Network Security: Best Practices for Optimal Performance

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With more businesses turning to cloud platforms for their work management, network security has gained massive importance. A data breach or cyber attack can be disastrous for a business organization. According to a report, 60% of the businesses that suffered a cyberattack had to file for bankruptcy ultimately.

New technologies and trends require extra care with network security businesses. Since the possibility of data leakage and identity theft can threaten the organizational reputation and even cause financial losses. Every organization requires network security solutions to protect its data from cyber-attacks.  

What is Network Security?

Network security basically aims to protect a company’s network infrastructure. It consists of a number of practices, technologies, processes, and policies that protect, detect and monitor unauthorized access, modification, and misuse of the organizational network. When we talk about maintaining the security of a network, the issue is more complex.  So, to protect the data, organizations should implement different strategies. 

Let’s discover some of the best practices to protect the data and information of an organization:

Secure your Passwords

The first thing that organizations should consider is changing the default generated passwords, as these can be easily found online or in manuals. A common mistake is to create one for everything, in addition to ignoring that they must be difficult to decipher.

Perform a Network Audit

To protect the network, it is important to perform a detailed audit to discover the weakness in the network design as well as posture. Doing a network audit helps in assessing the following:

  • Open ports
  • Security vulnerabilities
  • Backups
  • Unnecessary applications

Network Configuration

Network configuration involves assigning policies, flows, network settings, and controls to prevent intrusion attacks due to access deficiencies. For this, the use of virtual local area networks (VLANs) is recommended, which work in network switches as well as segment traffic, usually based on its ports. This allows protection by firewalls to block access from other devices on the network while also facilitating Network Performance Optimization by optimizing traffic flow and enhancing network efficiency.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

It allows the computers of your organization to be connected between them without limitation of distance and without having recourse to the telecommunication networks, which preserves their integrity. VPN is an encrypted connection that connects the device to the network. Installing VPN helps transfer data more safely over the internet. 

Check and Configure Firewalls

Firewalls help safeguard the network from unauthorized access by cyberattackers who may use a number of tools to gain access e.g. viruses, phishing emails, spam, remote logins, and backdoors etc.  

Firewalls systematically identify and block any attempt at intrusion or malicious software. It is important to check as well as figure out the firewall as many times as possible to protect the data from hackers.

Encrypt Data

Whether organizations have personal, strategic, or economic value, the data must imperatively be kept secret. In this regard, nothing beats the encryption of computer network data. This consists of making your sensitive data unreadable for anyone who does not have the decryption keys and the password to access it.

Update Anti-Malware Software

Install one or more powerful anti-viruses. There are many free or paid antivirus programs on the market offering very good features. Old versions of antivirus are of no use against newly invented threats; therefore, make sure to keep your programs updated. Using the latest antivirus software will help in protecting data from hackers.

Secure Routers

In organizations, network routers are very important for the safety of data.  They are both receivers as well as distributors of networks in your physical space. So, securing them is essential since a security breach can happen in a second.

To secure routers, some of the measures are:

  • Put it in a more secure place
  • Install a CCTV camera for supervision
  • Keeping software up to date
  • Regularly change the network and login credentials
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Network Segmentation

In case of data breaches, network segmentation can protect important parts of the network.  If the structure is breached, then this coping mechanism will restrict the level of destruction that hackers can induce. 

Dividing and segmenting the network into dissimilar trust zones keeps the network isolated when any security incident happens. Thus it will help in reducing the risks of network intrusion.

Educate Employees About Cyber Security

To overcome security issues, your employees must be well-informed and able to recognize IT risks in organizations, such as viruses, malware, vulnerabilities, intrusions, cyber-attacks, hidden attacks, and phishing attempts. 

Nothing beats quality cyber security training, given by a professional capable of teaching the different processes to follow when it comes to securing computer devices.

Zero Trust Framework

Most companies rely on Zero Trust Models for securing data in their companies. But the question is, What is Zero Trust? It is a security framework model that assumes no trust, even for users or devices in the network perimeter. The model relies on firewalls and passwords to protect data within the corporate network.

Today, we can say that no one is safe from cyber attackers – both large companies and small and medium-sized businesses become their victims. 

  • Zero Trust Security Model for Protecting Data

It is predicted that the zero-trust security market will reach $52 billion by 2026. A zero-trust method is essential for every business, organization, or entity in the digital world. Traditional approaches, for the most part, focus on strengthening the perimeter to deter criminals. But that is no longer enough. 

Resources, data, infrastructure, and devices are increasingly going hybrid, moving beyond the perimeter of the enterprise itself.  By constantly scanning all network elements as well as applying policies to unstructured data, the model reduces the attack surface as well as minimizes the impact of data leaks and breaches.

Other Essential Best Practices for Network Security

Some more network security management practices are as follows:

  • Employ efficient policy development, communication as well as execution
  • Utilize automation in workflow and incident reaction when possible
  • Set up a strong end-user learning program
  • Have a useful networking monitoring service in organizations

Final Words

By employing these best practices, you can prevent systems and devices of all kinds from becoming an open door for hackers. But, even more, it ensures the integrity and continuity of the critical function of some of them, guaranteeing the protection of organizations.   

Also, following the philosophy behind the zero trust method, no one can be trusted until they are verified or authenticated. It is a holistic, strategic approach to security that ensures everyone, both people and devices, is legitimate so that access can be granted. Thus, to protect data from threats in today’s business world, organizations should implement different strategies to protect their secret information. 

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