How to Protect Your Network
As computer networks become more ubiquitous, the challenge of protecting them from malicious hackers – and the malware they create – becomes even more important.
With the advent of broadband, any network that is connected to the internet – even a humble home office that only includes a handful of devices – is a target. Potential threats include cybercriminals seeking to access credit card and other personal information for identity theft, foreign agents that will enlist your computers into service for their “botNet” (a network of computers secretly controlled remotely over the internet for the purposes of cyber attacks, unbeknownst to their owners), or even traditional hackers attempting to surreptitiously gain control of your network just for the fun of it.
And, unfortunately, methods of cyber attacks have become so sophisticated these days that standard virus protection software is not nearly sufficient when it comes to protecting your network – and the devices connected to it – from the countless threats lurking in cyberspace. If this all seems intimidating, there are a few steps you can take to add the additional layers of protection to your network that will allow you to enjoy the benefits of today’s technology without having to lay awake at night in fear of cyber threats.
For one, make sure that your network is protected by a strong firewall (the standard Windows software firewall does not count). Most routers and broadband modems have this functionality included, however sometimes you may have to manually enable it in the settings. And beyond that, be sure to incorporate solid network monitoring software in your security solution.
Having the proper network protection will accomplish several things that will help keep your network secure.
First, it will allow you to get a birds-eye view of what is going on in your network, from what websites are being accessed to the bandwidth usage of the individual devices on the network, as well as a log of attempts to access your network. In many cases, malicious attempts to attack your network will be readily apparent by taking this overview, and if one of your devices is compromised, that will generally show up as well.
In addition, good network monitoring software will often include automated protections that will add a further layer of security, so if hackers are aware of an exploit – in your firewall, for example – the software can act as a backstop and prevent the attack from getting through.
There are dozens of options available, so when it comes to choosing the right network monitoring software for your security solution, do your research and choose the one that’s the best fit for your specific needs. Then relax, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a truly secure network.
Jake Alexander is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @JakeAlexander17