Last Updated on April 3, 2017
Hackers don’t care how big or small your business is. What they care about is how weak your security is, so making sure that your network is protected against them is the best way to prevent your business being a victim of cyber crime.
Today, most hackers find targets by using automated scans and all they’re looking for is a chink in your network to exploit. That means that if you’re not protecting yourself properly, your small business is at risk.
Fortunately, most of these security measures are easy to implement, and if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you can easily knock this out in a rainy afternoon.
Ok, let’s get started by dealing with the outside world first.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Set Up a Firewall to Protect Your Internet Connection
- 2 2. Keep Your Router Up to Date
- 3 3. Change the Default Password Right Away
- 4 4. Turn On Intrusion Detection
- 5 5. Utilize VPN To Secure Your Remote Connection
- 6 6. Consider Turning DHCP Off and Use Static IP Addresses Instead
- 7 7. Use VLANs to Partition Your Local Network
1. Set Up a Firewall to Protect Your Internet Connection
Network ports are what connect your computer to the internet and allow information to pass through in both directions. It’s also what hackers can use to get in and gain access to your business.
Once you have a firewall in place, it sets the parameters for which ports need to be open and closed based on your applications and prevents unauthorized port usage.
2. Keep Your Router Up to Date
For your router to be safe and maintain the integrity of the firewall, you need to make sure that it’s up to date. When a router is outdated, it can become susceptible to security breaches because of new viruses that appear as well as bugs that go unfixed.
Some routers will automatically check for updates, but most will need you to do this manually.
3. Change the Default Password Right Away
Firewalls can be disabled when someone puts in the administrative password, and if you leave the password as the default that comes with the router, it’s easy for a hacker to find out the model number of your router and hack into your system to disable your firewall and get into your systems.
Be sure to make the password safe by including a combination of upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols.
4. Turn On Intrusion Detection
While a firewall sets up which ports need to be opened or closed, IDS (Intrusion Detection System) takes it a step further by monitoring and identifying what is coming in and going out in real time, providing you with another layer of port security.
You may already have IDS technology in place if it came with your router, but depending on the brand this feature may be turned off by default.
REALTED ARTICLE: The Small Business IT Cheat Sheet
5. Utilize VPN To Secure Your Remote Connection
Whether it’s a branch office, warehouse, or your sales team on the road, make sure they use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect back to your HQ. VPN creates an encrypted tunnel which shields your remote employees and provides a secure connection back to your business network.
As mobile phones and other mobile devices get increasingly more popular, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a VPN to protect these devices. This allows you and your employees to improve productivity by using mobile devices for work without putting your network at risk.
Now that we took care of the threats coming from the Internet, let’s focus on the internal network.
6. Consider Turning DHCP Off and Use Static IP Addresses Instead
Most routers automatically assign a new IP address every time a device connects to the network, which makes it easier for guests to connect but also puts you at risk for attacks.
By setting a specific number of users and assigning static IP addresses to each device, you can quickly identify any potential problems and where they’re coming from.
7. Use VLANs to Partition Your Local Network
When thinking about your different employees or departments, it’s easy to realize that not everybody needs the same level of access to information. This is particularly true if you frequently have guests coming in and using your network.
By isolating your business network with the help of VLANs, you can give more access to those who need it and less those who don’t.
BONUS TIP: Monitor and Scan Your Network Regularly
The same tools that attackers and security researchers alike use to check for weaknesses in a network are available for anyone to download. There are many easy-to-use networking tools out there to help you beef up your security.
One of our favorites is Spiceworks Network Monitor which is completely free and easy to implement.
Summing It Up
As a small business, it’s even more important that you make sure your networks are completely secure because you can’t afford to risk any security breaches like a larger business.
The good news is that we can help you with all of your network security questions. If you have any concerns about your IT security, give us a call or send us a message.
If you need help setting up and configuring your network, then just let us know, and we’d be more than happy to meet you for a consultation.
Thanks for reading, See you soon.
If you are located in sunny Miami, FL. iFeeltech can assists you in overall information security in the most cost-effective and competent way while you grow your business. Get in touch to learn more about our small business solutions.