Network Security Share Businesses as well as nonprofits use networks and the Internet as vital business tools now more than ever. While connectivity is indispensable for achieving success, being more connected also means being more vulnerable to security threats. There are three common areas of risk that companies experience: Virus attacks Hacker attacks Employee attacks Below are a few of the many tools used to combat these threats: Antivirus Software – when choosing antivirus software, keep in mind that it is imperative to keep your software up to date. Data files received from the antivirus vendor, called signature files, must be checked and updated on a regular basis. In the past, this was a time consuming process. Today’s technology has made it possible for some brands to check and update the signature files on their own. After purchasing antivirus software, you will need to educate your users on such issues as what to do if a virus message occurs and what to look for in an e-mail message before you open it. Firewalls – these security tools act as a guard between your network and the Internet by only allowing authorized information through the channel. Firewalls can be purchased in either software or hardware format with varying degrees of capability. Again, you will want to match your firewall investment with the performance required by your company. Firewalls are not 100% foolproof, but will stop most attacks if configured correctly. Keep in mind, any points coming into your network such as remote users, need to be protected also. Spyware Removal Programs – there are a variety of spyware products that identify and remove unauthorized programs. These programs often run in the background on your computer taking up large percentages of your computers resources causing it to run slower and at times crippling your machine. In addition to spyware removal programs, utilizing safe practices and preventative software can help reduce the amount and severity of spyware received. Internal Policies – a good internal security policy helps companies to avoid employee attacks. The distribution of passwords, directory/file rights and Internet access are all good forms of protection for this type of threat. Make it a plan to review both your external and internal security procedures and policies at least annually. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 260.423.2414 if you think you are at risk for or already have a network security issue.