Network Security

Network Security Lock

Having an unsecured network can be devastating to your organization. A small vulnerability is all a hacker needs to slip through and begin harvesting client and customer data, employee records, or sensitive business documents that, if leaked, could ruin your company. Are you ready to talk about network security?

Network security is the most important service IT Support Guys offers to our clients. And with good reason. Having a strong, secure network is what keeps your company’s infrastructure safe from threats, both external and internal. Network security isn’t just about fighting off hackers. You’ll also need to make sure your data and information are only accessible to those who need it and that your employees can identify threats through email or messages. Network security is a team effort, and everyone needs to be invested.

You wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked or windows open at your house, so why continue leaving your network open. IT Support Guys will close and deadbolt as many doors in your network as we can. Hackers will have to be a pretty good locksmith when we’re finished.

Threats to Your Network

Malware

Malware, short for malicious software, is a term that refers to a variety of harmful or invasive pieces of software. These include viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, and numerous other threats. Malware is the biggest threat to your network because of how untraceable they can be without the right tools in place. The chances are high that you would not know your network is infected until it’s too late; credit card details are leaked, your mail server is spamming, or your phone system robot dials your directory. At that point, the hacker has retrieved the information they came for and has made their way out.Malware Skull

Malware can enter your network in many ways, including being attached to a download or a link on a website. Any way that a hacker can enter your network undetected is a possibility. A popular way hackers have been getting malware into companies is by using email impersonation. This is the malicious practice of forging an email with the intention of tricking the recipient into believing the email is from a legitimate source. The idea of email impersonation is to make the recipient trust the email enough that they will willingly hand over information or download an attachment included in the email. For example, a user receives an email that appears to be from a vendor with an invoice attached. This type of email is common enough that the user might not question it, after all, if someone is looking for payment, you’d want to find out what it’s for. After downloading the ‘invoice,’ the malware will be unleashed on the user’s computer and eventually make its way to your network.

Network Vulnerabilities

An important component of strong network security is being able to identify and fix network vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities can be technical or caused by human error. The main source of vulnerabilities to your network are due to unpatched computers. Not properly installing patches can leave your network wide open to anyone who has an interest in entering. Along with being unpatched, most computers don’t have additional protection beyond the firewall that it’s behind. If a hacker were to slip through the firewall, the computer would be sitting there ready to be mined for information.

Another vulnerability that leaves your network exposed is the software and plugins installed on computers throughout your company; even if the software or plugin is updated. A lot of programs are permitted to have access to different parts of your computer. You better believe that if a hacker can use that permission to their advantage, they will. Use caution when giving access to documents or files to software and plugins.

IT Support Guys will perform routine network audits and scans to identify weak points and implement solutions to strengthen them.

Tools for Better Network Security

Unified Threat Management (UTM)

A Unified Threat Management (UTM) device is an all-encompassing piece of hardware or software that provides your organization with key network security tools. A UTM includes features such as a network firewall, antivirus software, and spam and content filters. Installing a UTM onto your network saves time and money by having multiple network security tools in one device. This reduces the need for extra maintenance and support while providing enterprise-level security for your network. Let’s go over the individual pieces that go into a Unified Threat Management device.

Firewall

A firewall is what keeps your network safe from the outside world. It acts as a barrier to control the flow of traffic that comes in and out of the network. The purpose of the firewall is to keep threats from entering and to keep dangerous traffic from making its way to other parts of your network. In the event of a virus or threat making its way onto the network, you can isolate and destroy it before it causes major damage. Most computers have a consumer-grade firewall included, but you shouldn’t rely on it for your business’ security.

Antivirus Software

The firewall is only the first line of defense against viruses and other threats. Occasionally something may slip past the firewall and onto the network. It’s up to the antivirus software to take care of the issue. It is the antivirus’ responsibility to find and eliminate the threats that make their way onto your network. Ensuring that little to no damage can be done.

Spam Filters

Spam emails are annoying and inconvenient. When not handled correctly, they can be very dangerous. Spam emails could have attachments hiding malware or links to nefarious websites that can crack open your network. It just takes one employee to click on the wrong link to trigger a catastrophic event. It’s best not to have the emails reach your employees in the first place. Spam filters will stop these emails before they make their way to anyone’s inbox.

Content Filter

Most companies put a content filter on their network to stop their employees from wasting time on distracting websites when they should be working. But they serve another purpose as well. Content filters keep them accessing sites that could contain malicious or dangerous content. So, you’ll be keeping your network secure while making sure your employees stay productive.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a way to access your internal network on a public network, securely. This is great for allowing remote employees to have the same access to the network as someone in the office, or to connect offices in other parts of town or the country. A VPN is set up by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection. This connection is achieved by using dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocol, or encryption. A VPN ensures your business’ network is safe whether your users are connected at the office, at home, or anywhere with an Internet connection.

Employee Training

Having the latest network security tools and software can only do some much if your employees aren’t trained in proper security practices. By reinforcing sound practices, such as password management, how to spot illegitimate emails or messages, proper online safety, you’ll be able to minimize the risk of your network being hit with an attack. Your employees are the front line of defense. Make sure they equipped with the right knowledge and tools to protect your business’ network.

Access Control

Access Control Do Not EnterWhen you perform a network audit to identify network vulnerabilities, you should be aware of who has access to the information on your network. Are too many employees allowed access to certain files? Do they need access to them? By limiting the number of employees who have access to sensitive information, you will limit the chance of the data being compromised. And if the information does get out, you’ll be able to identify the user involved and implement a solution to ensure the information isn’t compromised again.

Improve your Business’ Network Security

When you look at your business’ network, is it as secure as it could be? Do you see areas it could be strengthened? With over a decade of experience, IT Support Guys have implemented countless network security solutions with business’ seeing substantial drops in interference and threats. You don’t want your business to be the next one hit by a major attack. Speak with us today to find the network security solutions that work for you. Call and talk with a specialist today at 855-4IT-GUYS (855-448-4897).