Most businesses run a network infrastructure. It is the hardware and software resources of the entire organization. And as a business owner that operates with this network, the chances are that you have a responsibility to protect your organization from cyberattacks. For that reason, we have gathered five steps that can help you secure your network infrastructure:
1. Run aNetwork Security Audit
Before you begin, you need to understand the importance of performing a security audit. Most small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face numerous risks of being hacked. A penetration test will help determine how easy it is for hackers to gain access and steal your data. A vulnerability scan will often provide information about all of the potential vulnerabilities on your network but doesn’t attempt to exploit them.
A complete network scan or audit will help you identify any security holes and provide an overview of your network’s current state, including servers and other assets connected to it. As a result, you can come up with solutions to better secure your network. You may do this twice a year for assurance. You may also read this SMB cybersecurity guide to understand the full scope of the potential threats you face and what you can do about them.
2. Limit Access to Your Network
The best way to limit access to your network is to assign specific employees who can only access it. In addition, you can implement credentials (like a PIN or password) for them to gain access to the network. You can do this through biometric methods like fingerprint scanners, facial recognition software, and retinal scanners. Another option is two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires users who want to log into their accounts to present an additional code sent through their email or phone.
Another method for limiting access is using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). These networks allow remote workers to access corporate resources over an encrypted connection. A VPN can also be used as security against hackers trying to access sensitive information through employees using public Wi-Fi networks.
3. Patch Your Software
If you’re not patching your software, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable. Software patches are released regularly by vendors. They do so because they have likely found an exploit in their code that hackers could potentially use to gain access to the system. So, it would be best to update all your software, including your firmware and antivirus software, to keep your network secure.
What should you do when the time comes? First, always keep track of what updates need doing on your systems. Some updates come directly from vendors, while others are issued by third-party companies acting as middlemen between software developers and users/customers like yourself. After then, you can schedule the update; set it to a time and date that won’t interfere with your work operation.
4. Review Your Cybersecurity Tools
After determining the layers of your infrastructure that need to be protected, you may review the tools that can help you mitigate risks. There are four main categories of security tools:
- Detection tools – are used to alert users when an attack is underway or has occurred. They may also include additional information about how and when an attack occurred. Detection tools can give you a heads up before any damage can be done and provide you more time to respond appropriately.
- Response tools – are used during an active attack on your network infrastructure to mitigate it as quickly as possible. This tool may shut down certain parts of your infrastructure not to provide attackers with access. They may also temporarily disconnect your devices from networks until an investigation is done or new safeguards are in place.
- Recovery tools – help bring systems back online after they’ve been compromised by malicious entities trying to breach into them for nefarious purposes (like stealing sensitive data).
5. Create a Wi-Fi Schedule
Creating a Wi-Fi schedule is a simple and effective way to prevent guests from accessing your network without permission.
If you have a wireless network, create a schedule for when it can be accessed. The time should be appropriate for each user group and the required access level. For example, if you run an office with employees that work around the clock, set up an access schedule that allows all users 24/7 access.
As remote jobs become more mainstream in businesses, more cybercrimes take place. Fortunately, with the above steps, you can secure your network infrastructure and carry on with your operations without worries.