NAS Security Tips

Network-attached storageor NAS, has revolutionized how many modern businesses operate. Whether it is for file storage, centralized backup, disaster recovery or more, NAS provides an affordable way for businesses to deploy the services and applications they need across their workforce. While NAS data storage is far more secure than a cloud-based alternative, there are still several tips that will help your NAS setup be more secure.

Physical Security

An often underrated area, in regard to NAS security, is the physical hardware itself. While protecting your data from hackers is important, low-tech exploits can be just as effective. All it takes is a break-in, or a disgruntled employee, for your NAS system to "walk off." Even if it's not stolen, it can still be damaged, possibly resulting in the loss of data. Make sure your NAS is in as secure a location as possible onsite, and limit the number of individuals who have physical access to it.

Outside Access

It is always best to have a NAS on the company Intranet only, that is, permit NO access to or from the Internet at all. You can further protect the NAS by isolating it on a separate VLAN or IP domain that is not mapped to any clients desktop. This way, ransom-ware viruses can’t reach the NAS. Another prudent precaution is to limit the connection of outside devices such as USB devices or thumb drives. These types of devices usually have been plugged into a number of computers, any of which could be infected with viruses and malware. To meet Government regulations, some organizations have software that immediately identifies and alarms when a USB storage device is connected anywhere on the network. Access should be limited only to those personnel who need it and will benefit the most from it. It is also good practice to enforce the use of strong passwords, containing a combination of alphanumeric characters and upper and lower case letters. Just as importantly, it is recommended to implement a security policy for any outside devices that will be accessing your network and your NAS. For example, require outside access devices to be password protected to help minimize any risk resulting from an employee's computer or tablet being lost or stolen.

File Permissions

A frequently overlooked NAS storage security issues is file permissions. Often, small businesses venturing into the world of NAS think of malicious threats and fail to think of the threats resulting from user error. File permissions fall into this category. No matter how secure your NAS is it will all be for naught if a mission critical file is deleted or overwritten.

Fortunately, NAS servers come with access-rights software that allows you to determine user rights and permissions. It's usually best to give file owners read/write access and reserve group access for folders designated for that purpose.

Regardless of how you plan on using your NAS, a few common sense steps can greatly increase the security of your data and services. At Nfina Technologies, we can help you choose the best options and the right balance between NAS security and convenience.    

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