With the recent global cyber-attacks and the ever-increasing ability for hackers to automate their attack methods, Network Security is an absolute must for any size business. The reasons for securing your network are a mile long but in a nut shell, Networks are vulnerable because of their ability to provide remote access. By not taking the proper steps to secure your Network, you expose your business to unauthorized access and misuse.
As Networks become more advanced, so does the technology used by hackers. There is no longer one-single solution to reduce a Network’s vulnerability. Businesses need to implement multiple layers of protection to reduce the risk of exposure. That also includes the need to include Network Security in the company’s technology budget.
We’ve listed a few of the key layers of protection that we feel a company can implement to keep their Network safe from attack without breaking the bank account.
- Always Change Default Passwords to any device that connects to the Network. Default passwords should never be used past the initial implementation of the device. Once the device is set up, change the password immediately. Default passwords are some of the easiest passwords to break.
- Update your Anti-Virus Software to the newest version or replace your anti-virus completely if it is more than a year old. If your anti-virus software is out of date, your Network is most likely vulnerable because there are gaps that the updates fill in. Hackers know about these gaps and can obtain access quickly if the software isn’t kept up to date.
- Monitor Permissions to the Network and limit the number of employees who have remote access. Limiting remote access greatly reduces the risk of misuse and hacking. A disgruntled employee with remote access can damage not only a Network but a company’s reputation.
- Implement Multi-Factor Authentication Access. If you bank on-line, you may already be familiar with multi-factor authentication access. There are a number of versions of this type of authentication: secondary passwords are emailed to the user trying to access remotely, answering a question that was previously determined by the user when the account was set up, or providing a random sequence of numbers from a predetermined set of numbers set up by the user when the account was opened. Keep in mind, there are usually costs associated with Multi-Factor Authentication. Your IT provider can help you determine the best solution for your company.
- Implement a Backup Strategy. A Network Backup is simply defined as a process of copying and backing up all end devices and network nodes in a computer network. Network backup may also refer to the actual data or files that are being backed up in a network backup process. If by change a Network is hacked or crashes, having a backup of the network will allow a faster recovery. We recommend daily backups to all of our customers; however, some companies only schedule weekly or monthly backups. Here’s the downfall to longer periods between backups; the data you restore your Network to from a backup that is a week old is outdated. Anything that was saved after the last backup is lost and cannot be restored. Restoring your Network to a backup that is only 24 hours or less old is much easier to recover from.
- Establish a Network Security Policy. This is a generic document that outlines the rules for network access, determines how policies are enforced, and lays out some of the basic architecture of the company security/network security environment. It is recommended to have a committee consisting of one employee from each department draw up the policy to ensure all aspects of security are covered.