When the global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million dollars, you can be assured that businesses take notice. This number alone should be enough to convince anyone to take networking security seriously. However, cost savings and an untarnished reputation aren’t the only advantages that networking security brings to your business.
Businesses in Boston and the New England area that implement proper network security controls also find added benefits to performance and continuity.
Wireless Connectivity for Productivity
Having wireless connectivity throughout your business campus gives employees the freedom to move about without having to worry about finding an Ethernet jack to plug into. Ad hoc meetings can take place anywhere with no limit to the number of people that can connect to the network. Mobile devices can perform tasks as easily as a desktop or laptop could without the constraints of a tethered ethernet cable.
However, securing your Wi-Fi network is a must. With potentially sensitive business and personal data moving between resources, it is easy for an attacker to set up a man-in-the-middle attack to capture all the data moving across your wireless network.
To build a solid wireless network security foundation, you must complete these steps:
- Employ WPA2 with 803.1x authentication.
- Secure client settings.
- Detect rogue access points.
- Use wireless intrusion prevention protection.
LAN/WAN Design, Installation, and Configuration for Seamless Communication
The local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) that your organization relies on to share, store, and access resources is the backbone of your business communications. A properly designed, installed, and configured network is one that provides you with the highest levels of security and performance. Unfortunately, if the proper planning does not take place up front, you will continually build on top of a poor foundation. This not only leads to performance issues, but also leaves things open for attackers to exploit.
Proper LAN/WAN security requires:
- Segmentation to allow for tighter controls where needed.
- Limitation to restrict access to resources based on need.
- Validation to ensure that hardware devices such as firewalls and email gateways are capable of protecting against known and unknown threats.
Experienced networking professionals know that in order to secure a network the right way, they cannot restrict users from getting their work done. When properly designed and configured, your network will make it easier for your employees to perform their duties without compromising security.
VoIP Solutions for Cost Saving
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is proven to save businesses money compared to landlines because calls are made over the computer rather than an entirely separate infrastructure. You may opt to purchase a VoIP phone or use software to make and receive calls; both options allow you to plug into any existing network jack without the need to move numbers and cables around.
VoIP also brings a level of security to your organization. When you take the appropriate steps toward securing VoIP solutions, you are securing other areas of your network. For example, if you are using multi-factor authentication with your VoIP solution, you are ensuring that the right person is sitting in front of that computer. This reassurance is able to carry over to other applications if configured properly.
At the network level, traffic encryption, firewalls, and intrusion prevention/detection are often used to secure VoIP traffic. Tightening these controls for your voice solution will help protect other facets of your network as well—if done properly.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning for Preparedness
Business continuity planning is a must for any organization located in Boston or elsewhere that needs to recover from malicious attacks, human error, and natural disasters. Although people often think of disaster recovery only when an attacker takes down their systems, it also covers situations that impact business operations. What would an hour of downtime cost you if bad weather knocked down your local grid? Or what would happen if an employee accidentally deleted business critical data?
Continuity and recovery planning for security purposes is a must, but few realize that a solid plan also provides defense against common events that are more likely to cause an outage.
Load Balancing Solutions for Efficiency
Modern SaaS applications cannot run without load balancers distributing traffic to keep data flowing between the server and the user. However, load balancers also provide you with the ability to add policy controls and use other features that help prevent malicious traffic from reaching your applications or data centers.
When you combine load balancing with common security practices such as encryption, DDoS protection, application rate limiting, and web application firewalls, you add layers of security to your infrastructure and improve performance for the people who count on having access to certain applications and data to keep your business running.
There are many ways that employing the right networking security practices helps your business. Yet, while these solutions deliver on their promise to keep the bad guys out, their performance relies on how well they are implemented, configured, and managed. If you make mistakes because of a lack of knowledge or experience, it is quite easy to leave doors open for attackers to exploit or even lock down areas of your network and prevent your employees from doing their jobs. This is why an MSSP is such a critical IT partner for your Boston-based business. Bringing their experience to your organization helps you secure your operations properly and provide the maximum performance benefits that come from a well-designed network.