10 Network Security Steps for Every Small Business

It is easy for a small business owner to overlook things like network security, thinking that it isn’t as important for the “little guy” because they wouldn’t be a good target for hackers. The truth is however, the size of a business has little to do with your company’s vulnerability towards network attacks. In reality hackers are simply looking for networks with holes to be infiltrated. On the bright side there are many things a small business can do to secure their networks without breaking the bank.

1. Get a Firewall

A firewall is the first defense against would be network attackers.  Your networks firewall is like a security fence around a building.  It only has openings were it is necessary for information to move in and out.  Any place in a network that does not require information be released or taken in does not have an opening, or open port.

For example if you have an email server then the proper port should be open for outgoing and incoming mail, just like a gate in a security fence to allow visitors with a specific purpose in and out.  However if a companies network has a web server that only sends information out then this port would only be open for outgoing information, like a security gate the only swings in one direction.

Most routers come with firewall software already installed and it is only a matter of proper configuration.  Firewall software is also available for purchase from most software retailers and is compatible with the majority of network operating systems.

2. Password Protect your Firewall

Once you have the firewall installed and configured, that will do little good if you don’t password protect it.  Kind of like a large security fence with no locking mechanism, does little good for defense.  It’s great to have the latest and greatest in security technology, but if there is no “lock” then it doesn’t do any good.

3. Update Router Firmware

A little extra effort can go a long way!  As hackers get smarter so does network security software and hopefully faster then the bad guys.  If a company’s network firmware is not kept up to date then it’s defenses are down.  Just like the security fence, if a thief figures out a way to disable the alarm, then it should be upgraded to a version were the alarm can no longer be disabled in the same manner.

Unfortunately hackers are innovative and find new ways to attack defenses quickly, thus security technology moves quite quickly and can be out dated before a year is up.  It is important to check for new firmware versions for routers on a regular basis to avoid leaving potential holes in your network…Click here to see the rest of this article.

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