Securing your business network isn’t just one job. It’s a series of ongoing tasks that, performed together, provide what you need to keep your small businesses secure — which is a multi-layered network security program executed on several fronts, including inside and outside your business.
This 12-point checklist is a starting point to make sure you’re performing essential network security tasks.
- Set up a firewall. This is vital, because it provides a strong line of defense against malicious emails, viruses, worms, and more.
- Install intrusion detection and prevention systems. These will monitor your network traffic for malicious activity and content like malware and viruses — and block them.
- Update your anti-virus software. The most up-to-date software is critical for detecting and deflecting new viruses as they appear on the scene.
- Train your staff about security. Employees need to understand the basics of keeping your network safe, for example, not clicking on links in suspicious emails and not plugging unauthorized USB drives into your company’s computers.
- Implement physical network security. Keeping physical equipment, such as PCs and hard drives, from being damaged or stolen is often overlooked by small businesses. But this is part of a comprehensive security program.
- Regularly patch systems. This helps ensure that new bugs and vulnerabilities are thwarted as they are released into the world.
- Inventory Your Equipment and Ports. Make sure all of your network equipment (routers, switches, access points, etc.) are hidden and secured from the public.
- Limit Access to Shared Folders. Any shared resources on your network (e.g., folders in Windows) should be secured by setting file and/or sharing permissions, and defining exactly who has what type of access.
- Encrypt Your Wi-Fi. If you don’t enable encryption, anyone can easily connect to your Wi-Fi network. Use a strong encryption password with up to 63 characters, a mix of upper and lower case, and special characters.
- Create a VLAN for Guests. Never let the public onto your private network. Even if you secure shared resources with file and/or sharing permissions, they still may be able to eavesdrop on your Internet traffic to capture or hijack online accounts that you log into.
- Continuous assess your vulnerability. Continuous monitoring and remediation is critical to keep your network secure.
- Create a security plan. Having a plan in place in the event of a security breach of your network will help you deal with any breach swiftly and effectively — and help minimize damage so you can keep your business running.
Keeping your network secure is not a one-and-done task in today’s world. Now, small businesses need around-the-clock protection on multiple levels. If you don’t feel secure with your ability to maintain the action steps on this checklist, as well as other security measures for your network, a professional IT outsource partner can help make sure every security measure is check off — and executed to keep your network secure.
Gives us a call to ensure all of the tasks are always completed on your security checklist.