Your business faces threats on many fronts, and the more users, devices, and applications you add, the more vulnerable your network becomes.
Network security is any activity designed to protect the usability and integrity of your network and data. It includes both hardware and software technologies. Effective network security manages access to the network. It targets a variety of threats and stops them from entering or spreading on your network.
Network security combines multiple layers of defenses at the edge and in the network. Each network security layer implements policies and controls. Authorized users gain access to network resources, but malicious actors are blocked from carrying out exploits and threats.
Digitization has transformed our world. How we live, work, play, and learn have all changed. Every organization that wants to deliver the services that customers and employees demand must protect its network. Network security also helps you protect proprietary information from attack. Ultimately it protects your reputation.
Now that you understand the basics of network security, review these six steps to create a holistic security solution for your small business.
Monitor the traffic coming in and going out your firewall and read the reports carefully. Don’t rely on alerts to flag dangerous activity. Make sure someone on your team understands the data and is prepared to take the necessary action.
Keep an eye on new threats as they’re discovered and posted online. For example, Trend Micro’s TrendWatch site tracks current threat activity. Also, you can have the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT, a division of Homeland Security) email alerts to you about recently confirmed software vulnerabilities and exploits.
To prevent threats from getting in, your business must deploy a strong frontline defense at the edge of the network. Make sure your firewall and anti-virus software is secure by enabling regular updates.
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Train employees on an ongoing basis so they understand any changes to your acceptable use policy. Also, encourage a “neighborhood watch” approach to security. If an employee notices anything suspicious, such as not being able to log into an email account right away, he or she should notify the appropriate person immediately.
Install a data protection solution. This type of device can protect your business from data loss if your network’s security is breached.
Consider additional security solutions that will further protect your network as well as expand your company’s capabilities.
There are many types of network security solutions that you’ll want to consider, including:
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Your IT department must be able to find and control problems fast. Breaches will happen. The steps in this checklist will reduce the likelihood, but no security defenses are completely impenetrable. You must have a system and strategy in place to find and control problems across the network.
When you need to secure your network, a Cisco Specialist can help — including network assessment and design, solution financing and implementation, and onsite support and/or managed services.
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Our resources are here to help you understand the security landscape and choose technologies to help safeguard your business.
These tools and articles will help you make important communications decisions to help your business scale and stay connected.