Security is at the forefront of most people’s minds when they use their computer systems. Whether it is for business or personal use, we often share sensitive information online. Our bank details, passwords, credit card details and even email messages need to be protected so they don’t fall into the wrong hands. A network without security is exposed and vulnerable to attack and your private and confidential information is at risk!
The best way to secure your network is to not have it connected to the internet at all! However, that's simply not feasible for most business interactions today. So what steps can you take to ensure that your network is secure?
Tip 1: Use Unified Threat Management (UTM) systems - not just a firewall - to connect to the internet. A firewall is essential but it protects your system from the outside in. UTMs provide application layer filtering which allows organisations to also monitor and control outbound traffic. In other words, the organisation can control which employees can access the internet and place restrictions on the sites they can visit and use. UTMs protect your network from the inside out.
Tip 2: Monitor traffic, activities and exceptions on your internet gateway on a regular basis. You should be able to track usage and ensure that your policies are being complied with. You will know who is doing what on your network.
Tip 3: Pay special attention to mobile devices. These often bypass your internet gateway and can have direct internet access via 3G/4G. Without realising it, your staff members may be opening a back door to your network.
Tip 4: ALWAYS enforce solely VPN tunnelled connectivity for mobile workers. Never allow direct remote desktop or other un-encrypted communications as they can allow viruses, malware and unknown programs to access your network.
Tip 5: Use strong passwords. Get into the habit of using blends of numbers, punctuation, capitalisation and non-dictionary words. For those of you who complain about having to remember too many passwords, create a small set of 3 or 4, each password meant for a particular security level. The higher the security level, the more complex the password. You can use these passwords for a few different functions. By memorising only 3 or 4, you can have appropriate passwords for all the different logons you have.
Of course, our best advice is to use Endian products for complete network security. Endian UTM appliances offer integrated security services such as stateful inspection firewall, VPN, gateway anti-virus, anti-spam, web security, and email content filtering. The Endian Network is a remote management and monitoring system which gives you unprecedented control over your network devices. The choice is yours.
An investment in network security is an investment in the security of your business and your private information. Don’t leave the security of your network to chance.