Computers and technology have revolutionized the modern workplace and, today, the majority of businesses rely on their office network as an intrinsic part of their day-to-day operations.
However, with the inexorable rise of mobile technology and improved connection speeds, the traditional fixed-location, in-house network has expanded far beyond the relative safety of the four walls of your premises and security is now a significant concern for most companies.
The importance of locking down your office network against malicious attacks cannot be overstated. When you also consider the threats posed by employees connecting to your network with their own devices – commonly referred to as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – the dangers become even greater. It’s essential all companies – regardless of size – take precautions to secure their networks.
Core security components and the benefits of a gateway solution
A great way to counter the multi-faceted threat of attack is to install an all-in-one gateway solution like the Check Point 1500 Series, which comes with in-built protection for all the risk areas noted below. Gateways not only provide across-the-board protection, they can also be considerably easier to manage.
However, if you’re looking to mix and match your security solutions, here are just a few essential components you should consider when evaluating the safety of your office network.
As a starting point, at the very minimum you need to install antivirus software as a first wall of defense. Most antivirus software will automatically update but you should check regularly to make sure you’re running the latest version – and also remind your employees to do the same if using their own devices to connect.
Install a firewall
A firewall offers a secondary layer of protection against unwanted access to your network and can help mitigate the damage caused by viruses or malicious code. Firewalls can be operated through hardware or software solutions and help protect your Local Area Network (LAN) from traffic on other networks (typically the internet).
Use email encryption
If you want to protect against intruders accessing your private emails, you should consider deploying a secure email encryption service.
Email encryption works by making your emails unreadable without having the required key to unlock content – essentially locking hackers out of your private communications. Encryption is a two-way process that creates a secure pathway as your email is sent – and uses the same pathway for replies from the original recipient.
Operate on a Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) adds a layer of encryption to your IT infrastructure, essentially concealing everything that moves through your network. The internet, in its basic form, is far from safe, however, a VPN adds an extra level of security while also providing a greater level of anonymity by lending you a temporary IP address.
Make backups remotely
You should never store backups on the same local machine. If the worst happens and your office network is compromised you run the risk of losing everything if all your data is stored on just one server. Rather, look at using remote solutions – either cloud storage, physical backups (DVD, external drives, etc) or use a secure hosting facility. You’re asking for trouble if you only backup data locally.