Intrusion Prevention made easy in five steps to help make your internet travels safe!
Prevent Intrusions in 5 easy steps
There are many pieces to intrusion prevention and like a puzzle, you must put them all together before you start surfing the net; miss just one piece and you’ve left yourself wide open to attack!
Below, I explain exactly what you need to help prevent intrusions including the web security services you should use on a regular schedule. Everything I mention is free and available for download, so this won’t cost you a penny. I’ll also sum it up for you in the end, but you should take the time and read this page dedicated to intrusion prevention.
For those of you that don’t want to read all the details and are ready to jump right into the web security audit, then follow the five steps below; however, I highly recommend you read all the intrusion prevention material on this page before doing so.
- Take our Firewall Test, it’s fast and very accurate.
- Take our Anonymous Surfing and privacy test.
- Test your Exploit Scanner Software.
- Take our Popup Test.
- Visit our Web Security Resources for great products that help secure your system!
Intrusion Prevention at the front door!
The first piece to intrusion prevention and one of the most important is your front door (or firewall). If this isn’t locked, then all kinds of strangers will help themselves to your virtual treasures; treasures you ask? Yes, your credit cards, passwords, bank accounts, personal information and more are all worth big bucks in cyberspace! There are two types of ways to prevent intruders from coming in your front door and they are intrusion prevention hardware and intrusion prevention software.
Intrusion Prevention Hardware
There are two types of firewalls, they are hardware and software. Hardware, such as a NetGear or Cisco Firewall, will make the intrusion prevention pretty easy because it’s configured for tight web security right out of the box. All these intrusion detection devices are land based, not wireless (wireless is a whole different beast!)
The majority of wireless web security devices are NOT configured correctly out of the box! More on configuring wireless network security
Intrusion Prevention Software
Software designed to strengthen your web security comes in many flavors. On Windows XP, you have built in intrusion prevention (firewall) located in your control panel (choose start, settings, control panel) that when combined with an IPSec policy (the same web security policy we use), does a great job at intrusion prevention.
There is also some great free web security software available such as those in this [free firewall] list. All do a great job at preventing intruders from entering the front door of your computer!
Regardless of the intrusion prevention software you use, make sure it’s working correctly by taking our firewall test. This security audit helps determine what programs may be listening on your ports. This is very important and may reveal intruders (programs) that have already gained access to your PC. Our web security audit come in two flavors, basic and advanced web security audit.
- Our basic web security service is perfect for the average computer user, easy to use and easy to understand.
- Our advanced web security services are intensive audits designed with the network administrator in mind. It’s much the same as the basic web audit but comes with many more options and includes the ability to tailor the audit to your specific need.
Preventing Intrusions from Ads
Even with the front door locked, you still have malicious websites trying to trick you into giving them special privileges. They throw you an ad/popup that might say something like “Want to turn off web security services, [yes] or [no]?” The trick is, you’re going to click [no] which is really yes!
That’s wrong, I know, but it happens all the time and once you make your selection, you have given the intruder the ability to bypass all your web security measures. This is such a big security problem, that we created a separate Popup Test site which we’re very proud of; In fact, PCMagizine devoted an entire chapter from its web security book to this topic and featured our site! – special thanks to Ed Tittle, a great author!
Intrusions from Viruses and Spy Ware
Successfully preventing intrusions also requires installing free spyware removal programs and backing it up with some type of virus prevention program, such as those found in this list of Personal Antivirus which by the way are all free!
Web Security Services
When you surf the web, bad sites will also try to send your browser commands that confuse it. If they are successful, your browser may end up accepting commands that will install software without your knowledge!
This happens every day and the best way you can stay on top of it is by using web security services. Web security services such as patch management are provided free by the companies that make your software, such as Microsoft, Firefox, Apache and more.
You can, and should, have these web security services update you automatically. If you prefer, you can also configure security updates for notification only and manually apply the patches. Note: this is extremely important and the most overlooked area of intrusion prevention!
One of the MOST popular and controversial web security services we provide is the
Intrusion Prevention Test (or internal IP audit). This checks to make sure you are not allowing java applets to execute unrestricted. If this test displays your internal IP, then you need to tighten your security and/or configure your browser not to blindly run applets (doing so can defeat any intrusion prevention measures you have taken!)
Intrusion Detection System Test
Once you have your system configured, MAKE SURE you test often! Back up your system and make sure to take advantage of our free web security services paying special attention to any unusual configuration changes.