Network Security 101 - What Will Your Grade Be?

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Network Security 101: What will your grade be?
August 30, 2016
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Security 101- What Will Your Grade Be?

Network Security is on the top priority list for many organizations as of recent due to the increasing trend of sophisticated security breaches. With so many advancements coming out in cyber security every year there is a lot of excitement to get the newest security trends into your organization. While these can make a big difference and secure your organization with next generation technology, it is important to first make sure your basics are covered to fully create a network security approach that covers all bases.

The most common threats to your business are:

  • Malicious programs like viruses, worms, torjan horses, spyware, adware, botnets, etc.
  • Zero-Day & Zero-Hour Attacks
  • Hacker Attacks
  • Denial of Service & Distributed Denial of Service
  • Data theft

How do these threats exploit:

  • Unsecure wireless networks
  • Unpatched software
  • Unsecure Websites
  • Weak Passwords
  • Lost Devices
  • And much more

6 Basics To Network Security
Once you tackled security basics you then can move onto more sophisticated solutions to create a holistic approach to data security. Below is a list of security basics – Do you think your organization will pass Security 101?

Anti-Virus

It is very important that organizations have a strong and comprehensive antivirus program that is being utilized throughout the entire company. There are many free antivirus programs available in the market, but they won’t supply the protection needed for enterprise support. Enterprises have much more data to lose than individuals do. Therefore, making organizations a bigger target for cyber-attacks such as viruses, malware, and phishing sites.

Software & Firmware Patching

Do you complete regular patching? Patching is a very important security basic. It is important to keep your business up to date to protect your business critical data against emerging vulnerabilities and threats. It is essential to complete regular patching on your software (operating systems and applications) and firmware (software on routers, firewalls, printers, and other devices) – Don’t forget to keep your mobile devices upgraded as well, especially if your organization has a BYOD policy in place.

Consistent Training

Human error is quite possibly one of the single most vulnerable aspects of the network. We are all human – so we understand, but it only takes one quick moment for a security incident to occur. It is important to keep your guards high and go by the “if it looks too good to be true, than it is” rule. Institute a good training program for your employees to continuously educate about current threats and what could happen in the case of a security incident. While this can teach employees to keep their guard up, you can create an even stronger security plan by just the actions of your employees.

Use Strong Passwords

The definition of a strong password is one that is difficult to detect by humans and computers. It is key to have your password at least six characters long with a combination of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers. Keep in mind these tips:

  • Don’t relate your password to your name, nickname, family, pets, birthday, street numbers, phone numbers
  • Choose a phrase that means something to you
  • Convert letters into numbers

Create a password policy for your organization. Make sure that employees are changing their passwords regularly, keeping them out of plain site (not on post-it notes on your monitor), and create a locked-out role after so many attempts.

Actively Manage User Access Privileges

Another important factor to data security is keeping sensitive data away from eyes whose job scope doesn’t require use of that data. Inappropriate user-access privileges post an exponential security threat to your business and customers. Save the ease of “snooping employees” by creating a written document of what job titles need certain data and implement it throughout your organization – and stick with it! Make sure that the IT department is notified when employees’ jobs change to keep your privileges up to date.

Backup & Disaster Recovery Solution

In the end, the best defense is keep your data backup and disaster recovery solution up to date. It is important to keep your backup solution disconnected from your primary systems in case of malware or any other type of virus infection. The most secure way to back up your data is to have a cloud based solution. You are able to have physical and virtual separation of your backups. Creating a logical, strategic, and practical data backup and disaster recovery solution can save your organization from downtime and associated costs with data breach incidents while supplying peace of mind that your data is secure, 24/7/365.

BONUS NETWORK SECURITY TIPS

  • Continuously monitor network traffic to detect unusual patterns of activity
  • Maintain a list of authorized and unauthorized software that your employees can use.
  • Update the company’s security policies and specifically spell out what is and what is not allowed and what to do in the case of a security incident.
  • Encrypt data and segregate it from the rest of the network

If you want to learn more about what your organization can do to secure their network to protect from possible threats, contact NetServ365 – your Pittsburgh based Managed IT Services Provider. Contact Us today!

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