Protecting Your Company’s Small Business Network

Your workers are going to be using the Internet to browse customer information, fulfill orders, and restock products. Without the Internet, much of this would be more difficult, if not impossible. Nevertheless, it is vital to understand that being connected poses a risk for everyone involved. One simple mistake can lead to the network being compromised. Business owners need to go above and beyond to protect their networks and prevent cyber breaches.

There are numerous ways to enhance network security. You’ll find out about the best ways to secure your small business network below.

Encryption

First and foremost, you should do what you can to encrypt your wireless access points. Many business owners leave their wireless networks open. This means that anyone could connect to the network and gather the traffic information in real-time. Someone sitting outside could use their computer to record your sensitive information. You could lock down MAC addresses but this isn’t efficient. Instead, you’ll want to use alternative forms of protection. For instance, you should use WPA encryption.

This is one of the best ways to protect your data. Even if it falls into the wrong hands, the hacker won’t be able to read or use the data.

Hide Your Service Set Identifier

Ultimately, you’ll want to protect your wireless network by hiding its SSID or Service set Identifier. Alternatively, you can try changing the name to something unoriginal. Routers will have obscure IDs. If you’re using your company’s name, you’re giving away your secrets. If your SSID is “Franks Sales”, you’re putting your network at risk. Someone will easily realize that “Franks Sales” belongs to a business. They’ll begin working to crack into your system. To avoid such problems, you should use something ordinary. If you use “router” or “Netgear”, hackers won’t be able to find your network.

They’ll believe that your network belongs to the guy in the apartment next door.

Disable Access

There is a good chance that your router is equipped with a web management interface. If so, you’ll want to use this to your benefit. Access the settings and disable access from outside of the network. In addition to this, you’ll want to change the default admin password immediately. This will help prevent people from accessing your network and manipulating your settings or reading your company’s log files. It can also help crackdown on unsavory people using your network to play Situs Poker.

Antivirus

While you practice good cyber security, your workers might not. You might have an employee who downloads files throughout the day. You never know when they’re going to download malicious software. To prevent problems, you have to make sure that your computers are protected with comprehensive antivirus software. This will make a huge difference since it’ll prevent viruses from being installed on the computer. Also, you need to keep the software updated. Do this so you can protect your computers from the latest viruses.

DMZ

Are you operating a web server on your local area network? If so, you’ll want to put it on a DMZ. However, there is a chance that your router doesn’t have a DMZ. If this is the case, you’ll want to buy a new router. If you’re serious about protecting your network, you’ll want to move the server to a collocation facility and an expert handle it. Having a local web server can be helpful but it is risky. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t.

DHCP

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you’ll want to think about disabling or restricting DHCP, dynamic host configuration protocols. This is very helpful but not right for everyone. DHCP makes it easier to manage your Wi-Fi network since it’ll automatically choose what IP address a device on your network will use. To better protect your network, you should limit the number of IP addresses available. Also, you can try disabling it. The only downside is that you’ll need to assign IP addresses manually if you do.

Updates

Finally, you’ll want to work diligently to update your software and firmware. When new updates are released, they help fix software and firmware flaws. Don’t update and you’ll leave your network exposed. Update and you can sleep soundly knowing your network is protected.

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