Network consists of three parts – media, connectivity equipment, and electronic devices. Media encompasses connection essentials including cables and wireless systems. Connectivity equipment includes hubs, routers, and switches. Devices cover your entire computing devices such as computers, printers, scanners, plotters, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
The primary objective of a network is to communicate, share, and manage data and information of all hues.
Security is an essential part of network maintenance. A network administrator has to ensure that users can access data and other resources needed to perform their job functions without any issues. When you connect multiple devices to a network, you are literally opening up all your data and information to potential threats.
Common threats to a network include the following:
- Viruses, Trojan horses, worms
- Spyware and adware
- Zero-day attacks also called zero-hour attacks
- Hacker attacks
- Denial of Service (DOS) attacks
- Data interception and theft
- Identity theft
Protecting the company’s data, employees, and confidentiality always takes precedence over everything else. This must get the highest priority in Network management. Viruses and malware could lead to data loss and expensive downtime. Spams block the inboxes and e-mail servers that cost businesses dearly. Spyware and adware are targeted to steal valuable information from specific companies that can impact revenue and the company’s hard earned reputation.
The Need For Complete Network Security
In 2014, more than one billion personal records were stolen. This included health data, emails, financial data, addresses, and social security numbers. In 2015, companies that were attacked include VTech, FBI, Trump Hotels, T-Mobile, BlueCross BlueShield, Carphone, IRS, Anthem, Sony Pictures, and the Australian Immigration Department.
The Wireless Threat
The wireless media poses the maximum and easily penetrable threat. Many wireless users simply do not know that they are open and exposed to system penetration and bandwidth theft. Individuals and businesses connecting to the Internet using wireless devices are the most susceptible. The highest number of reported breaches and identity thefts are in the wireless domain.
Here are some suggestions to prevent your system from becoming a wireless black hole.
Always activate and use encryption algorithms provided in routers. WEP and WPA2 are two preferred popular and common encryption systems with WPA2 being the more popular. This encryption technology blocks traffic and filters unauthorized third parties who try to infiltrate your network.
Installing a firewall helps in detecting unauthorized communication that takes place in a network. It gives advanced options for users to allow or deny communication that may appear to be a threat. Network vulnerability is reduced to a large extent with firewalls. You must remember that firewalls are programmable, and you can tell it what to what not to do.
Every router comes with predefined id and password installed by the manufacturer. In most cases, people do not bother to change this. This is like keeping your front door open in an area that is infested with thieves. All a hacker has to do is buy your router, and he has your password. In reality, it may be even simpler than that. Most manufacturers use ‘admin‘ and & ‘password‘ for id and password, and this information will be available on the manufacturer’s website. By not changing the password, you are opening your whole network to hacking.
Change the password frequently and use a combination of alphabets, numbers, and special characters. Use a combination that is difficult to guess. Remember – your name, date of birth, your pets name are all easily guessable.
Wireless Security Software
As an administrator, it is important you install software that monitors your wireless traffic. If you are using machine ID (MAC address) for connection, these monitors will alter you the minute someone else tries to connect to your network. Such software also secures your router and provides event logging and alert monitoring to scrutinize for devices attempting to gain access.
Security technologies like encryption and algorithm software may act like seat-belt laws to help computer users from hurting themselves. All laptops, switches, and routers should be encrypted. Monitor outgoing messages, block e-mail messages or file transfers that have confidential data. Ensure that the security process is easy to use by the employees. Frequent audit on security practices is one more step to stay secure.
Here are a few minimum steps Sosaley Technologies is suggesting you to take for your network security.
- Always use encryption. Encryption encodes the data and is not accessible to others. Even if someone captures your information, all they will see is scrambled garbage.
- Limit access to your network. Do not allow everyone to access your network. As much as possible, use Media Access control (MAC) address to identify devices that are connected to the network.
- Change the name of your router when you install it.
- Always enter your own unique password for router control.
- Remember to turn off remote management. This allows remote access to your router’s management.
- Always log out as administrator so that no one can piggyback on your router management sessions.
- Update your router frequently.
Sosaley Technologies is a growing company leading in the development of firmware, embedded systems, and other automation hardware and software. Sosaley is led by industry veterans who have pioneered software development in India, and have worked with companies such as Juniper Networks, Citibank, and many other Fortune 500 companies.
Sosaley is working with leading companies in India and elsewhere in multiple domains. Click here to read more about Sosaley Technologies.