As more home and office products become Wi-Fi enabled, having a robust network becomes a must. With all the hacking reports in the news, many of our clients have become very aware of network security concerns. There are several best practices that can help secure your home and office networks. The first step is having the right network installed.
Different Types of Networks
Mid-tier network gear has difficulty with security, performance and handoff. Once you reach more than 6,000 square feet of office or home space, the network has difficulty covering the space and managing handoff. Clients using a device walking through the space will have calls drop, or they will lose connection to important devices. Higher tier networks can have more people connected to the network and still perform. Even smaller businesses do not want to install a network only to find that a device or service they use requires more bandwidth than they have.
Most offices and homes need three layers to the network: a guest network for Internet use only, interoffice networks for standard office communication, and an executive network for confidential information. These networks are created in the firewall. It’s important to change the default login to the management port. Anyone with the manufacture’s default port information could easily log into your system if you keep it at the default.
Protecting Important Data
Every office seems to have that one person who isn’t tech savvy. One office we worked with had a salesperson who completely deleted several Dropbox folders. While this data can sometimes be recovered, it takes time and resources away from business. NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives became popular as some cloud-based services became hacked or too expensive to hold large amounts of data. NAS is also recommended for most offices as it allows full control of your internal data. The drives can do a redundant backup of the other drives automatically. We would educate the admin to create groups and guests. The users would then be assigned as read only or with limited access to certain drives.
Here are a few of our hacking prevention best practices:
- Change all the default passwords, making them 8 to 32 characters with a mix of capitals, special characters and spaces. Hackers and hacking practices will see the space and think that is the end of the password. Having multiple spaces in a password keeps them confused.
- Change default ports on firewalls, switches, printers and any network device.
- Create user rights in the NAS drive.
- For firewall rules, only allow VPN connections and schedule VPN times. Have certain staff to have access during their typical working hours or allow CXO level to have access at all times.
- Control access to exported files. For example, Google Drive has excellent tools for file sharing. Look for a tool that allows you to delete a shared file from another computer.
- Keep security patches and software up to date.
Jenny DeLapp is the CEO and owner of DeMille Global, a world-wide home and business automation company based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Please visit our website to see all the latest technology and contact us for more information on how we can help you create the perfect home or business network.