How to Secure a Network

If you’re new to modern technology and network security then you need to read this guide that will explain how to secure a network for a complete beginner.

Our teams are nationally recognised as network specialists, having installed hundreds of pieces of network equipment and security software for companies and individuals of all shapes and sizes.

The Basics Explaining How To Secure a Network

There are a few bits that we are going to cover. Remember, these are the basics of network security:

  • Routers
  • Firewalls
  • Network Attacks
  • Importance of Passwords

So lets get into it, here is how to secure a network – check out the guide:

#1 Routers and the Vulnerability of Neglect

Whether you are managing a personal router at home or a large-scale project for a business – there are a few things that you can do to help secure your router and network.

Any router, no matter where it is installed comes with a default setting.

This includes a very generic username and password. It is incredibly important to log into your router as soon as you can and change these to something more secure.

A lot of the generic usernames and passwords that are given are extremely vulnerable to hackers.

In the wrong hands they can:

  • Alter your personal settings
  • Access confidential information and data
  • Even reset your login credentials (making it difficult to regain access)

Once you have created a new username and password, make sure that they are stored in a safe place. If you are not able to remember, then stick to a pen and paper, storing it somewhere safe and do not tell anyone where it is.

Securing Your Network

#2 Turn on Your Firewall, Your Devices Firewall and Any Additional Security Measures

Now that you have set up your router and changed the basic settings there are a few other things that you can do that will help you with securing your network and router.

Each router will come with a built in firewall.

However, these internal security measures are not always automatically activated. You need to ensure that you have located your routers firewall and switched it on.

It may show up as:

  • S.P.I which stands for Stateful Packet Inspection
  • N.A.T which means Network Address Translation

Activating this internal firewall should provide you with enough security to hold off any unwanted attacks.

If you struggle – you can contact a member of our team who specialised in data centre installations and network security.

Now then, don’t think that your firewall jobs end there.

Now that the router has its firewall switched on, it’s worth considering local firewall software to provide you with additional security. There are many software programs available out there but if you’re not sure, simply contact us and we would be more than happy to provide a network security consultation.

In the worst-case scenario, you should make sure that your firewall for Windows or iOS is switched on.

#3 Be Cautious of Network Attacks

There are various forms of network attacks that can occur. That is exactly why it is so important to know how to secure a network to avoid it when possible.

The most common forms of network attacks include:

  • Eavesdropping
  • Data Modification
  • IP Spoofing

They all sound relatively straightforward in terms of an explanation; however, we’re going to tell you anyway.

It’s important to get your network security in place after a data migration to prevent these from occurring.

Eavesdropping is exactly as it sounds really. Most network communications are completed using an unsecured format. This leaves them incredibly vulnerable to attackers.

As the format is not secure, potential hackers can literally “listen in” to traffic (data) on an internal network.

Eavesdropping is the most common form of attack and is a regular problem for network managers through the world. In order to prevent it from happening, a strong level of encryption is required.

Data Modification is usually done alongside eavesdropping as they go hand in hand. Once the hackers have gained access to the sensitive information on a network they are then able to alter it – making it very difficult to gain the originals.

Unfortunately, those responsible for managing large networks may not even realise that a hacker is changing the information. They could even be looking at it whilst the offence is being committed.

IP Spoofing is used frequently to sport secure and safe entities.

However, clever hackers are able to use specific software to recreate false IP’s within an intranet. Once in, the level of power is enormous as they will be able to:

  • Modify information
  • Relocate and make copies of delicate data
  • Completely remove it from the network

Create Secure Passwords

#4 Secure Your Passwords The Right Way

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, the majority of networks are hacked due to poor passwords or even worse – passwords that have not been changed from the default that comes with 99% of routers.

The strongest passwords require a combination of numbers, letters and in some cases punctuation marks when they are allowed.

You can create secure passwords using automated tools such as LastPass.

Recap

It is so important to ensure that you know how to secure a network, whether it’s at home or in the office.

Hopefully, this article was able to provide you with enough of the basic information that you need to make your internal network secure.

Remember to complete the following:

  • Replace any default usernames and passwords for routers
  • Activate any internal router firewalls and software on your devices
  • Be cautious of the most common types of network attacks
  • Create secure passwords with a combination of numbers and letters as often as possible

If you follow these very basic steps – then your network will be secured enough to hold off any external attacks. However, if you are managing a larger network or data centre, then we recommend contacting a specialist and getting a consultant to assess your current level of security.

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