With so much work being done and stored on computers, network security should be a priority for all businesses. Everything from customer information and corporate secrets to other important data are stored on and transmitted via computer networks, so it's no wonder that the temptation for criminals to break in to your network is great.
In reality, the threat of network intrusion is real, no matter what the size of your business. For example, smaller businesses, thinking that their networks may not pose as much of a temptation, may have less secure networks and then leave them open to attack.
Imagine what your company would have to lose if a criminal were to break your computer network. They may have access to your personnel files, your customer files, credit card numbers, and confidential financial information. The havoc a criminal could cause with just one of these pieces of information is almost unthinkable.
How to Secure Your Network
One part of securing a network is ensuring that the network is built to be secure. When building a business network, a network architect should determine how best to secure the network, whether that network is a small network for a small business or one that has to integrate into part of a huge global enterprise network. Building a secure network starts with the network equipment, including firewalls, routers, and switches.
A much larger part of network security is creating policies that ensure your network is secure by allowing only certain people to use the network for prescribed purposes only. Only allowing authorized users access to a computer network by logging in keeps unknown people from getting in. Likewise, having password policies that require a strong password and teaching users of your network not to share those passwords with unauthorized users also helps to keep a network safe.
Additional tips include:
- Identify what could possibly tempt an attack. By taking inventory of what your company's data assets are and taking steps to protect those assets by securing your network, you help to ensure your company's data is safe.
- Institute policies that keep your computers safe while being used by authorized user, such as preventing or limiting downloads or unauthorized browsing.
- Keep users aware of the simple things they can do like changing their password regularly, not writing down their password, and not giving their password out to anyone.
Taking the steps above helps to protect your business not only from intrusion but also from downtime due to malware infections, which can adversely affect your company's bottom line.