Network security is an ever-changing field that requires administrators to grow, adapt and change policies as quickly as the threats and risks that face their networks.
To help you navigate the network security mine field, here are a few quick tips that can be implemented into nearly any networking scenario.
1. Require Powerful Passwords
Pick a complex passphrase and avoid any of the most common passwords of 2017. Random passwords with both upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters offer the highest level of security. Implement strong password requirements for all network users to keep your environment on lock down.
2. Restrict Your Router’s WPS
Some routers offer an optional feature that makes it easy for devices to connect to WiFi called Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). You should disable this feature as it allows devices to connect to Wi-Fi without entering their passwords
3. Silence Your SSID Broadcasting
Instead of broadcasting your SSID (network name), provide the SSID and passphrase only to individuals who connect to the network on a regular basis. There’s no need to expose your primary network to all devices, use a guest network instead
4. Give Guests Their Own Network
Create a separate wireless network under a second SSID for guests to connect without having access to your primary network. Create a policy to routinely change the password on your guest network to ensure the maximum security possible
5. Create Precise Internet Policies
Clearly define what is considered internet abuse and enforce the rules against it. This may include accessing social network sites, NSFW content, using email address for non-work related emails or instant messaging. Not only do internet policies help protect your network, they also may lead to higher employee productivity.
6. Invest in Anti-Virus Software
Install anti-virus software on all network connected computers as well as on the gateway. Anti-virus on devices will safeguard users from downloading malicious software directly to their device. Anti-virus software on your gateway prevents the spread of infection from one network connected device to another. Consider reviewing independent third party testing of anti-virus software before making a purchasing decisions.
7. Forge a Strong Firewall Security Policy
Having the best firewall installed does not guarantee security. Your organization must create, maintain and implement policies for configuring and utilizing the firewall to ensure security. Review your firewall rules, and monitor regularly for vulnerabilities to threat coming from inside and outside your network.
While 100% security from external and internal network security threats isn’t possible, the tips above can help to create a more protected environment for you and the users of your network.