Why Is Network Security An Important Part Of IT Security?

Think, for a minute, about the many, many parts of a modern IT infrastructure. What comes to mind?

First, you will likely think about the parts of it that you and the other staff members actually deal with. The desktop computer that you start up each morning and turn off each night. The printer that you fight with every time you need something in hardcopy. The router with the signal that does not make it quite all the way to the smoking section outside the building.

But what about the other parts?

Think beyond the aspects that represent the user interface. Consider the servers – do you know if they are stored in a closet or server room on-site? Or maybe they are taken care of a few, or even hundreds of miles away, in a data center. Depending on what cloud applications you use for business every day, the servers you are relying on maybe on the other side of the country.

That is not all though. You have got the technology you use and the technology behind the scenes that you rely on – but what is the third part of an IT environment? What ties everything together?

The network. Is yours secure?

Do You Know Why Network Security Matters To IT Security?

Often the least thought of aspect of an IT infrastructure, the network is just as vital as any other part – why? Because it is everything. Both literally and otherwise, the network ties everything together, and by definition, includes all aspects of the environment.

That makes it central to your overall IT security. An unmanaged network is often plagued by a lot of frustrating and dangerous spam as well. It may be harmless emails promoting sales, or it may be truly dangerous messages containing viruses and malware – in either case, it is not something you should have to deal with during your workday.

Does Your IT Security Include Your Network?

  • VPN
    A VPN creates a secure tunnel for your data to transit the Internet, using a network of private servers.

    When you use a VPN, your data is encrypted, or hidden, as it moves from your device to the VPN and then continues onto the Internet through what’s called an exit node. A VPN creates the appearance that your data is coming from the VPN server, not from your device.

    Therefore, it’s harder for an attacker to identify you as the source of the data. Even if attackers can intercept your data, the encryption means the attackers can’t understand your data or use it to their advantage.

  • Update And Patch Management
    Never ignore software update notifications. Software updates are not just made to improve the functionality of a certain software; they also serve as a patch for recently identified vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. One of the most prolific zero-day exploits came from one of the most well-known software publishers, Adobe, which could have been easily prevented if the users opted to update their software when prompted to.
  • Firewalls
    Your firewall is your first line of defense for keeping your information safe. A firewall is a particular type of solution that maintains the security of your network. It blocks unauthorized users from gaining access to your data. Firewalls are deployed via hardware, software, or a combination of the two.
  • AntiVirus
    Threats to your business are created every day. That is why antivirus software providers send out updates regularly to keep your system protected from the latest attacks. Allow your antivirus to check for new updates every time you start up your computer.
  • Access Control
    Control access to all computers and network equipment. Security breaches are usually inside jobs. Make sure you can trust whoever you give access to highly confidential business data.
  • Email And Web Security
    Email is perhaps the most ubiquitous technology used in the business world today – possibly even more so than the phone. It is instantaneous, can deliver important files, and does not require the immediate attention that a phone call does.

    However, just as it is popular with consumers around the world, it is just as popular a method for hackers trying to do damage to unsuspecting businesses. Similarly, your staff uses a web browser to access online applications, perform Google searched, and a range of other tasks every day. It needs a similar level of security as well.

  • Mobile Device Security
    No matter what kind of cybersecurity you have in place at the office, it will not extend to the mobile devices that have access to your data via your network. You need to have policies in place for what apps and devices can connect to your network to make sure you do not take on any unnecessary risks.
  • Wireless Security
    Wi-Fi is a necessary part of doing business. Your staff cannot go without it, so it becomes your responsibility to make sure it is secured, simple as that.
    Make sure to:

    • Turn off broadcast so that your SSID is not available for others to see.
    • Use WPA2-Enterprise security, which forces per-user authentication via RADIUS for access.
    • Monitor your network, and log events to track any activity by your employees and other contacts with network access.
  • SIEM
    Security information and event management (SIEM) technology provide a secure cloud service that provides 24/7 security and operation monitoring to oversee a given business’s security needs. A SIEM solution offers a monitoring service, with adaptive threat protection that identifies active cyberattacks and takes action in real-time to protect your business.
  • Admin Network Protection
    The fact is that misuse of privilege is often one of the most common ways for cybercriminals to penetrate a network. Make sure to limit administrative privileges to those who actually require it. The fact is that the common business user should not require administrative privileges to do their job – whether that is for installing software, printing, using common programs, etc.

Network security – and IT security as a whole — can be a complicated subject that is often ignored because of those same reasons. Most business owners are not totally sure their networks are secure – are you?

That is why it is so important to work with an IT company that will incorporate network security into your IT security.

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