Small business network security checklist

Introduction to network security

Your business faces threats on many fronts, and the more users, devices, and applications you add, the more vulnerable your network becomes.

What is network security?

Network security is any activity designed to protect the usability and integrity of your network and data. It includes both hardware and software technologies. Effective network security manages access to the network. It targets a variety of threats and stops them from entering or spreading on your network.

How does network security work?

Network security combines multiple layers of defenses at the edge and in the network. Each network security layer implements policies and controls. Authorized users gain access to network resources, but malicious actors are blocked from carrying out exploits and threats.

How do I benefit from network security?

Digitization has transformed our world. How we live, work, play, and learn have all changed. Every organization that wants to deliver the services that customers and employees demand must protect its network. Network security also helps you protect proprietary information from attack. Ultimately it protects your reputation.

Six steps to secure your network

Now that you understand the basics of network security, review these six steps to create a holistic security solution for your small business.

1. Closely monitor your traffic.

Monitor the traffic coming in and going out your firewall and read the reports carefully. Don’t rely on alerts to flag dangerous activity. Make sure someone on your team understands the data and is prepared to take the necessary action.

2. Stay up to date on new threats.

Keep an eye on new threats as they’re discovered and posted online. For example, Trend Micro’s TrendWatch site tracks current threat activity. Also, you can have the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT, a division of Homeland Security) email alerts to you about recently confirmed software vulnerabilities and exploits.

3. Regularly update your frontline defense.

To prevent threats from getting in, your business must deploy a strong frontline defense at the edge of the network. Make sure your firewall and anti-virus software is secure by enabling regular updates.

4. Train your employees on security protocols.

Train employees on an ongoing basis so they understand any changes to your acceptable use policy. Also, encourage a “neighborhood watch” approach to security.  If an employee notices anything suspicious, such as not being able to log into an email account right away, he or she should notify the appropriate person immediately.

5. Protect against data loss.

Install a data protection solution. This type of device can protect your business from data loss if your network’s security is breached.

6. Consider additional security options.

Consider additional security solutions that will further protect your network as well as expand your company’s capabilities.

How to get started

Your IT department must be able to find and control problems fast. Breaches will happen. The steps in this checklist will reduce the likelihood, but no security defenses are completely impenetrable. You must have a system and strategy in place to find and control problems across the network.

When you need to secure your network, a Plow Networks expert can help — including network assessment and design, solution financing and implementation, and onsite support and/or managed services.

Ready to get started? Contact us and we’ll connect you with an expert that can help with your security and network needs.

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About Plow Networks

Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.

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