Network Security for a Small Accounting Firm

Question You have been recently hired as a network security analyst for a small accounting firm. The firm is realizing that they need help to secure their network and customer?s data. With your background and skills they are looking to you to provide guidance. In addition to helping them secure their network they require that you obtain your CompTIA Security+ certification within 60 days of being hired. In addition to the owner who serves as the overall business manager there are about 20 people on staff: ? 10 accountants ? 3 administrative support specialists ? 1 vice president ? 1 financial manager ? 2 interns There is also one IT support technician on staff who has basic computer hardware and networking knowledge. He has requested that the firm create a website hosted internally so that new customers can get information about the firm. This will be important to remember as you complete your final project. The firm has a simple network. There are currently 20 computers and two multipurpose printers. All computers and printers are connected wirelessly to a NETGEAR MR814 device. This router is connected to a Motorola SB3100 cable modem. Staff e mail accounts are set up through the company?s Internet provider. Employees use a combination of Microsoft Outlook and standard web browsers to access their e-mail. The owner is known to use his personal iPad during work hours to check and respond to e mail messages. Prior to your hiring they hired a network cabling contractor to run Cat 6 cables from the central wiring closet to all offices and cubicles. They want to move away from using wireless as the primary network connection but want to keep wireless access for customers coming to the building. The technician who did the wiring mentioned to your supervisor that he should look into setting up a Windows Server domain to manage user access instead of the current peer-to-peer network. He also recommended that the firm invest in a managed switch and a firewall and look into having some backups. The internal IT support technician agreed with these recommendations but needs your help to implement them. You?ve been asked to assess the current vulnerabilities and provide a recommendation to the firm?s owner on how to better secure the network infrastructure. Now that you are aware of the firm?s history your assessment and recommendation should provide specifics about the network security settings that must be implemented and the equipment that must be procured installed and configured. The firm?s owner has a basic understanding of computing so it is important that you explain the technical issues in layman’s terms.

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