When human life was still new to the planet, prehistoric humans lived much like wild animals. Eventually, they developed hunting weapons, fire-building methods, the ability to cultivate crops, and were able to begin human civilization. Each generation that followed has taken the advancements that our predecessors made and added further developments, to improve our way of life a little bit more. If you jump forward a few thousand years, we’ve seen the development of electricity, automotives and the age of transportation, modern medicine, and so on.
Our generation’s contribution to human society is the ease of communication. It used to take weeks or months to pass information across the globe; now this is accomplished instantaneously through our modern communications networks. Satellites and fiber structured cabling that link every part of developed civilization are used for instant video communications and IP telephone systems, so that communication with a person thousands of miles away is just as simple as talking to a person sitting in your own living room.
Unfortunately, the convenience offered by of communications networks has also brought us the heightened risk of hacking, viruses, and compromised security. As information is passed across the globe instantaneously, hackers and cyber terrorists have the opportunity to intercept that information for nefarious purposes. For this reason, it is essential that businesses follow the following network security protocol to protect their communications networks:
- Understand Your Network
You should understand the infrastructure, mapping, and security that makes up your network. You should understand how how each component is connected together, how they are connected to the rest of the world, and what security you have in place to prevent invasion. By doing this, you will identify weaknesses that you need to find security solutions for, and understand the regular measures you need to take to protect yourself. Also, you should perform regular audits to make sure that your security measures are functioning properly.
- Stay On Top of System Updates
Taking the time to update your communications network might feel tedious, with little obvious benefit. However, in addition to fixing any bugs, software updates include security revisions to remove weaknesses and increase protection, as hackers find new ways to infiltrate your system.
- Create Good Passwords
One of the greatest vulnerabilities for network security is having an easy to detect password guarding your vital information. Change your password every 30 to 90 days, and don’t write it on sticky note attached to your computer monitor.
One great way to create a password that is impossible to guess, but that you’ll remember, is to take a phrase that is meaningful to you, and create a password using the fist letter of each word. For example, take the book title One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and turn it into a password: “1F2FRedFBlueF.”
- Make Physical Security a Priority Too
Just as you need firewalls and encryption to protect your network against remote hackers and viruses, you need to protect your physical infrastructure as well. Even if your network is impenetrable to cyber attack, if someone can a plug wireless router into an internal port with in your network, they could gain access via their Trojan Horse. Make sure your network infrastructure it safe within a locked room. Keep any wireless access points in secure locations, and if an Ethernet port is in a public location, make sure it is disabled.
Do you have any other great ideas to beef up network security? Please share them with us in the comment section below!