Improving network security through preventative measures and routine maintenance

7 Simple Methods for Improving Your Network Security

In today’s marketplace, businesses need to have the majority of their data online in order to stay competitive. Through the use of networks, this data can be easily managed and accessed at a moment’s notice.  However, this ease of use has its own risks; viruses, hackers, network failures, the list goes on.  In order to continue running a successful company, being prepared to deal with these issues at a moment’s notice is imperative.

That’s where network security comes into play.  One of the biggest roadblocks towards ensuring that your network is functional is knowing what you need to do.  An easy solution would be to hire a consultant who would be able to explain what the issues are with your network and what you can do to fix it.  While larger corporations tend to have their own consultants, small businesses looking into network security can greatly benefit from Managed IT services such as the ones offered by TeamLogic IT Plano.  Even without such an aide, there are several simple steps that you can take on your own in order to ensure that your network is secure.

Simple Steps to Ensure that your Network is Secure

  • Change your password every 90 days – In addition to that, also use complex passwords that are not easy to guess.  A good rule of thumb is to include upper and lower case letters, numbers, and additional characters.  By doing this, it’s harder for hackers to get into your system through conventional means.
  • Install a firewall – Specifically, a dedicated one.   Default firewalls are, for the most part, not adequate, and a more specialized firewall could be more suited for your business.   Hardware based firewalls (e.g. Cisco, Barracuda, Juniper) are more flexible and customizable, and are generally preferable to their software based counterparts (which are still more useful than the defaults).
  • Update your antivirus software – As with firewalls, it pays to invest in a  licensed antivirus software.  You’ll get much more protection from a branded software such as Norton or McAfee than you would from Windows Defender.  However, installing the software is only half the battle.  New viruses and threats are constantly being discovered and it’s important to  keep your software up-to-date, so that it’s capable of dealing with  new threats.
  • Keep your network up-to-date – This goes beyond the standard audit.  Checking for firmware or software updates, configuration settings, and other features or tools that you aren’t using is a good method of ensuring that your network itself doesn’t have any issues that need to be addressed. You may need to seek advice from IT consultant to make sure your network is up-to-date.
  • Have secure remote access mechanisms – Remote access is both a blessing and a curse.  While it is a necessity to ensure maximum productivity, it is also a huge gaping hole in terms of network security.  This issue can be mitigated either through a remote login, a virtual private network, or a cloud network.
  • Record network traffic – While preventing a security breach is the optimal course of action, sometimes that is not always possible.  Should a security breach occur, it’s impossible for you to to fully understand how or why it happened without a detailed record of every packet after the fact.  You can then use this data to recreate the scenario that led up to the breach.
  • Have a secure backup plan – Not only is this useful in case of the network attacks, but it even be useful for more mundane issues such as mass file deletion.   As best practice, ,  data should be stored in a remote location so that your backup isn’t in danger of the same threat that your original data is facing.

Be sure to check out more about network security services on the TeamLogic IT website, for more information on the subject!

 

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