When it comes to keeping your business network protected, you never want to cut corners. Using a combination of hardware and software is essential to creating an optimum level of protection. Whether you want to secure your business from external forces, or ensure that individual computers and systems are safe internally.
following a few simple tips and IT consulting guidelines will help you sleep better at night.
Preventing unauthorized access to your business’ network and to the systems and objects located within your network is vital. Having a firewall does just that.
Firewalls block unauthorized users and sites from having any access to your network and are especially useful if your business connects to the internet. With a firewall in place, your employees can access your network safely from branch offices or from home.
Firewalls comes in two forms: hardware firewalls, which rely on hardware devices and their accompanying firmware to examine and block negative processes; and software firewalls, which reside on individual computers and offer mobile protection to employees even when they are outside the network.
Both hardware and software firewalls can be used in combination and, in fact, it is recommended that you do so.
Firewalls do require regular maintenance, patches and updates to keep them running effectively and should not be relied upon as your only form of security.
Network Access Control (NAC)
The complete package of protection, combining all your security efforts, is your Network Access Control, or NAC. The Network Access Control requires that anyone who wants to access your system must meet very specific parameters.
Anyone trying to access your network system needs to have the right passwords, the right software, et cetera, thereby controlling access.
The Network Access Control can also be set-up to only allow employees to access certain areas of the system, limiting them to materials that are job related.
Antivirus software and spam filters
Of course, every individual computer system needs a good quality antivirus program, as does the entire network. Antivirus software protects your computer from malware, Trojans and other nasty and insidious viruses.
This vital tool also guards your systems from hackers, who frequently use viruses as a means to get in and take control of your system.
One of the biggest dangers to a business network is spam. Infiltrating through employee emails, simply opening an email can activate the spam, some of which is very dangerous.
Social networking sites are breeding a particularly insidious brand of spam, dubbed social spam. Limiting at-work access to these social networking sites, as well as using effective anti-spam filtering software, will help the situation.
Though seemingly simple, requiring strong passwords on your business systems is necessary to protect from aggressive hacker attacks and so-called dictionary attacks, in which passwords are systematically attacked and broken.
Setting passwords parameters will prevent users from creating passwords that are too simple and easily broken, a first step on the way to keeping your business network protected and safe.