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Network Security Tips

Unauthorized access to your network has the potential to be a catastrophe to your business. Here are some ways to assess the vulnerability of your network.

Computer crime is costing the country billions of dollars and becoming a threat to national security.

—Peter E. Sakkas,
Espionage and Sabotage in the Computer World

Steps to protecting your network

Establish strong network passwords

Network passwords will prompt users to input a confidential code each time they try to access your business's network. Employees should create passwords that are not easily guessed. Require your employees to change their passwords frequently. See our page detailing guidelines for creating strong passwords.

Maintain firewalls

Hardware and software firewalls create a protective barrier between your network and the outside world. This can prevent access by unauthorized outside users. Incorrect firewall installation is common among small businesses, often leading to breaches in security, so ensure that your firewall is properly installed and up-to-date in order to keep your business protected.

Use access authentication

Access authentication software checks the identity of anyone who attempts to enter your computer network. Access is granted only to parts of your network or server that you have designated, ensuring that employees only have access to the files and data that you permit.

Encrypt your network

Network encryption prevents anyone who doesn’t hold an encryption code from accessing documents shared within a network. All data sent between two or more parties on the network is coded so that only the intended parties will have access to the specific data.

Never leave important data unattended

The simple act of encouraging your employees to close files and log-off or lock their computers before leaving their desk can limit your security risk. Impose rules that require employees to protect their computers when not in use. Furthermore, encourage your employees to keep a close eye on take-home laptops. See our page on Laptop Security for information on protecting your laptop.

For more information about network security, visit the cert.org  home network security page.


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