Network security is one of the most crucial elements of any network, and yet businesses rarely stop to think about how safe their network really is. Paying attention to the safety of your network can prevent the loss of money, time, clients, proprietary information, and even your business itself.
Network Security Tips
Business Router: First, pick the right equipment for the job. A business router is better equipped than a consumer router to handle the challenges of a business’s network. Business routers also have hardware firewalls, which are better at preventing attacks on your network. You could make your business more vulnerable to an attack by using a consumer router.
If you plan on using this router and its network to offer free Wi-Fi to your customers, an increasingly common practice, don’t connect any other computers to this network. A small-time hacker would easily be able to reach your computer this way.
Access Control: Next, control access to the network and the information being shared over that network. As a general rule, be careful about who you hire. Conduct background checks, and if you ask for references, follow up with those references.
Businesses should also implement access control. Access control ensures that the information is accessible only to those who are supposed to be reading it. Consider securing the files with a unique password that only certain people know. If you share files, this can prevent those files from being read by prying eyes. And make sure your employees understand at least the basics of network security. A downloaded attachment with a virus can bring down an entire network and cost huge amounts to remove.
UTM Router: If you feel you need more security, there are a few more things you can do. A unified threat management (UTM) router is a specific type of router with a very strong, powerful firewall. Bigger networks that process lots of information should seriously consider using a UTM router.
VPN: Also consider using a virtual private network (VPN), which is exactly what it sounds like. Using a VPN, two computers can connect securely and privately, which is helpful if you have employees that often telecommute. Network security must be taken seriously if you want to protect your business and your valuable information.
Article by Scott Huotari, President CCSI, Google | LinkedIn