All business should have a Security Policy in place for their network. With that said, there are many checkpoints that need to be passed when it comes to securing the data in your network. However, if we had to pick the 5 best practices that will have the most impact on your network security, we would go with:
1. Limit employees local permissions – Reducing local user permissions to a minimum helps avoid a common pitfall caused by users accidentally installing potentially harmful or unlicensed software. Reducing local permissions also eliminates many errors which are caused by users accidentally making configuration changes to their workstations.
2. Protect your mobile data – As more users have access to data while on the go, the concern for data security continues to grow. As a consequence, it has become imperative for business with a mobile workforce to have some sort of Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution in place. Some well known players include Airway, Blackberry, Citrix, Good Technology, and MobileIron. However, there are many other leaders and niche players that offer MDM Solutions, and also some less comprehensive solutions that can help secure your most valuable data.
3. Implement an emergency response plan – In this case failing to plan is synonymous with planning to fail. The hard question to ask here is: what is our plan if at some point today or tomorrow our data is inaccessible. This question leads to some obvious and not so obvious answers, because the reasons why I cannot access my data may vary and the answer to each reason is typically different. In any event, having these answers defined in your operating plan or contingency plan typically separates those who successfully recover from a disaster and those who don’t.
4. Implement a Unified Threat Management (UTM) System – a UTM solution is an all-in-one security appliance that protects your network at various levels. UTM solutions typically contain a firewall and protect against intruders, viruses, malware ,spyware, and inappropriate content access. Therefore implementing a UTM is an obvious must in any network environment.
5. Implement a Network Vulnerability Scanner Solution – A vulnerability scanning tool will assess weaknesses within your network and offer suggesting and remedies to help address the issues. This could be anywhere from applying software updates to replacing technologies that do not comply with your security policy.