understand the importance of network security, imagine your technology like it’s
city hall. Inside city hall, you have people, offices, hallways, and assets
like furniture, office supplies, and computers. To gain access to the inside,
parts of city hall may be open to the public—like the unlocked front door from
9-to-5. Other parts may be off-limits directly (such as a locked door) or
indirectly (such as a security officer or a sign that says “keep out”).
on your security setup, unauthorized people may or may not have access to
sensitive information within city hall. Network security works similarly by
preventing unauthorized electronic access to your sensitive information.
understand your network better we’ll define some terms that you may have heard
your IT staff or vendor mention to you.
your network needs to have the right, properly functioning and configured equipment
to keep you secure. Here’s how to get your network security optimized for your
your network security, you need to first identify everything that makes up your
network—computers, servers, switches, routers, firewalls, etc. This
assessment should include non-technical insights (such as information gaps
about what’s on your network) and technical insights (like scans for security
vulnerabilities on existing equipment). Overall, you’re looking for any
security holes that could open you up to a cyberattack.
there are many ways to enter city hall (some legal and some illegal), there are
also many ways to access your network. You’re essentially looking to add locks
to any unlocked doors that you discovered in your network security assessment.
Examples of locking down access points include:
network device configuration (such as using default settings or creating weak
passwords) can leave your city open to security risks. For example, a firewall
contains many ports (or doors) that open up your network to the outside world.
If you leave certain ports open, you could be introducing major security risks—similar
to leaving a city hall door open at night. Even switches and routers can become
security risks if improperly configured. Make sure you have trained IT
professionals set up and configure your network devices.
combination of automated software and trained IT professionals are needed to
monitor your network 24/7/365. Hackers and other unauthorized users are always
a threat to any network—no matter how “insignificant” you feel your network
looks to an outsider. Any city is a ripe target for hackers. When monitoring
network security, your IT staff or vendor will look for suspicious activity,
signs of outside hacking or cyberattacks, and security vulnerabilities in your
great to solidify a lot of the technical underpinnings of your network, you
also need to create a policy that documents both technical and non-technical
network security requirements. That may include quality control related to
network hardware (such as modernizing equipment on a regular schedule),
requirements pertaining to authorized users and remote access, and both
proactive monitoring and testing of your network to eliminate as many security
threats as possible.
you lock the doors of city hall at night, you need to lock the doors of your
network. By assessing your network security, adding the “locks,” and rigorously
monitoring it, you’ll greatly lessen the chance of a cyberattack compromising your
Questions about your network security? Reach out to our municipal IT specialists today.
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