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Your Network Needs to Be Secure…These Tools Can Help

Your Network Needs to Be Secure…These Tools Can Help

March 7, 2023

From the outside looking in, network security can be intimidating to consider. There are so many moving parts that go into protecting a business, it’s understandable that you might not know where to start. Fortunately, we do, and we’re happy to provide this list of critical network security tools that should be seen as the foundation for your company’s protection.

Access Controls and Logs

Your various employees are going to need access to various data points and resources based on their role in your organization. On the same token, there are various data points that some employees simply don’t need access to. Restricting access on what is effectively a need-to-know basis helps to secure your data and keep your team on-task all at once. Implementing access logs also helps indicate when things were accessed, and by whom, giving you visibility of any suspicious activity. At the very least, these logs can give you the heads up when one of your team members has more access than they should, giving you the opportunity to correct the issue.

Antivirus/Antimalware

Nothing is perfect, and there may be occasions when a threat manages to bypass some of the other protections we’ll discuss in a moment. An antivirus program, sometimes referred to as anti-malware, is a useful software to have installed for when this happens. So long as you have it updated to reference the latest threat definitions, this handy security utility can and will stop a great number of threats—and with these threat definitions being built upon, the usefulness that your antivirus provides will grow over time.

Content Filtering

Let me ask you this: would you prefer that your team spend their work time working, or catching up on the latest episode of [insert name of latest must-see streaming series here]? As much as you’d like to be able to trust your team to be diligent, there is no harm in stopping them from accessing websites and online content that does little but waste time.

On a related note, content filtering can also stop your team from being redirected to malicious websites or blatantly inappropriate content—and can be directed to specific employees who find it challenging to resist temptation.

Firewalls

The best kind of threat is the one that’s taken care of before it’s even on your radar. This is effectively the function of a firewall, as it proactively prevents most threats from ever reaching your network. This is what we were discussing back in the antivirus conversation—ideally, your firewall will help to minimize the threats that need to be resolved by your antivirus.

Spam Blocking

Spam messages are not only incredibly frustrating to sort through and deal with, they can often be laden with phishing threats and malware. Eliminating them with a robust spam blocker not only prevents them from hitting your employees’ inboxes and wasting time, but removes the risk that an employee could click through one of them.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

VPNs, and the overall encryption that the technology relies on, are a great asset that provides a crucial level of protection—particularly if someone is working remotely and still needs to interface with the data stored on your business network. Using a VPN provides a secure connection so that data can be exchanged without exposing it to outside threats.

Interested in learning more about any of the above business technologies? Turn to First Column IT! Our team can ensure you are equipped with the protections you need to operate your business securely. Give us a call at (571) 470-5594 to learn more.

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