With the ever-increasing number of attacks launched on businesses, it is already a must for entrepreneurs to understand just how valuable network security is.
All firms, regardless of size, can be vulnerable to the unlawful acts committed by hackers. A small business is just as susceptible to threats and breaches as a much larger one.
This then brings up the importance of a written and carefully prepared network security checklist. Securing all networks, particularly those that involve financial and security data, as well as the use of the Internet, should be established. By doing so, business owners can make it harder for attackers to infiltrate their life’s work: the firm that they have worked so hard to establish.
So when coming up with approaches to secure a business network, it is a must that the following components are met and satisfied.
- Covers the most important security-related concerns.
A well-thought of plan for securing networks is one that covers the most important concerns, including the following:
- Acceptable Network Activities. The security personnel should specify the kind of activities that are allowed when a business network is involved. There should also be clear instructions as to which activities should never be done when accessing the network.
- Acceptable Communication Activities. This should include rules about the use of emails, chat messages, text messages, attachments, and other communication-related activities.
- Use of Antivirus. An antivirus program is an extremely important component of a network security plan, as this adds a layer of protection against malicious software, including worms, viruses, and the most dangerous; Trojan horses.
- Assigning of Individual Account Login Credentials. Each employee should have their own individual account login credentials. The password should also be of hard-to-crack, which means that it should be comprised of a combination of uppercase letters, lower case letters, numbers, and characters.
- Use of Encryption Software. All devices, internal or external, should be encrypted. These include computers, laptops, hard drives, smartphones, tablets, and any other mobile device that may contain business-related data.
- Lists all of the existing current security measures and their descriptions.
In order to figure out the areas for network security improvement, it is a must that an inventory of all existing measures and technologies are taken. This way, any appropriate additions can be made to make the network even more secure and safe from the hands of attackers.
Ideally, the following business network security measures should already be in place:
- Firewall – Allows only authorized users to access the network.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) – Provides secure network access to authorized users, including employees, partners, and employees.
- Intrusion Prevention Software – Detects and puts a stop to possible vulnerabilities and threats before damage to the network is done.
- Distributed Denial of Service – Detects and mitigate Distributed Denial of Service attacks with complete DDoS protection.
- Content Security – Prevents malicious software, such as viruses, worm, spyware, and spam from entering the network.
- Secure Wireless Network – Ensures that the network can safely be accessed by employees and visitors on the go.
- Identifies all of the most valuable digital assets.
An effective network security policy also specifies a business’ most valuable digital assets. By having these components of an organization identified, proper actions can be taken and measures implemented to ensure that they stay safe and secure. The following characteristics of each asset should also be covered:
- Storage location
- People who has direct and indirect access to it
- Reasons for these individuals having access to the assets
- How control over the access is maintained
- Having all employees undergo security training.
It should go without saying that all businesses should have their employees undergo security training. The reason is obvious: they are part of the day to day operations, which means that they have access to some, if not most of the parts of the firm’s network. If they are not trained, they can accidentally comprise the safety and security of the firm’s network.
This is why it is crucial for employees to be educated and taught of the most important online safety habits as well as proactively defending and protecting the company’s network. In addition, educating all members of the staff as to why they need to follow these security measures and the dangers of failing to do so is more effective than just relying on the security staff to resolve problems.
- Measures to be taken when backing up data.
Since the threat of network security breaches is real and unfortunately, cannot be 100% prevented, it is wise for businesses to make certain that they have all their important data backed up in another location. This way, in the event of data loss, they can rest easy knowing that they have copies of the information stored elsewhere. In the event of a breach, the data can be wiped out before further damage is done.
Data backups also help businesses and organizations make certain that their important information is safely stored for later access. These backups should be done on a schedule, to ensure that all crucial additions are not lost or forgotten about. In most cases, experts advice firms to create complete backups on a weekly basis, while incremental versions should be made every day. All personal computers used by employees for work purposes should also be completely backed up on a weekly basis.
A network, in many cases, is the framework for many of the most vital operating procedures of a business. If this is left unprotected, significant damages can occur – problems that may not only affect the bottom line of the company, but also its overall integrity and reputation.