If you think that your business is small, and therefore, not a target for hackers, then you have got another think coming. The truth is that botnets and automated scanning procedures don’t care whether your business is still in the start-up lane or big and established. What they are looking for are holes in the security of your network.
To maintain a home or small business network is not an easy feat, and even old hands in Information Technology found that it takes a lot of energy and time to ensure that things are locked down.
Therefore, here are some tips you should keep in mind to ensure that somebody somewhere doesn’t cart off with your valuable database:
Get hold of a firewall – The first thing a hacker does is to search for a vulnerability in any network. They do this by scanning for open ports – they are mechanisms via which your small business network connects to the internet. Once the hacker spots a free port, it is a clear invitation for not only access but exploitation as well. The job of a firewall is to prevent such an irresistible invitation by closing down any port that is unnecessarily open.
The first line of defense in any network is the firewall. Firewalls are responsible for setting the rules that guide the opening and closing of ports. It also ensures that the only ports left open are those you are running your business or services on.
Bring your firmware up-to-date – It is vital that your firewall firmware remains up to date. But what is common nowadays is that small businesses neglect to do this. By updating your firewall firmware, you will be able to fix bugs and enhance the security of your network.
Some router vendors periodically inform you about new updates via pop-ups or dialogue boxes. Some routers update themselves automatically as soon as new version is launched. But for those routers that do not have the automated firmware version, you or your tech person should locate the version number in the router admin screen and then visit the support site of the vendor to check for the latest version.
Protect your firewall with a password – After setting up a firewall, it is crucial for you to protect it with a password. Leave the default password in place is ill-advised. It is a simple task for a potential hacker to find out the model number as well as the brand of network equipment. Such a hacker can then use Google or the Dark Web to get hold of the user manual in which the default password and username are. This is why it is highly essential to log into your firewall/router and change the default password and username and then set new ones in place.
Lock IP addresses down – A majority of small businesses routers make use of DHCP which is responsible for allocating IP addresses to computers that link up to the network. Although DHCP makes it easy for you to allow users to connect to your network, it is also an open invitation for hackers to exploit you as well.
Therefore, locking down IP addresses will let you know which IP is connected to which computer or user whenever you check your router logs. By knowing which computers are connected to your network, you will be able to detect where any problem is coming from quickly.
Use virtual LANs – It is not a good idea to grant everyone in your business access to the same assets on your network. It is vital that you create segments for your network with virtual LANs or VLANs. Virtual LANs are nearly always part of most business class routers and allows you to create segments on your network based on the needs, risks, and the quality of service prerequisites. It is all about providing access to the resources on the network for authorized personnel while restricting access to those who are not certified.
If you need to secure your small business network without necessarily breaking the bank, then consider the services of Twenty 4 Seven Solutions for anything related to IT and Telecoms. This is a reputable organization that has been in existence since 2010 and is known to deliver topnotch service to its esteemed customers.
Find out more about their services at http://t4ssolutions.co.uk