Small Business Network Security

Small Business Network Security

 

Everyone knows that securing your business network is absolutely critical.  So why do so many companies put small business network security on the bottom of their priority list? In this post we’ll discuss the importance of small business network security and some simple strategies you can use to protect your critical and confidential information.

Use a Commercial Grade Firewall

First off, you’ll want to ensure you have a business class router / firewall for your network.  I’m not talking about something from Best Buy or Future Shop either.  You want a commercial grade business router that has built in complex systems to fend off cyber attacks and hackers.

Many of these devices offer features such as antivirus, malware protection, web filtering, and more.  You don’t want to go cheap in this area because it will cause nothing but problems down the road and most of all it will not give you adequate protection against the growing number of threats that exist on the Internet.

Secure User Passwords

Another frequently overlooked security concern is user passwords.  Yes I know, people don’t like changing their passwords often and they like their password to be the name of their dog.  Not good enough I’m afraid.  Think of a company that has your confidential data in their systems.  Insurance? Banks? Your accountant? How would you feel if you knew the staff their had weak passwords they rarely changed?

Your IT administrators should have no problem implementing a 2-3 month mandatory password change. In addition they can enforce some level of complex passwords including numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols.  This can be setup once on your central server and your staff will be reminded regularly.

Yes it’s painful but not as painful as a security breach on your network, trust me on that.

 Use Permissions Properly

Your server has the ability to set permissions on specific folders or files.  Use this feature to secure your confidential data.  I’m not talking about building a virtual Fort Knox but at a minimum setup security permissions properly so that only those who need access to something have it.

If this means everyone in your office needs access to everything, fine, at least make sure that nobody else outside of your office does. You can setup one group and dump all your staff into it, then setup permissions on folders containing your files so only members of your staff group have access.  This will prevent access by anyone that may get onto your network that isn’t in that group.

If this all sounds overly complex or like I’m speaking in a different language, share this article with whoever manages the technology in your company and they should understand.  If you need some help, please reach out to us by clicking here.

Control Physical Access

When it comes to small business network security, it’s not all about complex server settings and difficult to remember passwords. An often overlooked security concern is physical access to your central server.

Make sure your server is in a secure location.  Ideally you have a properly cooled server closet or room in your office dedicated to your IT infrastructure, but hey not everyone can afford that.  At a minimum ensure it is in a locked cabinet (WITH PROPER COOLING) and not easily accessible if someone were to break into your office.

Have Good Backups

This is something that I always feel I shouldn’t have to mention because it’s so obvious but it would blow your mind to know how many businesses we work with that don’t have reliable backups in place.  That’s before we take over and remedy the situation of course. Backups are SO important!

A company that suffers a catastrophic server failure, theft, fire or some other disaster will likely not be able to stay in business if they don’t have proper backups. It is critical! Nowadays it’s not a difficult task either as their are tons of options for getting a solid backup of all your critical data.

If you need help or advice in this area, please contact us and we’d be happy to recommend some very reliable options.

Cheers,

Dylan Hodge
Daxtech IT Solutions