Saturday, August 08, 2009

How to Audit your Network - FOR FREE!

Quality expert Philip Crosby talked of the price of nonconformance and its related expenses. Too, he talked of the price of conformance and the savings that would result from such conformance. But how do you achieve these savings and to what are you conforming?

Well, when it comes to your data network, you need to make sure it is secure and configured per corporate and any other applicable standards (e.g. HIPAA, SOX, PCI, etc.).

How do I know if my network is secure? How do I know if it is standards compliant? Good questions!

Before you can begin to correct and, subsequently, prevent problems in your network you need to detect them. One such detection tool is Nipper. Nipper is an open source tool that allows you to perform security audits of your network from the command line. Nipper works on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac) as well as reads configuration files from a variety of different vendors (Cisco, Juniper, Nokia, etc.)

Nipper's HTML reports are excellent (note: you can customize Nipper and have it output to other formats such as CSV if you prefer) and they make spotting problems in your network easy and understandable.

Anyone looking to audit their own network (or someone else's) can't go wrong with Nipper.