Protecting Sensitive Data By Implementing a Network Security Solution

Protecting Sensitive Data By Implementing a Network Security Solution

Computer network protection can be a challenge for a company. What is the best way to implement a secure solution to protect sensitive data from attack?

Computer network security should be a concern for large small organizations alike and areas of risk need to be identified.

Business establishments that aren’t protected by a robust network security system are at the mercy of hackers who can easily get their hands on trade secrets and sensitive information and inflict malicious damage.

Any company that has computers and Internet access is at risk from attack from both within the organization and from outside. It is interesting to note that highest risk of a security breach comes from within an organization. Computer hacking from outside amounts to only about 8% of the security risk to a company.

Measures to Protect the Network

There are a number of measures that should be taken by all companies to protect their computer networks from any form of attack.

  • Invest in a good anti-virus solution and regularly update the anti-virus definitions.
  • Apply the latest security updates on all computers. These can usually be obtained from the Internet.
  • Secure possible network security vulnerabilities by installing a good firewall.
  • Physically secure mission critical servers in a server room, limiting access to only certain personnel.
  • Keep as much data as possible on a secure server as opposed to storing data locally on each PC.
  • Laptops are particularly vulnerable to theft, including the data stored on them.
  • Implement a strict password policy.

Network Security Solution to Protect From an Outside Attack.

A firewall is a vital part of a good network security solution. An organization may wish to allow limited access from outside. For example, access to the company’s mail server or web server to be allowed, while blocking access to the LAN (Local Area Network) and sensitive data.

A firewall will block connections to the LAN while allowing certain traffic trough to a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) where the company’s public servers are hosted. In this way, if a hacker were to hack into the web server, the sensitive data hosted on the LAN would be safe.

In addition, a firewall will allow the blocking of certain non essential ports. For example, the Proxy server port should never be left open to allow access to the proxy server from the outside – the reason being that spammers could use the proxy server to send out their spam, thus making it appear as though the spam is coming from within the company.

There are many organizations on the Internet that specialize in “black listing” spammers. That means no out bound e-mail. If a company is black listed because the proxy port was open, it could take days to de-list the company from the “black list”, resulting in lost revenue.

Network Security Solutions to Protect Against Virus Attacks

Always make sure that data is well protected against viruses. This can be done by implementing a dedicated anti virus server to protect all work stations from virus attack.

In addition, the mail server will also need to filter spam and viruses before it reaches the end user. Reports and alerts from these servers will allow the network administrator to monitor and keep on top of any potential threat.