Is Your Network Secure Around The Clock?

There are many ways to gain access to your office network… some are legitimate and some are malicious! Are you aware of all the different ways people can gain access to your network and have steps been taken to plug holes in your security?

© Petr Ciz - Fotolia

© Petr Ciz – Fotolia

 

The network environment at your office is the heart of your operation! It’s the system you rely on daily to be able to conduct business and give you access to the files, websites and data you need to run your company and make it grow!

There are many different ways to access your network and you likely fit into one or more of the following access scenarios

  • Sitting at a PC or Mac Laptop/Desktop internally and either plugged into the network with a cable or connected wirelessly.
  • Using a Tablet device wirelessly both in and out of the office …
  • Sitting at a Starbucks or Hotel with your laptop and getting work done remotely on their wireless network …
  • Sitting on either a desktop or Laptop at home and getting work done remotely …

I’ve likely left out a few potential scenarios here but you get the point there are quite a number of ways, both external and internal, to get access to the data on your office network.

As a business owner it’s nothing to necessarily be afraid of, but it is something you definitely must be, at the very least, “aware of” and better yet “proactive about” so you can rest assured that your network is safe … safe when you arrive at the office in the morning and safe as well when you turn out the lights and leave at the end of the day.

Most system access questions will be directed at the Main Router/Firewall on your network. The Router/Firewall on your network is essentially the “first point of contact” or “the gatekeeper” for any traffic coming from the Internet that is directed at your office network. It is the primary device responsible for either “allowing” or “dis-allowing” access to your network from the outside.

Everything that comes into your internal network from the Internet first has to pass through the Router/Firewall unit before it can go anywhere else. It’s “RULES” that are set up on the Router/Firewall that determine what traffic “can” and “cannot” do …

It’s a good idea to have a regular review of the Router/Firewall rules as sometimes old access that used to be in place that is no longer needed/allowed can be just left open on the Router/Firewall and that can potentially create a “hole” that needs to be plugged …

Access From The Inside Out

This is another potential security hole in any organization as lots of services are out there like “LogMeIn” … “NetOp” and others that allow a person to install a piece of software on an PC or Laptop internally on the network so they can have un-fettered access from the outside. This way an employee can go home and access their office PC, for instance, from their home and gain access to company resources.

Again, this is not something inherently “evil” but you, as the business owner, need to be aware of who has access to your network and when …

Your IT Support staff need to know this information so #1: They are aware and #2: Should that employee ever leave they can remove that access so it cannot be accessed any longer …

Summary :

This should at the very least a list of questions in your mind and here’s what I would suggest … Sit down and have a great conversation with your IT Service provider and ask them these questions :

Question #1 : What kind of firewall protection do we have ?

Question #2 : Do we know what kinds of rules and access are currently in place?

Question #3 : Has a review ever been done to ensure those rules and access are still valid and needed?

Question #4 : Has a scan of the internal network every been done to check “Inside Out” apps like “LogMeIn” and others so we know who might “backdooring” to get access to the network?

Question #5 : Overall, do we have a list of everyone who currently has access to our network from the outside and do we have policies in place to ensure our network is safe when they gain access with those devices?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts it doesn’t have to be a big heavy conversation but in the end it’s all about educating yourself regarding what’s going on with your network. An “educated” and “informed” owner, in the end, is an owner that is being responsible and can check off yet another thing as done is his/her mind … and “that” creates “Peace Of Mind” …

Onwards and Upwards ….

Please feel free to leave comments below or reach out using our CONTACT page if you have further questions or concerns you’d like to discuss!