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When designing your business's network practices, have written documentation of everything. Every program you buy, every upgrade you install, and every modification you make needs to be documented. Also, you should have written policies on how to react before, during, and after any security breach is discovered.
Your policies should be updated frequently, and cover such items as:
- How often to upgrade firewalls.
- How often to upgrade anti-virus software.
- How often to do data backups, and where they should be stored.
- Contacting law enforcement immediately if a security problem is discovered.
Follow these guidelines to minimize your business's risk of intrusion.
- Keep backups of all operating system software.
- Keep backups of all important data.
(These first two guidelines are especially important in light of the recent rise of ransomware that holds files hostage until a ransom is paid. Microsoft's Malware Protection Center provides an excellent overview of the current ransomware landscape.)
- Maintain software to recognize attacks and audit defensive steps.
- Make sure all audit trails are turned on.
- Be aware that there are potential intruders that may be "sniffing" your network.
- Routinely test your network for vulnerabilities.
- Change passwords frequently, and cancel them for employees who leave the company.
- Passwords should require alphanumeric character combinations. These are more difficult to hack. See our section on strong passwords to see how Secure Florida recommends that passwords be created.
- Minimize the number of modems on your system.