Not a day goes by without another report of a hack or data breach it seems, so keeping your office network secure against those who would try to break in, is increasingly important in the modern world.
Dealing with a data breach is a nightmare for any business, with the damage to reputation, loss of income and business, not to mention the potential for huge fines and compensation pay-outs, so keeping your network secure is in everyone’s best interests.
Seven essential things to know
What is office network security?
When we talk about the office network, we generally mean the IT network so your internet connection and all the online systems which rely on it. It’s about making sure the only people who can access these are people you trust and have granted that access to. There are different threats to your network security and also different ways to protect it, which you need to know about.
What is physical network security?
Ways to prevent people from physically accessing your office network include things like key card access to computer rooms and security cameras on your premises. In some high-security industries, access can be restricted with fingerprint access or voice recognition as well.
What is technical network security?
This covers some of the digital ways to protect your network and systems which can detect if someone is trying to get access. Technical security includes elements such as network monitoring systems, firewalls, and private network systems.
What is administrative network security?
This is the restriction of access using passwords, and user accounts and granting particular access levels to certain people only. This is a way of controlling who can get into the systems and what they can see or do once they are in.
What are some of the key network security elements?
For this guest post, we turned to our friend Tim, a freelance writer for Calix, a market leader in 10G PON technology, and he shares his expertise on this matter. For him, here are the key security elements your business should be focusing on.
Firewall – This is a virtual security wall that monitors all the traffic going in and out of your network and will block any attempt at access that is unauthorized. It is the first defense against an unwanted attack.
Virtual Private Network – This is software that can set up a secure connection across a non-secure network. It allows you to share encrypted data and information without the risk of it being seen or hacked. It is a great way to share data if you are using an insecure Wi-Fi network.
Intrusion Detection System – This monitors all the traffic going in and out and alerts you to any kind of potential attack and prevents it from happening. It will send you an immediate alert, so you know when someone is trying to access your system.
What are the key threats to office network security?
There are a number of different types of issues that could threaten your office network security that you need to know about so here are some of the main threats to watch out for:
Virus – This is essentially a piece of code that is normally hidden within a document or link on an email. Once opened, it copies itself across to all your files and is normally used to steal information from your data.
Trojans – This is a type of virus in disguise as a genuine program. If you install it onto a computer, it spreads through the system and will download other malicious programs to spread even further.
Worms – These are similar to viruses, but they can spread by themselves throughout your system and don’t have to attach to anything to work their way through your IT network and cause havoc.
Spyware – this is often installed by downloading software or opening infected emails and it gathers personal information by spying on the user, collecting passwords, and monitoring everything they are doing on the computer.
Ransomware – This is where you are blocked out of your own system and the attacker demands money to give you access back again.
Ways to enhance your office network security
Now that you know a bit more about the types of threats that your office network could be facing, it’s also important to know how to keep it secure. The best way to make your office network secure is to invest in security software that has been designed to protect the particular systems that you use.
Your IT team or your provider should be able to advise you on the best options to choose from, but a combination of a good firewall, a threat detection system as well as a strong secure password system that is regularly updated is the basic network security system that all companies should have in place.
Make sure that any security system you do install covers all the potential threats listed here and for futureproofing make sure it also comes with regular updates as hackers are always coming up with new threats and new viruses.