8 Steps To Setting Up A Secure Network

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Setting up a secure network is essential for any organization or individual who needs to protect their data from malicious actors.

By properly configuring your network, you can ensure that your users and sensitive information remain safe and sound.

Why is it important to talk about SEO when we talk about security

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of practices aimed at improving the visibility of websites and online content in search engine results pages. By optimizing their websites for search engines, businesses can attract more traffic to their website, enhance user engagement, and ultimately increase revenue. 

8 Steps to Setting Up a Secure Network

However, SEO is not just about improving website visibility; it can also play a significant role in maintaining network security, and that is one more reason businesses should pay additional attention to SEO in 2023. 

Search engines like Google and Bing direct a significant amount of traffic to specific websites. This means that websites that rank higher in search engine results pages are more likely to receive visitors and, therefore, more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals. 

Cybercriminals often use unsecured websites to launch malware and phishing attacks, which can compromise an organization’s entire network. Therefore, securing websites against such attacks is essential for maintaining network security.

Proper SEO practices can help organizations secure their websites and protect their networks from potential threats. Using HTTPS encryption protocol can protect sensitive information from attackers while ensuring that websites rank higher in search engine results pages. 

Other best practices include using secure passwords, having a dedicated server for your website, regularly updating software, and limiting access to sensitive data.

Effective SEO can also lead to increased user engagement, encouraging users to spend more time on websites and interact with the content. This can help to further improve network security by making it more difficult for attackers to gain access to sensitive information through the network.

Proper SEO is vital for maintaining a secure network. It can help to protect against the various threats posed by unsecured websites, including malware and phishing attacks. 

By implementing best practices such as HTTPS and secure passwords, organizations can improve the security of their network while also driving traffic and increasing user engagement. As a cybersecurity expert, I recommend that every organization prioritizes SEO as part of its overall cybersecurity strategy.

Establishing firewall protocols

Firewall protocols filter out network traffic by looking at each packet and determining where it is coming from, where it is going to, and which protocol it utilizes. They then decide whether to allow or deny the packet based on that information. 

Establishing firewall protocols

This helps protect the network from threats, as well as ensure that only authorized programs can connect to the underlying systems.

To increase the security of your firewall, it is best to set it up with a “deny all” policy, which means that no traffic will be allowed into the network without specific exceptions. This helps to minimize the attack surface, and it can also make it easier to manage the rules that are required for specific traffic.

To better manage firewall policies, use service sets whenever possible. These allow you to group huge groups of things into a single entity for the purpose of creating and managing rules. 

This can help to reduce the number of separate individual rules, which may improve performance and ease maintenance. 

It is a good idea to block certain ports, such as those used for online gaming or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, to help reduce network bandwidth usage and malware activity.

Securing remote access

With remote work becoming a standard practice for many companies, the IT infrastructure of a business must be secure enough to allow employees to manage data remotely from different locations. 

The best way to do this is with secure remote access, which allows IT personnel or other authorized organizational users to connect to an employee’s desktop computer from a location other than their organization’s network.

Secure remote access solutions can protect a company’s IT infrastructure by offering granular access to specific applications. This minimizes the risk of data breaches by restricting what a bad actor can get their hands on. 

The best remote access solutions also use encryption software to protect remote connections, which turns data into code or cipher text that can only be read by those who have the key or the password.

Secure remote access also provides IT teams with the ability to monitor privileged accounts on any device or internet connection, helping to prevent insider attacks by ensuring that only legitimate privileged users have access to systems and programs. This also makes it easy for IT teams to meet compliance and audit standards.

Enabling encryption services and protocols

Encryption services and protocols are one of the best tools an organization or individual can use to keep communications and data, both in-transit and at rest, secure. 

These security processes encrypt information moving over communications networks so that only the intended recipients can read it. This helps to prevent cybercriminals, hackers and internet service providers from reading personal messages and/or stealing sensitive company or user data.

Some examples of these encryption protocols include SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). Visit https://www.goanywhere.com/solutions/secure-ftp to learn more about SFTP.

These two programs help to ensure that all file transfers between two computers are private. Encryption protocols also work to protect email messaging systems by ensuring that all emails are encrypted as they move from sender to recipient.

Another type of encryption protocol is a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN creates a tunnel between a business's network and all of its workers' devices. 

This tunnel is secured with a combination of authentication, which ensures that only authorized devices or users can connect to the network, and encryption, which keeps snoopers from listening in on communications between users and their employer's network servers.

Implementing intrusion detection systems

Detecting potential cyber threats and stopping them before they cause damage to your network is essential to maintaining a secure business. 

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) continuously watch your network for possible incidents and alert you to them so they can be stopped quickly.

An IDS monitors network traffic and compares it to the signature of known attacks. It can also look for alterations in system files and configurations or scan operating systems for malware. It can also detect and prevent threats by removing malicious code and blocking access to specific services or resources.

Anomaly-based IDS solutions use statistical data to create a model of what normal network activity looks like and monitor for deviations from it. This method is more accurate than signature-based IDS, but it can sometimes generate false alarms. 

You can also find fully integrated cybersecurity solutions that combine IDS and IPS capabilities into one solution that automatically logs threat information to speed up response time and management of cyberthreats. 

Keeping operating system software up-to-date

Every time a new software update is available, it’s important to install those updates. Many updates include security fixes that can prevent hackers from accessing a network or stealing data.

Keeping operating system software up-to-date

Hackers often exploit software flaws, also known as vulnerabilities, in computer applications. These flaws can create open doors for criminals to enter your computer and steal information. 

Thankfully, software manufacturers are generally quick to become aware of these vulnerabilities and will release a fix for them.

Not only are these software updates essential for preventing hacks, but they can also offer other benefits as well. For instance, an update may add a feature that enhances your user experience or boosts program performance. These are just a few of the many reasons to keep up with those annoying reminders to update your software.

Not only are updates critical for protecting your personal devices, they can also help you protect those in your university community. The same way the common cold spreads from person to person, cyber criminals can use an infected device in a network to spread malware to other devices.

Defining strong passwords and user authentication

A secure network prevents hackers from accessing your accounts. This puts distance between your accounts and hackers, making it harder for them to succeed in their attacks. It also helps you avoid common cyber attacks like data interception, adware, spam and spyware, identity theft and viruses.

The first step in securing your network is defining strong passwords. It is recommended to use a combination of lower and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols to create your passwords. 

It is also important to limit the number of passwords a user has and to change them regularly.

The next step is implementing user authentication. This process ensures that only a genuine user can log in to your system by checking the credentials provided. 

User authentication factors include something a user knows, something a user has and something a user is (biometrics, for instance). This method ensures that if one hacker figures out the password to an account, they can’t login to other accounts using that same information. 

It’s also a good idea to disable the WPS option on your router, which allows devices like phones and smart home gadgets to pair with your wireless network.

Managing user access privileges and permissions

While access privileges allow a user to view data, permissions grant the ability to modify or delete files and create new applications. 

In addition to setting up access privileges for each software application, hardware device or business function, a network administrator can also set up permissions at the individual file level.

Ensure that users have only the permissions they need for their job function and do not have access privileges: Providing unnecessary access increases risk without an associated increase in benefit. Limiting user access can be a tricky undertaking because limiting access too severely may interfere with business productivity.

Privilege management tools should be used to centralize and secure access privileges. A centralized credential storage solution allows for passwords to be checked out until required for authorized activities, and then returned and privileged access revoked. 

A privileged access management (PAM) solution can help with this, enabling infrastructure access to be proxied using VPN-less technology and protecting credentials with strong password generation parameters. Implementing a PAM policy helps reduce the attack surface of a network and is necessary to support many compliance regulations.

Monitoring network activity regularly for security

Keeping hackers at bay is possible when network settings are kept up to date. Changes to security settings can leave networks vulnerable and open for attack if they aren’t monitored, so it is important to run regular scans and tests on your network to keep tabs on changes.

Monitoring network activity also allows IT teams to identify potential threats more quickly, making it easier to thwart attacks. This can help to prevent data interception, adware, viruses and other malware from spreading, as well as preventing service disruptions like bandwidth hijacking or distributed denial-of-service attacks.

It is crucial to make sure that passwords are strong and regularly changed. The WPS, or Wi-Fi protected setup, setting on routers should also be turned off as it can allow hacking to easily pair devices and gain access to the system. 

Final words

Once you have followed the steps outlined above, you should have a secure network that will protect your devices and data from potential threats. 

However, it's always important to stay vigilant and regularly review your security settings to ensure they are up-to-date. 

Be sure to backup all of your important files in case of any accidental deletion or data loss. Follow these steps and you can rest assured that your network is safe and secure.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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