9 Ways to Make Your Business Network More Secure

Oct 18, 2017 | Insights

Cyber Security Awareness Month is here, and there’s no time like the present to assess the state of your network and your company’s cybersecurity culture. Although most people are aware of viruses, malware and cybercrime in general, they continue doing careless things like clicking links they shouldn’t click, using weak passwords or none at all, and using public Wi-Fi without encryption. That’s why instilling a company culture that is cyber-aware is so important in addition to physically and virtually securing your network. Here are 9 tips for keeping your business network secure:

Conduct a Thorough Network Assessment

If your network has never been documented and evaluated for security vulnerabilities, this is the ideal first step to securing your network. A thorough network assessment not only helps identify security vulnerabilities, it also reveals single points of failure and identifies opportunities for simplification.

Create a Cyber-Aware Culture

It is typical for companies to send out emails or circulate documentation on their cybersecurity policies, and they are surprised when employees continue with bad password practices, clicking links they shouldn’t click and using their devices on unsafe networks. Most employees breeze through or ignore this documentation. That’s why it’s so important to build best practices into the company culture through engaging activities such as events, with interactive training being the best. One engaging way to test your employees’ security savvy is by sending fake phishing emails. If they fall for it once, they won’t soon forget.

Get a VPN

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, encrypts your Internet connection to secure it and provides exceptional privacy online. A VPN blocks your activities and data, including browsing history, communications, data and other personal information. With a VPN, your online activity is hidden from your Internet service provider, hackers, snoops and even from companies trying to collect data about you. It also allows employees to access business applications and social networks in countries where these applications are blocked. If your employees travel often or frequently work outside the office, a VPN protects their data when using public Wi-Fi networks. Consider one of the world’s most secure VPNs, VyprVpn for business.

Conduct a Services Audit on Your Servers

There are likely more services running on your servers than you need. These services running in the background leave ports open unnecessarily, making your network more vulnerable than it needs to be. They also slow performance.

Disable File Sharing

Disable file sharing on all devices except file servers, especially on employee laptops. If file sharing is enabled, anyone on the same public Wi-Fi network will be able to see company files located on the device.

Update Router Firmware

Router firmware is usually out of date after one year and are sometimes never updated again. This is a more common issue for small businesses. Ensure your firmware is updated annually to ensure you have the most recent bug fixes and other security updates.

Get Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) or Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

An IDS helps you proactively identify threats as they come into your network, such as botnets, malware, worms, Trojans, and even scans testing for network vulnerabilities. An IDS reports on threats, while an IPS can be configured to automatically take certain actions, such as blocking traffic, when threats are detected.

Set up a Web Application Firewall (WAF)

In addition to your regular firewalls, it is important to set up a WAF, especially if you sell products online or maintain customer accounts. WAFs help to secure your customers’ data and protect against remote file intrusion, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, and other security threats and vulnerabilities.

Consider Using Private IP Addresses

If you have a small business that uses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol or DHCP, consider locking down your IP addresses. DHCP makes your network more vulnerable, as it allows random users to connect to your network. Instead of allowing your router to do this, assign IP addresses to devices on your network. Another benefit of doing this is, when you check your router logs, you will know immediately if a suspicious device was connected to your network.

If your have never conducted a network assessment and don’t have the resources to do it, our network engineers can assess your network to provide you with essential documentation, as well as locate vulnerabilities, single points of failure and opportunities for simplification. View our network assessment page to find out more or contact us today for a free consultation.