Network security refers to the set of procedures, programs, and technologies that an organization uses to ensure the safety of the computers and the integrity of data in its network. Having a secure network translates to keeping users safe from cyberattacks and ensuring that programs and tools perform their functions well.
You can think of network security personnel as the armed forces of your computer systems. Armed with state-of-the-art weapons, your troops are always on high alert and ready to defend your computing resources from attackers.
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Iron-clad network security means staying ahead of hackers and threat actors. Identifying attacker motivations can help outline the security measures that network security professionals must employ to protect their network.
7 Ways to Ensure Network Security
Here are some ways to make sure your computer network remains secure from all kinds of cyber threats:
1. Employ Strong Authentication Measures
One of the most basic network security measures that prevent data breaches is using authentication methods. Keep in mind that hackers use sophisticated strategies to access sensitive data and accounts. Using two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) is now a must.
Regularly updating passwords can also ensure that authentication strategies remain robust. Informing employees on the importance of strong passwords can also strengthen network security.
2. Keep Software Updated with Security Patches
Most attackers initially scan target networks for vulnerabilities before they decide to carry out misdeeds. Once they know your weak points, they are likely to exploit these with malware.
3. Educate Employees about Cybersecurity
One of the typical starting points of a security breach is employee error. If employees know how crucial they are to maintaining network security, reducing cybersecurity risks becomes a possibility. Train your employees on what to do in the event of a security breach.
4. Encrypt Data and Use BIOS Passwords
Enabling a password on boot adds an extra layer of security. Even if the hardware gets stolen, the thieves can’t access sensitive files if they boot it up using a different disk.
A basic input/output system (BIOS) password ensures that the hard drive remains inaccessible to those without it. When correctly applied, encryption prevents unauthorized people from gaining access to files, directories, and other confidential data.
5. Use Antivirus, Antispyware, and Antimalware
Another essential computer network security practice is to equip all computers and devices with antivirus, antispyware, and antimalware protection. Make sure these run at all times and don’t permit non-compliant systems to gain network access.
6. Secure External Network Access
Ensure network security by properly configuring firewalls. Firewalls are critical as these are responsible for permitting traffic to enter and leave a private computer network. Segmenting your network can help increase your security defense as well. According to Gartner, most network breaches often stem from firewall misconfiguration rather than issues. Regularly reviewing your firewall logs should be mandatory.
7. Use Strong Security Rules for Administrator Accounts
Computer networks with shared administrator accounts are considered insufficiently secured. Having separate administrator accounts ensures that login credentials remain secure at all times. Enforcing administrator privileges helps organizations manage who can access sensitive data and install and modify configuration settings.
Computer network security can be a thing of the past if proactive security measures are in place. Regularly auditing infrastructure helps assess issues and apply necessary improvements to ensure that network security can prevent unwanted attacks.