Tighten Up Your Network Security with Superior Access Control

Network Security

How often do you find yourself stressing out about who has access to which data or internal resources on your company network? What about who has access to open the front door of your office or who has access to important physical resources within your building? Ensuring the security of your business’ assets is critical, and access control tools can help your company ensure that only authorized individuals have access to specific parts of your organization’s infrastructure, be it physical or digital.

What is Access Control?

Access control is, at its core, a way to restrict access to specific resources within your virtual private networks based on user or role. It generally involves the authorization of some sort and demands that the user verify their identity before being granted access to said resources. Think about it like asking the wireless network for permission before being allowed onto it; once the wireless network or infrastructure has confirmed the identity of the individual, they will have access to the resources.

Access control can be broken up into two groups: digital or cyber access control and physical access control. We’ll go over some of the benefits of both types of access control and how they can help your business keep itself safe.

Cyber Access Control

Your business undoubtedly has data on its infrastructure that should only be accessed by specific individuals and no one else. This might include sensitive employee data, applications or resources, financial records, and so on.

You should be limiting access to important information like this specifically because the fewer people who have access to it, the less likely it will be compromised. Through access control tools, you can control which employees have access to specific data, applications, or resources on your network, based on their role within your organization.

Physical Access Control

Sometimes you want to keep certain users out of specific parts of your office. This is where physical access control comes into play. Physical access control might involve key cards, code-guarded doors, and even biometric scanners, with the intention of securing various parts of your office.

One example of how you might use it is if you have sensitive records stored in a specific part of your office. You might keep that door locked, only accessible to specific individuals within your organization. Another example might be an access gate open only to employees of your business.

Tips to Maximizing Network Security

All businesses, irrespective of their size, can become targets of hacking and other cyber attacks. Automated attacks, botnets, etc are simply looking at the loopholes in network security (both wireless networks and your entire network) to exploit and complete their advances. This is why it is important to tighten your network security system to the maximum potential and using Superior Access Control is a great way of doing so.

The Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology defines the importance of network security like this, “Network security is important for a number of reasons. For example, network security helps organizations prevent costly data breaches that can result in millions of lost revenue. In fact, the average cost of a serious data breach is $4.24 million, according to a report by IBM.”

It adds, “Network security also helps prevent the dangerous sharing of consumer data such as social security numbers, private health information and financial information. Cybercriminals can use this information to assume someone else’s identity which has many negative consequences.”

Such cyber threats are not limited to just small businesses, even the biggest conglomerates have fallen prey to data breaches. Companies like Yahoo, Alibaba, LinkedIn, Facebook, Marriot International Hotels, MySpace, Adobe, etc have faced data breaches that amounted to the loss of data of millions of users.

Here are some steps that your security team can follow to mitigate security risks:

Get a firewall

The first step to increase your cybersecurity is by getting a firewall. Hackers usually look for network system vulnerabilities by scanning open ports. These ports are a source through which your business network connects with the wider world of the web. Hackers attack such ports to gain access and control over your systems. A firewall locks down these ports and make them more secure.

Firewalls are the first line of defence that identifies which ports should be open and which ones should remain guarded.

These firewalls can be installed on mobile devices as well as desktop computers to ensure that every device is safe. However, having a firewall at the primary entry to your company network system is necessary despite all your devices having individual firewalls. This will ensure the utmost security of your network, data and other information.

Make your firewall password protected

Cybersecurity is such an important issue in today’s digital world that simply having a firewall is not enough. You must password-secure it to enhance security and allow only authorized users to reach it. Never retain your default firewall password as it is quite easy for hackers to identify them.

They can identify the brand and model name of a network device and guess a password. Alternatively, they can Google and obtain the user manual to find out the default username and password. Setting a password is the most basic step towards better cybersecurity.

Keep your router firmware updated 

Outdated router or firewall firmware is yet another common cybersecurity facet that you must secure. Typically, small business networks should be updated for bug fixes and security. Your default router or firewall might become outdated within a year, increasing the risks. So, it is important to keep them updated for enhanced security.

Most routers come with a dialogue box that alerts you if the system is going to get outdated. You can check for new firmware versions from the administration menu. If these auto-update alerts are not available, you can find the version number from the router admin screen and contact your vendor site to provide you with the latest version.

Create strong passwords 

Creating strong passwords is the most important and easiest way to secure your network and enhance cybersecurity. The more complex and strong your passwords, the more challenging it will be for the hackers to crack them.

For your passwords to be stronger, they must be longer and more complex. Using password best practices like including at least 8 characters with a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and computer symbols. Never use the same password twice.

Keep your apps, browsers and OS updated

Installing new updates on your operating system is one of the top cybersecurity best practices. Most such software updates add better security fixes, making it more difficult for hackers to access and exploit your information and data. The same is true for your apps.

Browser updates are also important as every new update makes your browser more secure in cybersecurity. Review your browser security settings regularly apart from installing all new updates.

Use two-way authentication and encryption

More always merrier when it comes to cybersecurity. While passwords act as the first line of defense for your network, numerical codes that are sent to your mobile device or email address should also be added as a second line of defence.

Encryption is another form of cybersecurity best practices. Encryptions protect cyber criminals from gaining access to documents and files even if they manage to break through your security network. You can encrypt Windows and Mac address, flash drives, etc for enhanced cybersecurity and better secure your network.

Block pings and pop-ups

Most routers and firewalls come with several settings that let you determine the kind of visibility your router and firewall will be to the world outside. Ping requests and pop-ups are the most common way hackers attack you. If a network responds to such requests, then it becomes easy for hackers to enter the network. You can use a virtual private network to do so.

You can set your security settings in such a way that your router or network doesn’t respond to ping requests. You can do this through the administration menu.

Frequently asked questions about tightening Network Security with Superior Access Control

Why network security is important for mitigating cybersecurity risks?

Cyber threats are quite commonplace in today’s digital world. As more businesses operate online, their data is always under threat and hackers are finding newer ways to hack networks and routers to gain access to sensitive data. To protect your network from hackers, you must tighten cybersecurity to the maximum through superior access control.

What are some of the most common ways to tighten your network security?

Enhancing your wireless network security can be done by following cybersecurity best practices like installing a network firewall, protecting your mobile devices, desktop computers or any other device, having strong passwords and not using the same password, enabling automatic updates, never clicking on suspicious emails, encryption and blocking pings, two-factor authentication, etc.

What are the benefits of network security?

Having robust network security will keep your sensitive data safe, protect unauthorized users from entering your network, build trust in your customers, mitigate risks, protect important information, and help create a more modern workplace.

Get Started Today

Point North networks, Inc., knows how complex it can be to implement new security solutions, especially if they require a certain level of management and maintenance like access control systems do. We want to help your company take advantage of these solutions in a way that minimizes the additional duties and responsibilities of your organization.

Through Point North, you can implement, manage, and maintain these systems without dedicating your internal resources to them; instead, you can outsource the responsibility to us! Our technicians are more than happy to assist you each step of the way.

To learn more, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.