Security starts with design. The blueprint. Most of the time, bad security is the result of both an inadequate understanding of network architecture (systems not hardened, unnecessary services enabled, improper firewall and IPS configuration, etc) and a failure to adequately maintain the network (lack of patches, weak passwords, poor management practices). Regardless, the proper equipment and architecture must start with making sure business objectives are realized by the supporting technology…and that’s simply good design. Without adding extra cost, we’ve been able to design functional networks lasting years beyond what was initially envisioned.
Network component implementation is equally, if not more important than the design. Change by definition means things will be different. Was the default switch password changed? That allow-all rule at the bottom of the firewall policy changed to ‘deny’? Intrusion detection/prevention systems enabled and configured properly? What did the tech do with the drive used to migrate data from one server to another? Installing systems is relatively easy, paying attention to the details is not.
Our network implementations are constantly under scrutiny from third party assessments and consistenly pass with far above average results. This is both a result of our extensive experience with network implementations and a special eye toward security at all levels of the IT lifecycle; from design through implementation, data migration and management.