The tasks required to start a small enterprise are endless. At the end of the day, you may find yourself struggling to prioritize how and when to tackle each one; from accurately filing paperwork to setting up operating structures, all steps for moving forward are important.
At the top of your list, however, should be setting up a secure network to handle internal and external traffic. You should consider such variables as hardware, software, backup processes, and monitoring systems.
No network is perfectly secure; even one vulnerability can leave a small-business network open to a cyberattack or low-level breach. However, you can make your network as stable and safe as is currently possible by following these steps when setting it up.
Information Specialist Hire
Start by employing or contracting an experienced information technology professional. The prospective IT specialist should have a working familiarity with networks appropriate for a business of your size, and thus be able to determine the security scope of your network needs; training and education alone are not enough.
Take your time to find one whom you feel comfortable working with, and who shows good interpersonal skills. Assume your IT hire will take steps to initiate security protocols, but team with him or her to define specific variables you will be comfortable with.
Your next step is that of setting up or installing even a basic firewall to restrict some network incoming traffic. You and your IT partner can determine how strict you want to make the rules, defining the parameters for that which you will allow through.
No matter how restrictive you set your firewall, you need additional layers of defense against viruses and malware that hackers can exploit to access computers and the network as a whole.
These malicious programs can be downloaded simply by an employee clicking on a seemingly harmless link. Antivirus software scans programs and blocks invasive attempts.
Monitor Your Servers
Your servers are the heartbeat of your business. It is imperative you look at means to monitor their performance and security along with that of the network.
Your best solution may be to partner with a company that provides real time network monitoring that will alert you immediately to security concerns and performance bottlenecks.
Ideally, the company employs software locally or on its own servers, avoiding cloud-based systems hosted by second-party companies.
Setting up a small-business network that includes computers, servers, software, and peripherals is not a simple task.
It is important to research before configuring a system that fits your particular business. If you create a system appropriately, it will be one that will still fit as your business grows.