NetworkHealthA study published last year in The Journal of Hospital Infection proposed fist-bumping (the “closed-fist high-five”) as an alternative to the old-fashioned handshake. The latter, according to the study, is a giant germ-swap that can impact human health.

Until recently, as CNNMoney reported, that wasn’t the only type of handshake deemed dirty:

“Computers and web servers initiate secure conversations with one another in a process known as a ‘handshake.’ But … security researchers discovered a flaw in the way they shake hands. The bug allows a hacker operating between you and a website – say, connected to the same public Wi-Fi network – to snoop in on your Internet session.”

The bug was fixed. And it wasn’t nearly as destructive as Heartbleed, which exploited the same safety feature meant to protect private online communication, the story said. But just because the “handshake bug” affected a fraction of the users (Google’s Android operating system was reportedly the only major browser disturbed), doesn’t diminish the need to ensure your network is secure.

That’s stating the obvious right? You’d think, particularly in the aftermath of the global security issues Heartbleed caused in April. Roughly two-thirds of all websites were affected.

But after that major OpenSSL security flaw, little more than one-third (39%) of web users took steps to protect their online information by changing passwords or canceling accounts altogether, a Pew Research survey of American adults found.

What’s more, the largest percentage of respondents (46%) felt their online accounts are “somewhat secure.” That’s hardly a confident response.

Considering the seemingly daily reports of bugs and breaches big and small, what’s your level of confidence in your company’s approach to network security?

It’s true that no network can be completely secure. However, that shouldn’t keep you from doing everything in your power to protect your network. This GFI white paper offers an in-depth, five-step plan for achieving and maintaining improved network health.

The steps include:

  1. Discovery – Know what’s on your network.
  2. Assessment – Conduct an audit to determine the devices and software applications running on your network as well as vulnerabilities that have been identified and addressed.
  3. Patching – Deploy, deploy, deploy.
  4. Scanning – Check your network for open ports.
  5. Reviewing – Regularly repeat Step 2.

When it comes to online safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offers some sound advice on its website:

“Reduce your vulnerability, and you reduce the threat.”

Do you pledge to make your network as healthy as possible? Let’s shake on it.

Learn more about how your business can benefit from superior network vulnerability scanning today.