Company managers and IT administrators know better than anyone the importance of making a network more secure. Beyond meeting mandatory regulations, a secure network prevents viruses, attacks against data, and disruption of workflow. Your customers can rest easy giving you their personal information if they know your network will keep it protected.
Primary Network Security Components
Keeping a secure network requires several considerations. Below we’ve compiled a list of the primary security measures you need to protect your business network, including servers and endpoints.
Your network contains most of your information and connections, making it one of the most vital components to protect. There is no one single layer that can protect your whole network, so you need to make sure you have the major bases covered:
- Web filtering. Web-filtering programs screen an upcoming website and can block certain types of content from loading. Setting a web filter to scan against malware can prevent malicious programs from ever reaching your computer.
- DNS security. DNS stands for domain name system, which is how networks trade and obtain information and IP addresses between clients and servers. Attacks against DNS take advantage of the open communication and can even redirect a user to a malevolent site.
- Email protection. Without email protection, your messages are at risk. Besides integrating strong passwords, you can guard your emails through spam filters and anti-virus/spam applications.
- Vulnerability scanning. Malware and viruses take advantage of the vulnerabilities in networks. Conducting a vulnerability scan allows you to find those weaknesses before hackers and viruses do, letting you correct any security issues in advance.
- Password management. Strong passwords are key to keeping any account safe. Discuss with your employees what makes a strong password. Remind them to keep passwords to themselves, and require regular changes across the company.
- Centralized patch management. Programs often release regular patches and updates with improvements, and not keeping up with patches can result in security issues. A centralized patch management system checks for patches, confirms their safety, and runs updates, keeping you secure while also saving you time.
If your network connects to outside sources, be they employee or client-based, the connection to outside sources opens new bridges for potential threats. As such, additional security measures are necessary to keep your endpoints secure.
- Antivirus. Antivirus programs do not just need to protect computers inside your office—They should reach out across your whole network. When searching for antivirus software, be sure to find one that extends to your endpoints as well.
- Certain websites access permissions and restrictions. In order to prevent devices with insufficient security or patch updates from connecting to your network, you can utilize network access control. Doing so allows you to either deny or restrict access to your network until the endpoint device has the necessary software or updates.
- Firewall utilization. Firewalls protect networks by monitoring incoming and outgoing network traffic by following a set of rules. Endpoints are outside the range of firewall protection, but utilizing firewall software can keep possible dangers at endpoints from making it to your central network.
Secure servers are crucial, as they keep information safe during online transactions. Follow these key components of server security:
- SSH Keys. SSH keys serve as a means of verification between your server and remote devices, allowing for automatic connection of approved devices and extra security measures for unapproved ones.
- Firewall. As previously mentioned, a firewall will monitor network traffic and prohibit activity based on set rules.
- VPNs and Private Networking. A VPN is a virtual private network, which allows secure access to private networks through public networks. As a firewall protects a computer, VPNs monitor and protect data online.
- Public Key Infrastructure and SSL/TLS. Public key infrastructures help determine that the sites and servers you are trying to access are those sites, and not fakes. SSL and TLS both work to indicate sites that are secure, and can safely transmit data, such as payment and personal information.
- Active Directory security on Windows Server. If you work with Windows, consider Active Directory to manage your company’s users, computers, and more. Active directory can help organize which computers can access which networks.
Backup as a Last Line of Defense
While incorporating these security measures can help keep your network safe, an accident may occur that results in data loss. You should perform regular backups to prevent loss of documents and important company and client information. While choosing reliable cloud backup software consider advanced security and encryption features as important factors to look for.
It is also critical that all your employees are trained on practices to keep your network secure. No matter what security measures you use, a simple click on a phishing email can compromise your network. Conduct cybersecurity training to keep employees informed and prepared in order to avoid cyber threats.
There are many potential security risks in any network, so it is imperative to take steps to secure yours. Implementing network, endpoint, and server security while backing up data and keeping network users aware of threats can go a long way toward keeping your company’s data safe.