations, indicating that weakness in this area can have "significant risk implications" for businesses.

Poor configurations provide easy access points for hackers and greatly increase the potential for availability issues and downtime, Dexter Wee, general manager of network integration at Dimension Data company Datacraft Asia, explained in an e-mail interview.

Such problems, he added, may not be immediately evident at the time of misconfiguration. In addition, when non-standard configurations are used, troubleshooting can be more complicated or take longer.

The configuration practices of the organizations surveyed were benchmarked against established and well-documented standards, such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and ISO 17799 for information security, said Wee.

"When you consider the fact that half of all [policy violations] were security-related, [companies] have done the networking equivalent of having purchased a home security system and failing to activate it or even to lock the front door," he pointed out.

According to the report, network devices were most misconfigured in AAA (authentication, authorization and accounting) protocol, followed by IP addressing and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol).

Globally, by industry, the financial services had the highest number of network device configuration issues. Telcos were next on the list, while the automotive and manufacturing sector was third. Government, healthcare and education also made the list, at No. 4.

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