Five Easy Changes to Improve Network Security


By Sean Pride, Service TechnicianImprove Your Network Security

Often the most basic details can help make your network environment more secure. By following the below list of suggestions, you can strengthen your network security.

Ditch the Default
I’ve worked innumerable times with users who have failed to change their default router password. The first thing you should do after purchasing a piece of network hardware such a modem or router is log into the configuration page and change the password. If your device supports it, you should change the username as well. When leasing network devices from your internet service provider (ISP), they can assist you with this process. For equipment you purchased yourself, consult the device manual for step-by-step instructions. Setting your own username and password is a big step in maintaining your network security.

Protect your Passwords
Most people tend to use similar, or even identical password for all of their accounts because it is difficult to remember different passwords. One of the many problems with this practice is an attacker only needs to guess one password in order to compromise all of your accounts. To avoid this, consider using a secure password generator to create complex and unique passwords for each account, then leverage a password management service such as LastPass to help you manage them.

Say Goodbye to Wifi
Unless Wifi is an absolute necessity for your organization, consider ditching it in favor of hardwired Ethernet. Although many adjustments can be made to secure a Wifi network, it is still possible for attackers to exploit flaws in the encryption standard and hijack your network. In addition to eliminating the possibility of this happening, your business will benefit from faster and more reliable speeds from a wired internet connection.

Vet your VPN
Many businesses leverage a Remote Desktop application in some fashion. Typically it is used as a convenient way to access an internal company workstation from a remote location, but it’s also very risky if it’s not set up properly. If you’re port forwarding a direct Remote Desktop connection, then you’ve effectively opened a hole in your firewall for anyone to exploit. A VPN will allow you to remotely connect to a workstation over a secure connection, without the use of port forwarding. In addition, a VPN will provide an encrypted tunnel for network traffic, which adds another layer of security.

Set your Spam Filter
In my experience, the most common type of attacks come in the form of email phishing. In addition to ensuring your employees are wary of unknown download links, consider setting your spam filters to the highest setting. These filters have become pretty good at sorting legitimate email from spam, but it’s still good practice to check your spam folder periodically in case any permissible email has been accidentally flagged.

Network security is an important part of your business infrastructure. By taking these simple steps, you can help to ensure you’re not making mistakes that may open you up to an attack.

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Sean Pride is a member of New West Technologies’ Service team. Leveraging seven years of customer and technical support experience, Sean has the customer service skills to explain complex issues in easy to understand terms, as well as the technical knowledge to implement and support a variety of IT solutions. He currently resides in California where he enjoys camping, custom PC building, and Dungeons & Dragons.