How to secure your network

Whether your company is large or small, your enterprise network faces security threats. Most digital threats come from outside of your organisation; however, your users can present internal threats to your network too. Therefore, you must protect your enterprise’s data by securing your network technology.

A majority of your company’s digital security threats will come from outside of your organisation (hackers and data thieves). Therefore, a firewall is your network’s first line of defence against cyber attacks. For example, a firewall will prevent hackers from gaining access to your network and stealing your business data. If your network software doesn’t include a firewall, you can get enterprise security software that has a firewall.

Hackers trying to gain direct access to your network don’t present the only cyber threat. Malware can slow down your servers and computers as well, while viruses can cripple your entire network. Also, data thieves can create viruses and malware programs that steal your company’s data. That’s why you must install enterprise security software that will protect your organisation’s network from viruses and malware.

Internal data breaches pose another security threat to your network. For example, an employee might steal data to sell to a competitor or to sabotage your organisation. That’s why you must limit access to data to only those users that need it. Don’t grant all users full access to enterprise data — just what they need to do their job. Also, create a system that records when users log into the network so that you can track down internal data breaches.

Account passwords can fall into the wrong hands, thereby granting unauthorised users access to your network. Therefore, you must set up password management guidelines to prevent unauthorised users from gaining access to your network. For example, require that passwords contain both alpha and numeric characters, and be at least a certain amount of characters. Also, expect users to change their passwords every so often. Ban users from sharing their password with others, and discipline those that do share their password.

Jump drives present a couple of threats to your network. First, users can steal network data on jump drives. Secondly, jump drives can transfer viruses to computers – which will then infect your entire network. Therefore, you should ban employees from using jump drives – and disable open USB ports so users can’t plug-in external devices.

You should create users guidelines and offer training so employees will know how to follow the rules correctly when using your network. For example, you can give new employees instruction on how to use your company’s network and require that they sign a user agreement. You should also provide ongoing training to all employees as new security threats arise.

Finally, protecting your enterprise data is critical to the success of your network. If something were to happen to your data, your company might not recover. For example, ransom attacks can bring down computer systems – blocking access to data. Also, you can lose data from a server crash. Therefore, you should backup data every night and have it stored off-site, ideally in two separate locations. You can save data on physical external hard drives and keep them in a safe place, and use cloud storage.

In short, don’t let security problems cripple your network. Install network security software (and a firewall) that protects your organisation from hackers, viruses, and malware. Protect your company from internal data breaches by limiting user access to data, banning jump drives and enforcing strong password management rules. Establish user guidelines and train employees on following those directions. Safeguard one of your company’s most valuable assets, i.e., its data, by doing regular backups and storing it off-site.

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