If you own a small business that has a computer network, then it is vital that you take proactive steps to protect its data from damage and improper access. Proactive protection of your network is important for both your business and your customers. To this end, here is a list of network management tips for all small businesses to follow:
Tip: Lock Down Your Network's Router
One of the most common access points into a business's computer network targeted by criminals is its router. Routers are used to connect your network to your service provider and also to broadcast wifi signals. Routers that have not been locked down and password protected have open ports that anyone within range can use to technologically break into your network. For this reason, you need to password protect your router and be very selective about whom you give the password to.
Tip: Assign Unique User Accounts for Each Employee
To access the files and computers on your network, you need to create unique user access accounts for each employee. As employees leave your business, their accounts should be disabled or deleted. Additionally, you should have a very strict "no sharing" policy for all of your staff. When you give your employees their user account and initial password, they should sign an agreement that they understand that sharing their computer access account is a fireable offense. If an employee shares their access with someone else, then they should be terminated.
Tip: Install Robust Anti-Virus Software on All Computers and File Servers
Since your customers and vendors will be sending you email attachments and other files that your employees need to view and store on your business's computer network, you must install robust anti-virus software on both your file servers and all of your network's computers. Once installed, the software needs to be updated on a daily or weekly basis with the latest virus definition files to prevent infections on your network.
Tip: Don't Allow Employees to Connect Personal Hardware to Your Business's Computer Network
Finally, if your employees want to connect their personal phones, laptops, or tablets to your business's computer network, then you should let them know that this is not allowed. Since you work hard to keep your network's anti-virus software updated and to prevent unauthorized access to your network, you must keep personal equipment off of your network. Inadequately protected personal computers will spread viruses, malware, and other nasty things to your business's network.