- Who is accessing the network and what is their role in the organization. Are they managers, engineers, material handlers, guests contractors or in the worst case are they unknown?
- Where are they accessing the network from? Are they in a secure office, the cafeteria, an unsecured conference room or are they in the parking lot?
- When is the access taking place? Is it during normal working hours or is it at midnight on Saturday?
- What type of device are they using? Is it an IT managed PC or is it a BYOD device?
- What application are they using? Is it an approved secure application or is it a P2P or unapproved application.
- What data are they accessing? Is it business related and if so is it critical or restricted information such as Cardholder Data or Personal Data? If it’s not business related is it permitted? Examples of unpermitted access might include streaming video and audio which are bandwidth hogs or accessing sites that represent a security or legal risk.
- How much bandwidth is the access consuming?
Visibility into network traffic is a key component of Network Security, Compliance and Acceptable Use. The people responsible for network and information security need to be able to answer some basic questions.
Once you have the answers to these basic questions it’s fairly simple to determine if the user’s access meets the organization’s acceptable use, compliance and security policies. After determining the acceptable answers to the above questions the next step is to define a set of rules and deploy an access control solution that automatically enforces those rules.