There are some basic network security steps you should take to cover the fundamentals of network security and ensure you have a first line of defense against potential threats.
Network security requirements are determined by the number of devices connected to the network, and if you are a large enterprise with potentially thousands of connected devices on your network, you will need to take many more steps to protect and secure your network.
- Perform a network audit
When attempting to improve any aspect of your business, the first step is typically to conduct an audit in order to evaluate your current position and implement steps to improve areas that are underperforming. This also applies to network security.
- Update anti-virus/anti-malware software
The majority of businesses will purchase enterprise-level anti-virus and anti-malware software. This means that when a new device is assigned, this software will be installed on all staff devices, such as desktop or laptop computers, mobile phones, and so on.
However, over time, that software becomes obsolete, and in many cases, users never update the software again, creating network vulnerabilities every time they connect.
Updating anti-virus and anti-malware software should be a priority, but it should also be part of a regular and ongoing schedule for updating all user software on connected devices across the network, as this is one of the most common points of entry for cybercriminals.
- Invest in a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your network to protect your users’ online privacy. VPNs conceal your internet protocol (IP) address, rendering your online activities virtually untraceable. Most importantly, VPN services provide more privacy than even a secured WiFi hotspot.
A VPN prevents prospective hackers from accessing your activities, data, browsing history, communications, and other personal information. As previously stated, it also aids in the protection of your files when using a public WiFi network. If you have employees who work remotely and frequently connect to public WiFi networks (such as those found in cafes, restaurants, and airports), a VPN is an essential line of defense.
- Set up a firewall
A firewall, like a VPN, is an important line of defense for your network, and if you don’t already have one, you should make it a priority. A firewall can be installed on individual devices, and your anti-virus or anti-malware software may include firewall protection; however, a firewall can also be configured to protect web applications (WAF).
By filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet, a WAF helps to protect web applications. When a WAF is deployed in front of a web application, it creates a barrier between the web application and the Internet. While a proxy server protects the identity of a client machine by acting as an intermediary, a WAF is a type of reverse proxy that protects the server from exposure by requiring clients to pass through the WAF before reaching the server.
A WAF is especially important for e-commerce businesses that sell products online or store sensitive customer information. Installing a WAF will assist in protecting all of your stored data.
- Establish a network security maintenance system
While initial network security configuration is critical, it is also critical to establish a network security maintenance schedule. This plan should include key actions such as:
-Maintaining software updates
-Set up a schedule for updating network names and passwords on a regular basis.
-User passwords should be updated on a regular basis.
-Regular activity reporting
-Making regular backups
-Planning training on the most recent security developments