Network Security: Keep Your Network Environment Secure

As more and more people rely on the Internet to get things done in their daily life, network security is more important than ever. Typically, small businesses and home network users haven’t had to worry much about security.

Poor network security exposes you to viruses, spyware, and most dangerous, cyber criminals a.k.a. hackers.

These guidelines and best practices can help eliminate, or at least mitigate, the majority of network breaches and security vulnerabilities.

Security Policy
An active security policy is always the most important item for protection of your network, whether it is in your home or in a business environment.

This is simply a statement, or guideline of the rules and how security is setup in the organization.

This role will govern the level of security users are allowed access to on the network. The roles and responsibilities of each person on the network, as they are part of the system, should be clearly defined.

Passwords
Although the most obvious, it is definitely one of the most important,and often, most neglected ttems.

Be sure to enforce strong passwords across your network – a weak password could lead to a user account being compromised.

Email
Certain email attachments can become a major problem if the wrong one is opened, and a lot of the time it is by accident.

Some of the most common file types to block would be: .bas, .bat, .vbs, and .exe.

Patches/Updates

Be sure your operating system is up to date with most recent patches, security updates, and service packs. This will close many of the vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

Inventory
Keep a good inventory of your network devices by developing and maintaining a list of all hardware and software components that are implemented on the network.

Try to understand which software applications should be installed, and which provide a weak security configuration so you can monitor those applications.

Adopt The Least Privilege Concept
The least privilege concept influences the network and/or systems administrator to create custom policies for having permissions and access to network resources.

Try to allow only what access is absolutely necessary to users, not giving them more rights to the system than they should have.

Remote Access
Certain ports can be blocked to keep unwanted users from remotely accessing your network and any of its resources.

If you’re one of the many small business owners who also works from home on occasion, there should be a security policy in place for VPN (virtual private network) access and your IT support company should assist with getting connected properly.

Keeping these simple guidelines in mind when thinking security on your network, and you’ll prevent several possible problems from happening, as well as maintaining a safe and effective performing work environment for work and for pleasure, in home or in business.