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TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

9 Ways to Make your Company Network Secure

These cybersecurity steps will help you protect your network from data thefts and interference.

Modern business is almost impossible without a network where data is kept by and shared among employees. With the growing number of reports about data thefts that take place in big companies, it's high time to increase the security of your company network.

For Further Reading:

Keep Your Data Secure with a Layered Approach

Privacy Laws Will Soon Be Inescapable

Surveys Reveal User Attitudes about Online Data Privacy and Accuracy

Follow these nine steps to make your company network less vulnerable to data thefts.

Use WPA2

Use a reliable, encrypted protocol for passwords on the router for your business network. The most advanced is WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). Be sure that this protocol is enabled in your network router.

Disable or restrict DHCP

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocols) defines what IP addresses the devices on your network will have. It makes it easier to maintain a Wi-Fi network. Still, to make it more secure, limit the number of IPs assigned by DHCP or disable the feature entirely. The latter option means you'll need to assign an IP address manually for each device connected to your Wi-Fi.

Use a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) encrypts Internet connections and data transferred via your network. Most VPN services also have a built-in feature (a kill switch) that will disconnect hardware from your network when a protected connection is lost, thus keeping you safe from unexpected data leaks. Moreover, with a VPN your employees can securely use Wi-Fi during business trips without compromising your company's sensitive data.

Disable file sharing

File sharing should be enabled only on file servers. If you enable file sharing on all devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, the files passed through it will be seen by all other users of that Wi-Fi connection.

Always update router firmware

Your business network may be vulnerable to hacking attacks due to outdated router firmware. Although typically updated at least once a year, firmware updates are often seen by small business owners as not worth the effort. Be sure you update the firmware at least once a year to fix all existing bugs.

Use IPS or IDS

IDS and IPS are efficient ways to detect and prevent threats. IDS is used to detect any attackers such as malware or worms; IPS actively prevents the negative impact of the detected attackers.

Install WAF

A WAF (Web application firewall) protects the sensitive data of customers who purchase your company's services or products online. With WAF, the customer's information is kept protected from interference by hackers.

Use SSL certificates

To execute online customer transactions, use a reliable SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate that allows an encrypted link between a browser and a Web server.

Change the name of your company network

You shouldn't use the original name of your network assigned by the provider. It usually contains the model of your router, which is insecure because it's seen by other Internet users who can find the necessary documentation to gain access to your network.

About the Author

Dainan Gilmore is an enthusiastic expert in cybersecurity and works as a cryptanalyst and data privacy advisor at BestVPNRrating, where you can learn more about him. Alternatively, contact him via email.

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