When the term network security comes into the conversation, it refers to a wide range of processes, technologies, and devices. However, to break it down in simpler terms, it refers to the regulations and configurations used by hardware and software technologies. They protect the accessibility and confidentiality of computer data and networks.
Also, with the rising threats in the cyber world, whether an individual or a big company, everyone needs to polish their network security. The first task on your agenda is to protect your home network from things like piggybacking, which is one of the reasons for slow internet. However, there are other threats related to how your network works and the protections it has.
Therefore, here we have enumerated how you can achieve the optimum level of network security at home and beyond.
The three controls of network security
There are different layers to network security, and these controls help in stopping and warning about security breaches at these different layers. The controls are:
Technical network security
Technical network security comes into play whenever data is stored on the network or is in transit. It implies the situation when your data goes in and out of the network. However, this security step is two-tier: it protects against malicious activities of the user and unauthorized entry by personnel.
Physical network security
This step applies to all the physical devices such as cable cupboards, routers, etc. It prevents unauthorized personnel from gaining physical access to these network components. Use biometrics, locks, or other authentication methods to increase security.
Administrative network security
This control focuses on user behavior. There are rules and processes that help manage this type of network security. These include the verification and level of data accessibility given to a particular person.
How to enhance your network security
Apart from the three controls discussed above, you as a user can also upgrade your network security and use the internet safely from anywhere.
Secure your router
Wi-Fi is the source of the internet for around many users. Thus, securing your router is an essential key to attaining network security. Follow these steps:
Enable your router’s built-in firewall. You can do it by accessing the router’s homepage using the IP address. However, use a router that offers web filtering for added security.
Change default name. It is very easy for hackers to tap into your network if you have the company-given network name. Also, don’t set it to anything that includes personal information like birth date or social security number.
Change the security key. Also known as the WPA or Preset Passphrase, it is the password given by the network provider. This password helps connect you to the Wi-Fi. Therefore, change it to something strong with up to 8 characters, including special characters.
Have different passwords for guests. Make separate networks with different passwords if you have guests frequenting your home.
Ensure that all the devices connected to the home Wi-Fi have an antivirus installed. This addition will protect your system from trojans, malware, ransomware, and viruses. Choose a reliable antivirus tool that continuously keeps scanning your system. Additionally, consider whether an antivirus application can defend against threats like fileless malware. Such threats reside in memory. Thus, your protection should include defenses against such behavior as well.
Also, remember, do not fall back on keeping your antivirus and entire system updated. Software and OS updates are crucial in polishing your network security. The updates come with new security patches that enhance the network security to the next level. It can notify you of threats and fix problems that were previously present in the system.
Connect to a VPN before using public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is typically free, but it comes at the price of your security. They can be the biggest portal of malware transfer into your system. Hackers can position themselves between your device and the network point. After that, the hacker receives whatever information you send out to the internet. Thus, it becomes easy for the cybercriminal to embed viruses in the files shared and spread them across different devices. In other cases, they might steal credentials or other types of valuable data.
But when you use a Virtual Private Network, it becomes impossible for the hacker to access your information as your data now goes into the internet in an encrypted form. Also, a VPN for Windows swaps your IP address to that of the VPN server and thus changes your location. It becomes difficult for the hacker to pinpoint your location. For instance, you can check what your IP address is before connecting to a VPN server. Once you connect, it will identify the location you have chosen from the server list.
Added help of IPS
An Intrusion Prevention System reports, blocks, and drops any malicious activity on your network. You can install it separately or as a part of the next-generation firewall. These are important as your network faces a high traffic volume, and it is manually impossible to keep track of it all. The automated system of an IPS will respond quickly and efficiently in case any malware uses the network’s access point.
Practice access control
You can set Network Access Control if several users are connected to your network. In this way, you can decide what is visible to each user. It allows you to grant full access to other users but lets you deny access to the files with confidential pieces of information.
Above mentioned ways can reduce the chances of network breach but cannot guarantee 100% safety. It is best to have a backup of all the critical data you have on your system. You can use external media or cloud backup services that use end-to-end encryption. You are responsible for the network security you get to enjoy at home.
However, your mobile devices will encounter other issues. Connecting to free Wi-Fi is a breeze, but it comes with dangers attached. Thus, never trust a network you do not know. Connect to a VPN beforehand so you can perform all the activities safely and save some cellular data.