The workplace expanded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as organizations were forced to allow remote work in order to remain operational. And, in recent years, personal technology has proliferated, stretching from computers to cell phones to tablets, watches and health monitors.
Those extended networks, connecting remote devices, require management. From security to performance, it’s important for organizations and individuals to manage and protect their home and business networks in an era when cyberattacks are on the rise and personal data is becoming increasingly valuable to bad actors.
Here are some best practices to help secure and manage home and business networks.
Home network. Securing and managing a home network is just as important as the lengths businesses go to to protect their networks, and maybe even more so. At home, people are generally more willing to use their networks to make purchases — as opposed to using unsecured, public networks while out and about — and input personal information that could be valuable to those seeking to obtain data.
- Update when prompted. It’s important to utilize the latest operating system on personal devices, since outdated versions often contain lapses in security and ultimately open users up to attack.
- Utilize a security suite. Make sure the security software being used has multiple layers, to include a firewall, intrusion prevention, anti-virus and anti-phishing, and safe browsing.
- Limit admin use. Administrator accounts have access to an entire system, so it’s important to use that account as minimally as possible. Create a non-admin account to limit exposure to harmful malware that could arrive via email.
- Pay attention to sandboxing capabilities. Well-known browsers, like Chrome and Safari, and PDF readers, like Adobe, contain sandboxing capabilities that contain the execution of malware, so it’s best to use those as they add a layer of defense.
- Mobile protection. Be sure to use challenging passwords of PINs to lock mobile devices and enable automatic screen-locking after a certain period of time to avoid personal information from landing in the hands of the wrong people in the event that a device is lost or misplaced.
- Use a personal router. Even if an internet service provider offers a router as part of its service, choose to use a personal one to maintain better administrative control over your network.
- Upgrade to WPA2. To best protect wireless communication, make sure your wireless application protocol (WAP) utilizes Wifi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) in place of WEP or WPA.
Business network. Organizations rely on network security more than they know. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to function. Whether an organization staffs its own IT department or works with a remote specialist, like My Computer Works, it’s important to establish protocols for security to ensure that time and data aren’t lost if or when data is compromised.
- Enforce a password policy. Passwords can be a pain sometimes, especially when they are required to change on a regular basis, but a password policy is crucial to network security. A password policy prevents password-based attacks, protects data and secures against identity theft.
- Secure the network. Implement encryption across the network, utilize VPNs wherever possible and introduce strong authentication protocols to secure wireless networks, which are more vulnerable to attack.
- Monitor activity. Whether you’re working with an outside company or relying on an internal team, it’s important to monitor a network for anomalous behavior that may signal an intrusion or attack.
- Review security infrastructure regularly. Technology changes quickly, so it’s important to regularly audit your security posture to ensure programs are up to date, passwords are changed and new protocols are introduced if they need to be.
To discuss the unique networking needs of your home or business network, reach out to us. At My Computer Works, we’re happy to talk through the challenges you’re facing or the concerns you have.
Contact us to learn more about how our computer experts can offer you ongoing support for any issues you’re experiencing!