A company’s network is its line of communication internally among employees as well as externally with clientele and business associates. Therefore, if it experiences down time due to any factor, there is a big chance that the company will be deemed unreliable therefore unworthy of consumers’ time or money. So you can’t afford the slightest mistake when it comes to managing your network. However what about force majeure risks, or factors beyond people’s control that interrupt business processes for a prolonged time?
If you haven’t tackled this aspect before, read on and educate yourself.
Factors Causing Network Emergencies
There are numerous risks which your network may face, but the most serious ones which you can’t control are:
- Viruses – As all computers within a company are connected, a single infected computer can easily circulate a virus within a short period of time. Due to this malicious software, your network can crash and many of your operations can be affected. Even if the virus takes a longer while to show its full power, you will need to disconnect your network for a while until your IT specialists clean your system. In both ways, you will face a major issue which will take time to resolve.
- Power Failures – Power failures may be unexpected but they aren’t impossible. Even if you have a stand-by generator on the premises, it may not be able to run for days if the power outage was caused by natural disasters such as floods or tornadoes.
- Natural Disasters – Natural disasters are the biggest force majeure risks because they can cause massive damage such as destroying wires, cutting off power lines, and dislocating servers. Unfortunately, they occur suddenly, giving you less time to react logically and protect your digital assets.
- Hackers – Hackers have different reasons for doing what they do, such as flexing their technical skills and enjoying challenging situations. However, by hacking into your network, they compromise its security and integrity even if they don’t alter anything. Since firewalls are only equipped to ward off known attacks, there is always a chance that it won’t stand in front of a smart, innovative hacker.
- DDoS Attacks – Distributed Denial of service (DDoS) attacks suspend a network or one of its elements and make them unavailable for users. One form of such attacks is server overload, which is basically saturating a machine on the network with numerous service requests causing it to crash. Though some DDoS attacks are short-lived, there are ones that affect your network permanently and can cost you more than just money to fix everything.
Each of these has the power to bring down your network, an event that will cost you your money, time, effort and business reputation. Because of this and the fact that they’re too complex to fix, the best thing you can do is protect your network from these threats.
How to Protect Your Network
Protecting your network is an effort that will require complete dedication in order to succeed. If you think you’re up to it, here are the rules you should follow.
- Establish Antivirus Protection – An antivirus program should be installed at all entry points, including the internet gateway, servers and connected desktops. If this sounds too expensive, the least you can do is install antivirus protection on all desktops since that’s usually where virus attacks start. Aside from installing this software, you should update it religiously in order to ensure that you’re protected at all times.
- Don’t Forget Firewall Protection – An antivirus will only ward off viruses; therefore to keep hackers far away from your network, you will need to have an up-to-date firewall. There are many enterprise-wide firewalls for you to choose from, but make sure that the one you choose comes highly recommended and offers regular updates.
- Integrate Anti-DDoS Solutions – If you fear DDoS attacks, you may need to take necessary measures such as deploying reverse proxies to monitor which requests can come through to your network. Though costly, their worth will ensure you peace of mind and protection from a very dangerous force majeure risk.
- Educate Workers – One of the main reasons networks go under attack is that employees don’t fully understand security breaches and their role in creating them. Have a certified IT specialist come and talk to them and provide them with publications to learn how they can compromise the company’s data and network security.
- Prepare Your Network for the Worst Case Scenario – If all else fails, you need to make sure that your network won’t falter after taking a big hit. For this reason, you need to prepare your network with backup procedures. You can talk to your network provider regarding redundancy measures like replication and mirroring to find the best option for you. However, make sure you do so right away before it’s too late.
You can further talk to your network provider to get more ideas. However, don’t skim on costs because whatever you invest in protecting your network will be a thousand time less than what you will pay to fix damages.
About the author:
This article was contributed by D. Blackthorn, a member of Stop-DDoS net – your affordable DDoS protection solution.