10 Tips to Keep Your Network Secure

The most common threats to your network

  • Hacking attempts
  • Zero-day and zero-hour attacks – this is a sudden attack on a recently discovered vulnerability, meaning that developers will not have had time to address and patch before the first attack.
  • Malicious programs like viruses, malware, Trojans, adware and spyware
  • Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDOS) and Denial of Service (DOS)

These network threats look for some or all of the following

  • Unpatched software and hardware – where a program or code has a vulnerability that a company is aware of but won’t or can’t fix.
  • Unsecured websites
  • Weak passwords
  • Unsecured wireless networks

So, tips to assist with this:

1, It may be surprising to some, but many people save their passwords for work pc’s and laptops on post it notes and then either stick it on their monitor or the underside of their keyboard!

Strong passwords are a must and keeping them out of plain sight is a vital! To keep them strong some steps to take are changing the password every 90 days or so, creating ones that are not a word that can be found in a dictionary and are a mixture of numbers and letters.

2, Delete or disable all accounts that are not in use. Hackers often target these unused accounts. Be sure to manage user-access. If someone’s role changes, amend access to match this.

3, Keeping viruses at bay is simple:

  • Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on all devices and it’s up to date
  • Never open email links from senders you don’t know
  • Download applications/programs from official websites

4, Secure your Wi-Fi

As previously mentioned, an unsecured wireless network can serve as an entry point for a hacker however, there is a lot more to consider when looking at Wi-Fi security than just a password.

  • Create a network name rather than using the default name.
  • Secure all Wi-Fi devices to prevent tampering
  • Create a strong password (not written down anywhere!)
  • Update firmware and software on Wi-Fi devices

5, Keep Patches and Updates Current

  • If you are not on the ball regarding applying patches and updates, hackers or viruses can exploit the vulnerabilities than can then occur in operating systems and software. Check to ensure each device is updated regularly and that Windows /Apple computers have automatic updating enabled.

6, Disable File Sharing

  • File sharing should only be enabled on file servers. If all devices that are connected to the Wi-Fi network it means that all users of that connection can see the files passed through it.

7, Perform a Network Audit – You have to know your weaknesses to improve your network security

Identify and assess

  • Unused or unnecessary applications running in the background
  • Open ports
  • The standard and effectiveness of servers, software and applications
  • Backups

8, Use a Private IP Address

To prevent unauthorised usage of your network you can assign private IP addressing to specific devices within your business. Your IT administrator will then see any attempts by unauthorised users or devices to connect to your network.

9, Securing Your Router is Essential

A security mishap can actually happen just by the reset button being hit on your network router. If yours is in a common area it should be moved to a secure location.

10, Set Up a Firewall

This should be a priority without doubt. Firewalls should be installed on your devices as well as a web application firewall (WAF).

If you need help with your I. T. security Mode can help.

Call us on 03545 223 2203 or visit modesolutions.com

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This post was written by Anwen Haynes

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