Keeping your network secure is critical for the protection of your data. You will need to keep both home and business networks safe and secure to prevent hackers and other bad actors from accessing your personal information and causing data breaches for your business. This is one of the key areas of focus for most people now that there has been a significant uptick in hacking and ransomware attacks.
Data breaches in 2021 exceeded the numbers reported in 2020, despite efforts on behalf of many people and businesses to protect their data properly. The need to keep your network safe should be very clear, and most people and companies are looking to expand and improve their network security for 2022.
If you are ready to learn some easy ways to improve your network security, you need to read on!
Easy Ways to Improve Network Security
1. Auditing and Mapping
One of the best ways to isolate potential threats and grapple with needed infrastructure and network changes is to audit your network. When you complete the audit, you should also map the flow of your network security that you have in place. You cannot hope to know where threats might come into play if you do not know in detail how your network is performing and how it is set up.
While this might seem like it will not deliver much value, you would be surprised at how many vulnerabilities might exist in your current network. Things like Wireless Access Points can create opportunities for network access when they are not configured correctly, and servers and other hardware that is not properly protected can be another vulnerability that you might have missed.
A correct audit and mapping process will tell you a lot about your current network security and will show areas of weakness that need attention.
2. Keep Things Up to Date
All of your devices and software should be kept current on updates to ensure network security. The updates that are pushed to machines and products contain information about current hacking risks and can help your organization’s devices and programs from becoming vulnerable to attack. You will want to make sure that firmware has been kept up to date and that programs that are not used often are also allowed to run mandatory updates.
Another area that will need updating is access passwords. You should not be using the same password for years and years as this can easily open your network up to attacks. Make sure that passwords are being reset periodically and that you consider secure login upgrades like single-sign-on.
3. Prevent Access to Physical Devices
This is an often-overlooked area of security that can be very important to businesses. While you might not be able to lock up all of your hardware, you can prevent access to things like servers by securing these items in a place that few people have access to. You should also take care to limit access to ethernet ports which might pose a risk if someone sits down with an external device and plugs it directly into your network.
Limiting the kind of access that shared-use computers have is a great way to make sure that an employee cannot expose the entire organization to risk by plugging in their phone or using another device that is not secured to connect to the network. Common-use computers that are offered for public access should be locked down to prevent any kind of connection to your business network by the guests using them.
4. Use VLANs
If you have a network that has not been segmented into VLANs yet, you should consider making this change. VLANs will let you sort by ethernet ports, wireless access points, or other common use needs or device types. This can help you to keep traffic sorted and to prevent security risks that might impact your whole network.
When you have VLANs in place, you can keep people’s access separated correctly so that using a laptop in a different location would not offer access to a different part of the network than is correct. This is a great way to keep devices and user access limited and to provide correct security for each VLAN group. Many larger companies have been using this tool for years, but smaller businesses might need to make the conversion now that network risks have risen exponentially.
5. Use a VPN
If you want to be sure that access to your business or even your personal network is being done with the proper security, you will need to use the best VPN for business network access. This connection is encrypted and secured so that it cannot be compromised by hackers. There can be risks related to VPN use if the VPN is not kept up to date, but as long as you maintain the VPN correctly, network access can be protected with ease.
This is a very affordable solution and offers the tandem benefit of keeping your access secured from prying eyes. People often use personal VPN access to keep their browsing secure and accessible when they are in foreign companies, and remote work jobs will almost always utilize this tool for employee access to company networks.
Improving Network Security Can be Straightforward
If you have been worried that you will struggle to improve your network, you should feel reassured by these simple solutions for your network needs. You will find that most of the issues that you might run into with data theft or hacking can be prevented through the use of a quality VPN and by keeping all of your software and devices up to date at all times. Combine these efforts with proper sign-on services and password management, and you should be able to keep your network secure against all major threats.
Remember to run an audit and make sure that you are aware of possible risks to your network. This will help you get started on improving your network security with confidence.