If you pay attention to news about network security and data breaches, it’s possible that you feel overwhelmed. So many Fortune 500 companies and other well-known brands suffer intrusions and lapses, you might wonder how can you hope to maintain solid network security. Rest assured, it is possible! And it’s easier than you might think.

Many of those headline-making breaches could have been prevented with simple steps. For example, as we noted in a recent blog post, Wired magazine reported that the huge data breach Equifax suffered in 2017 could have been easily prevented. They just overlooked regularly updating their system.

Ensure Network Security with a Company Security Checklist!

Many people find the task of maintaining security daunting because there are so many moving parts and variables. Different companies use computers and the cloud for widely varying tasks, with local or international staff, needing different levels of security. Every business needs a customized security solution. Here at Emerge, we specialize in working with our business partners to find out what their particular needs are and finding the best ways to meet them. Once we do, it’s easy to create a security checklist for that company that they can refer to regularly to insure maximum data safety.

Here’s a list of network security tools to get you started. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive or total list, and some of the items on it might not feel like a perfect match. The network security checklist your company should have needs to have the details filled out according to your unique needs. But these are some important network security measures to be mindful of.

 

Your Network Security Checklist

 

Firewalls

Every computer that connects to the internet, whether it’s a company computer or one you use at home, should have a good firewall. Install a reputable firewall, make sure it’s always on and update it regularly.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for Public Wi-Fi

If some of your workers are remote, or they use public Wi-Fi, add a Virtual Private Network to your security checklist. Using one will shield your device and network from hackers on the public Wi-Fi. Another option is to make it mandatory for employees to turn their phones into hotspots when working remotely.

Encryption

You’ve probably heard of end-to-end encryption. Shopping websites use it so when you purchase an item online, even if hackers breach the company’s site, they won’t be able to read your sensitive data because it is encrypted. Without the key, they can’t unlock its meaning. It’s also possible to encrypt files, hard drives, and operating systems. This is a great step toward greater network security.

Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

Intrusion Detection Systems let you monitor your network for malicious actions or suspicious activity. If the system detects something suspicious, it alerts the network administrator that there’s a possible threat so action can be taken promptly to secure the network.

Network Segmentation

Any Battlestar Galactica fans here? If so, you probably immediately realize the security benefit of network segmentation. On Battlestar Galactica the robots that humanity uses and relies on for many tasks, rebel against humanity and attack. They’re able to do huge amounts of damage if they have access to any computer that is connected to a network because once they have access to that one computer, they have access to everything else on its network.

 

This is also true of today’s skilled hackers. Once they manage to breach a firewall, or attain access to your data in another way, they have access to everything on the network. Network segmentation reduces this risk by breaking up one big network into many smaller ones. Your work will not be impeded by this, but it turns big data breaches into much smaller ones.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on making your company’s security checklist. If you want to explore these issues in more detail, or have any questions about network security, reach out to our experts!

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