Data storage deeply permeates our digital lives. Each of us must deal with it. It’s a problem, especially for security reasons.
Network Attached Storage makes it much simpler. We’ll examine what NAS is and how it works. We will assess its suitability for safe data storage and how NAS security should work. This will result in safer data and fewer cybersecurity breaches.
What is Network Attached storage?
Network Attached Storage is a common way to manage shared files across academic and business networks.
Specialist storage drives can be used in NAS systems as an alternative to standalone servers. Businesses can easily share information among different departments and teams without having to purchase expensive IT systems. These drives are the heart of most NAS systems. They consist of a hard drive and an OS that is intended to only interface with local network users.
Network Attached Storage is optimized to provide the fastest speeds. Users can connect to NAS devices to access the data stored, without needing to set up separate servers or hard drives.
This means that NAS systems are easier to set up and maintain. They will therefore be the most convenient and efficient networking solution.
What is the security of NAS?
It depends on the model of your NAS and your operating system. Security updates are generally issued by NAS manufacturers more slowly than those developed for iOS or Windows. During this time, it is important to be extra cautious and restrict access from the outside.
Your attitude and behavior are key factors in the security of your NAS. Intruders can gain access to your data by opening too many ports. Even worse, changing default passwords can increase your risk of losing your data.
Because it is a physical device that stores offline data, NAS relies on the storage drive to work properly. It is more likely to be destroyed by a burglary, fire, or some other hacker than by a random hacker. It is therefore important to have a backup offline or online.
There are several weaknesses in NAS that IT managers and companies should be aware of. These weaknesses can be fixed and mitigated. Let’s find out how we can respond.
Security issues most common to NAS
It is important that you recognize that most NAS systems include in-built defenses. For example, password authentication. They are not completely defenseless. NAS users need to be aware of certain threats.
1. Password security
Sometimes, the authentication processes built into NAS security systems can pose a threat by themselves. We can be complacent about password security and other forms of authentication and overlook key risks.
You can easily guess or force weak passwords using digital tools. It is therefore important to change default passwords immediately. You can expose NAS servers to password hacking because they are directly connected to your network.
Not all companies have the same level of personal security. This could lead to theft of password information or data leakage through practices such as using work applications on unsecure wifi networks.
While NAS security measures can help, they are not sufficient to guarantee data integrity.
2. Leakage of other network devices
You can connect NAS servers to many other devices directly or indirectly. This includes computers that are connected to the same network. Sometimes, however, smart devices connected to the IoT can also be involved.
Security experts have been raising concerns over IoT-connected devices being targeted by hackers. These devices can then be used to spread malware throughout corporate networks.
It is easy to see NAS-connected drives being infected in this manner, giving cyber-attackers full access to any data they hold.
3. Malware and viruses
Concerns have also been raised about the potential exposure of NAS systems to viruses and malware. This is not an academic problem, perhaps because it isn’t. It has been documented that malware has targeted NAS devices.
An agent named SecureCrypt emerged in 2017, and used the SambaCry-NAS loophole to gain control over servers. SecureCrypt would require a BitCoin tax to unlock the contents of victimized drives.
This attack came after the StuxNet attack against Iranian nuclear facilities. It ripped through IoT-enabled devices and NAS, proving that even large industrial sites can be taken offline.
4. Command Injection
Command Injection is another common weakness of NAS. Manufacturers are increasingly struggling to combat this vulnerability. Command Injection attacks are essentially unauthorized attackers taking control of Network Attached Storage drives. They can then grant root privileges that network administrators should have.
Hackers reported very simple command injection techniques to gain control of LG NAS server servers. Drives from companies such as Buffalo, Western Digital, and ZyXEL were also under scrutiny.
Command Injection attacks are not completely covered by NAS devices.
Security guide for NAS
Network Attached Storage may not be 100% secure. It is still an easy and fast solution for individuals and businesses. Many people find the convenience of sharing files and backing up data with others more valuable than the risk of viruses or hacking.
However, Network Attached storage is not a safe option. You can actually lock down NAS equipment to protect it from malicious attackers by using simple and effective methods.