With increased cyber security threats and recurring attacks on network securities, business networks are under immense pressure to ensure maximum security. Furthermore, the complex and intricate nature of attacks makes it even more crucial for data centers to take the network more seriously. Network breach is a risk for any and every organization no matter its size.
Another factor that makes the attacks undetectable till the damage is done is the sophistication of the attacks. Cybercriminals are becoming more sneaky in their attack patterns and the increased portals and number of devices are only maximizing the risk.
We live in a world where connectivity is crucial for technology to work. From mobile devices and gadgets to data center devices, connectivity continues to grow. This has led to an increased number of outlets and applications used by organizations for smooth processes. It is difficult to monitor and secure all these devices without help. As the matter is not only managing the internal network but also external outlets and portals. The more connected a system, the more vulnerable it becomes. And consequently the more likely it is for cyber attackers to breach your network.
Inculcating a culture that is devoted to network security, and where every file is opened, downloaded and shared after a thorough screening procedure will bring wonderful results. However, the only way to achieve this culture is through training and education.
As a business, you need to create a security-centred culture that begins at the grassroots level and goes across all branches and departments. Providing the right training and education to all staff and team members about the threats and how to prevent them are crucial for a secure network environment. In fact, this education is an integral part of any onboarding process not only for the new members but for everyone on board to be aware of the regular updates, issues and potential threats.
5 Ways To Secure Your Business Network
Whether self-employed, a business owner or leading a large corporation, there are basic network security steps you can take to prevent cyber attacks or increase your security to an extent. Some basic network security practices can help you achieve the fundamentals of network security and ensure the first line of defence. These five steps will help to form the foundations of a secure network:
Perform A Network Audit
The first thing you should do before improving your network is to evaluate your current network position and identify areas that need improvement.
It’s impossible to improve your network security without first knowing the weak ends of your system. While the time, effort and expertise it takes for a network audit depends on the type of network and the size of your organization, the objective of a network security audit remains the same, i.e. to locate and evaluate the following:
- Potential security vulnerabilities
- Strength of your firewall
- Anti-virus and anti-malware software
- Backup history and schedule
- Unused or unnecessary applications running in the background
- The overall health of servers, software and applications
A network security audit is the first step to establishing your overall cybersecurity processes and policies. It is a thorough analysis with a specific focus on the network and its weaker ends. The members and visitors extracting or transferring data or sharing proprietary information can pose a Cybersecurity risk, it is the work of a network security solution to monitor these activities.
Update Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware Software
The importance of anti-virus software is not debatable. However, relying on outdated enterprise-level anti-malware solutions can be part of a problem rather than solving it. Over time antivirus software becomes outdated and in a lot of cases, is never updated increasing vulnerabilities every time users connect.
It should be your priority to update your anti-virus and anti-malware on all connected devices across your network as outdated firewalls and antiviruses are the most commonly breached points in cyber attacks.
Invest In A VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is like a shield that protects your internet protocol (IP) address by encrypting your network to ensure online privacy on a user level. VPNs make your online actions virtually untraceable, decreasing the chances of leaving a footprint for cyber criminals to follow. Most importantly, VPN ensures secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy and more leverage across the network blocking your activities, browsing history, and data from prospective hackers. Additionally, it also helps in protecting files when using a public WiFi network. For businesses and individuals who rely on online activity for all their major processes, VPN services are a crucial step to ensure your network security.
Set Up A Firewall
A firewall is a very important layer of protection for your network, if you have not set up a firewall already, make it a priority. A firewall can be set up on individual devices. Nowadays most antivirus software offers a built-in firewall, however, in addition to protecting individual devices, a firewall can also be set up as a web application firewall (WAF).
A WAF helps in the protection of web applications by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. By developing or setting up a WAF layer in front of your web application you place a defence system between your web application and the traffic coming from the web. While a proxy server protects a client machine’s identity by using an intermediary, a WAF is a type of reverse proxy, that protects the server from exposure by having clients pass through the WAF before reaching the server.
A WAF is very essential for e-commerce stores or businesses that sell products or software online because it helps them keep the data of the customers and clients secure.
- The Unit 42 team was able to download every GitLab repository from the customer’s cloud software storage location. This allowed them to identify nearly 80,000 individual cloud resources within 154 unique CI repositories.
- Within the repositories, researchers found 26 hardcoded IAM key pairs. This allowed them to escalate their privileges and access the customer’s supply chain operations.
Establish A Network Security Maintenance System
Whilst your initial network security set-up is essential, it’s equally important to put in place a network security maintenance schedule. This schedule should cover key actions including:
- Keeping software up to date
- Set up a schedule for the regular updating of network names and passwords
- Updating user passwords periodically
- Running regular activity reports
- Performing regular backups
- Scheduling training on the latest security developments
- These are just a few of the most basic steps that should be included in your maintenance schedule. Depending on the size and complexity of your organisation, it is possible there will be many more elements included in your maintenance schedule in order to keep on top of potential threats to network security.
Network security is not something that can be set up and forgotten. IT is of ultimate importance that you regularly update your network security, keep finding loopholes and filling them up and make it future-proof so that your applications are at a lower risk of security breaches or spammy traffic. Establishing a maintenance schedule ensures you keep on top of the latest threats and importantly, you keep your staff up to date with all potential threats.
When there is a lack of systems and processes there is always a high risk of security breaches. Whether it is a small business or a large enterprise, it’s hard to find businesses that do not invest in some sort of cybersecurity solution to protect both their devices, but also their network. The software is only part of the solution. However, You must invest in a system that will ensure your web application security internally and externally.
DS TOTAL SOLUTIONS partners with multiple strategic vendors to provide top of game Cyber Security solutions to our customers. Our work in Cyber Security and next-generation security with partnering platforms offers robust protection against advanced cyber security threats to protect today’s networks.
We provide advanced firewalls and cloud-based solutions that extend those firewalls to cover other aspects of network security. We deal with network security problems at a strategic level, providing robust solutions that tackle even the most complex cyber threats in an efficient manner.
Talk to our team at DS Total Solutions today and learn more about how you can secure your network with the best cybersecurity solutions.