How to Set Up a Network with Security in Priority

By CIOReview | Friday, September 23, 2016
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In the modern era of networking where cyber criminals are in plenty, setting up a secure network is inevitable to safeguard the organization. According to the ITSecurity.com, the biggest network threats includes, Viruses and Worms, Trojan Horses, SPAM, Phishing, Packet Sniffers, Maliciously coded websites, and Botnets. The Guardian Analytics and Ponemon Institutes study of 500 small businesses in the U.S. found that 55 percent of respondents experienced a fraud attack. The increase in sales of network advanced threat protection (ATP) solutions, that reached $194 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), reflects that companies are seriously considering their network security. Infonetics.com also reported that about 65 percent of 3Q15 network content security gateway revenue was from appliances, and the remaining 35 percent came from security software.

Setting Up a Secure Network

Even though establishing a network is one of the best methods to improve business continuity and productivity, uninformed users within the enterprises and lack of network security can lead to great danger. As networks allow data sharing among multiple devices within the organization, classifying users and setting up policies among the users are recommended best practices.

A security plan with current security threats in the foundation will be highly effective. Understanding the security issues, updated security requirements, potential attackers, and knowledge about the factors that make a network vulnerable to attack are important aspects to be considered while designing a security policy.

The user access within the network has to be defined considering the user requirements and the nature of work. Not all users need access to confidential information. All users should be provided with proper authentication measures and their work has to be recorded and tracked.

Sorting out the network services and disabling all unnecessary services is another best practice in network security as such services can open up the door to cyber criminals. The hardware vendor applications should also be part of considerations as any security flaws in those applications can be a threat. As the registry files are significant parts of Windows Operating Systems, the unused and irrelevant registry files should be deleted and the suspicious registry entries should be recorded.

The network encryptions and communication protocol protections are vital in every organizational network. Each device in the network should be encrypted and the digital certifications should be from valid certification sources. Encrypting can not only annoy the attacker as he has to utilize huge resources to break into the system.

The clever utilization of network security components that includes an updated anti-virus and anti-spywares, firewalls, Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can harden the network security to a greater extend. However, as network security not only depends on just software, the hardware components also should be made compatible with the security policies. Patch Microsoft Windows automatically.

Listed below are some of the techniques to harden the network security:

• All the users should be provided with a safe and secure three dimensional password
• Update the antivirus and antispyware programs regularly
• Never try to open or download any suspicious email attachments or image files as they can be malicious program codes
• Always use secure connection while sharing printer and devices, also disable the sharing services when not in use
• Remove the user accounts and files of ex-employees
• Try to adopt a secure web browser

After all, as employees are the vital players of security, they have to be educated about the company network security policies, and do’s and don’ts within the organizational network.

A network security system generally is the combination of software and hardware components that works together to improve the organizational security. With perfect network security, the organizations can work smooth and seamlessly improving overall business continuity and productivity.