How to Secure Your Network and Resources
There’s no denying that remote work has fundamentally changed the way we do business. Especially when it comes to network security. When everyone was in-office, employees could access proprietary corporate information safely and securely because the company had complete control over the network. But now, with over half of all Americans working from anywhere, there’s no guarantee that they’re always using a totally secure network.
So, what’s a business to do? First, don’t panic! It is not as complicated as you might think. To prove it, we’ve compiled a few crucial steps you can take to maintain corporate confidentiality and privacy while keeping your employees connected.
1. Establish a secure remote access point between your employees and your corporate data
Two of the most common ways companies can do this is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution. Both options are affordable, flexible, and allow users to connect securely to resources they need outside of the office. However, if you’re looking for one solution that gives you multiple access points with no reduction in speed, built-in security failovers, and a seamless user experience right out of the gate? We’d recommend choosing an SD-WAN solution.
Another emerging security solution that’s especially helpful for remote workers and distributed workforces is Secure Access Service Edge, or “SASE” (pronounced “sassy”). SASE acts as a security checkpoint at the perimeter of all points of entry to business data, making it invaluable for the modern cloud networks most businesses rely on. It also ensures that workers accessing from home or public networks aren’t inadvertently allowing bad actors access to corporate data through less secure connections.
2. Set up proper access permissions and multi-factor authentication for your employees
If you’re going to allow your employees to access your data via a VPN or SD-WAN solution, determining who can access what information, and how they can access it, is a must. It makes firewall administration simpler and allows you to identify and eliminate potential threats quickly and easily. Another proactive step you can take to build a secure network is to require multi-factor authentication (MFA) from all users. If one security step becomes compromised (say, a password) the user’s account is still protected by another authentication requirement like a phone number, personal security question, or numerical sequence.
3. Update your anti-virus software
Out-of-date anti-virus software is one of the most common ways your network can be compromised. Especially if the company has a remote or hybrid workforce. So be sure you, and your employees, are utilizing some form of anti-virus software. And don’t forget to turn on automatic updates. But what about companies who can’t afford a company-wide anti-virus solution? Simply look for a provider who offers a comprehensive firewall like we do. S-NET’s Next Generation Firewall can preemptively identify and destroy malware and reduce the need for anti-virus software on end-user devices.
Quick Tip: Providers are constantly updating their hardware and software with new-and-improved security features. So be sure to keep everything up to date, not just your antivirus software!
4. Utilize encryption protocols for important data
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be an IT specialist to encrypt your data. Many secure network solutions (like SD-WAN solutions) come with encryption built in! You can also encourage remote employees to invest in home routers with WPA2 encryption, to protect any data that’s sent over their at-home Wi-Fi network. Many SD-WAN and VPN solutions are equipped with encryption
5. Back up your data consistently and establish a data recovery plan
No matter your company’s size, the unfortunate truth is that you’re at risk of a data breach. According to the IDC, there were more data compromises reported in the U.S. in 2021 than any previous year. Having a plan in place in case of a breach allows you to minimize business disruptions and limits the cost of locating and addressing the breach. And backing up your important data makes it easier to restore any that might’ve been lost.
6. Stay informed about cybersecurity attacks
Building a secure network isn’t a “set it and forget it” endeavor. Cyber attackers are constantly adjusting their methods, and you need to continue being one step ahead. Research the latest attack types and find new ways to mitigate them. Check in with your service providers to see that they’re doing the same. And if you’ve had security incidents in the past? Use what you learned from them to strengthen your current network.
7. Train your employees
No matter how sophisticated your security is, there is always a possibility of human error. A possibility that hackers love to exploit. With phishing and social engineering attacks on the rise, having employees that know the basics of your security protocols is a must. Tell them to contact their supervisor about any suspicious emails or activity, not to click on any emails or links they don’t recognize, etc. And if anyone does fall victim to a scam, don’t punish them. It’s better to have your employees come to you for help so you can fix the problem immediately, than have them try to fix their mistake out of fear and only make things worse.
Get The Ultimate Secure Network with S-NET Communications
If you’ve gotten through this list, and still don’t know how to start building a secure network, have no fear! Our team at S-NET is here to help. We’ve built a comprehensive SD-WAN solution for remote and hybrid businesses that need a top-tier solution that’s quick to deploy and easy to understand. Our SD-WAN solution:
- Consolidates all network & security functions into one piece of hardware
- Simplifies network and security management
- Can be fully customized to fit your unique needs and do so much more!
Want more information? Visit our product page or reach out to one of our SD-WAN experts today via contact form, phone number, email, or chat on our website. They’re here to answer any questions you might have and help you secure your network ASAP.
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