Your network connects all the hardware and software together in your business. A single vulnerability could easily compromise everything else on the network. This can lead to equipment failures, data loss, costly downtime, and more. The best way to prevent network issues is to take a systematic approach and evaluate it with a well-thought-out network security checklist. This will save your business precious time and money, while keeping your data more secure.data security services, cybersecurity, network security

Evaluate All Your Hardware and Software

Start with what’s connected to the network. This includes servers, computers, mobile devices, routers, access points, and any other related devices.

Of course, also evaluate your software. If anything is outdated, isn’t protected with up-to-date antivirus software, or doesn’t have security layers in place to prevent unwanted access, it’s a vulnerability. Cybercriminals look for open doors. An older operating system that no longer gets security patches or access points that still use the default password make your network an easy target for attack.

Secure Your Network Access

The next item on your network security checklist should be securing network access. It’s easy to set up a network using the most basic options. However, you want to protect your business, employees, customers, and data. Hackers know what all the default settings are when it comes to setting up wired and wireless networks. If you don’t do what’s required to secure access, it’s easy for them to connect whenever they want, especially with wireless networks.

Obviously, the first step is creating a secure Wi-Fi password and change the Wi-Fi admin login name from the default setting. Then, ensure every user has a strong and unique password to access the network. Some businesses even go the extra mile to only allow specific devices to connect. Data security consulting services providers can help you decide on the best ways to secure your network access.

Evaluate User Account Controls

How and what users access your network affects the entire network. If every user had access to everything, hackers would only need to use one convincing phishing scam to break into your network. Access to different tools and business databases should be granted only to those whose business functions require it.

For example:

  • Employees whose job functions do not include network administration should be blocked from modifying network settings. Doing so prevents them from making accidental changes which could compromise your systems.
  • Those employees who do not have a business reason to access your business’ financial information should not have access to financial accounting and reporting systems

Use Endpoint Protection Software

And “endpoint” in IT security is an end-user device. This could be a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. It serves as a point of access to an enterprise network and can be exploited as points of entry by bad actors.

Every business, no matter the size, needs endpoint protection software. Attacks happen from a variety of endpoints, sometimes multiple endpoints at once. This is why you need end-to-end protection, which protects both your network and devices connected to it from cyberattacks, malware infections, and more.

A full endpoint protection software solution includes browser security, anti-malware, real-time monitoring for coordinated attacks, controlling data access, and other network connected devices, such as printers and smart devices.

Automate Security Updates

The easiest way to keep your network secure is to set up automatic security and software updates. This is a proactive way to keep hackers out of your network as it ensures that all the latest viruses and malware will be detected and defused. Even if you don’t automate feature updates, always install security updates immediately as they may contain “zero-day” patches (patches created on the same day the exploit was detected).

Set Up a Data Backup and Recovery Plan

While most of your network security list is about proactively preventing cyberattacks, a data backup and recovery plan helps get your business’s network back online in the event of an attack or natural disaster. A data security consulting partner can help you determine the best strategy for your needs.

Control Device Security

Finally, change your network security settings for more secure connections from mobile or remote devices. With more employees working outside of the office, you must have a way to protect your network even when mobile phones, tablets, and laptops connect from external locations.

This might mean only using cloud-based software and restricting file downloads to ensure if the device is compromised, your data is still safe. You can also restrict which devices can connect, combined with secure log-in protocols, including two-factor authentication.

At GSDSolutions, we can help your business develop and go through every aspect of a good network security checklist. We provide an affordable way to stay on top of the latest technology changes and provide IT support in Mountain View and surrounding areas for small and medium-sized businesses.

 

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