Small-business owners often fret about network security, a justifiable concern. Securing your local network can effectively protect against malicious content in downstream traffic. However, you should also shine a spotlight on the most important component of your small business network, the server. If you operate a dedicated server rather than opting to use a cloud service, consider its role specifically in the network theater in which it functions. Though you can incorporate many measures on the path to safeguarding your server, taking the following initial steps will start you on solid footing.
You can avoid a potential headache down the road by locking down access to your server. Restrict privileges from the start; give as few as necessary to the smallest number of people. After your own ability to manage the server, start with your IT professional, and then consider whether anyone else needs to be given permissions beyond basic ones. By taking these precautions, you not only protect the server and its contents from malicious actions but also save yourself the trouble of having to sift through too many employees when a problem occurs.
Take That Access a Step Further
Passwords for both server access and software content should serve the intended purpose: keeping outsiders out. Even those who have not been granted server access privileges can create backdoor server access by compromising installed software. Unfortunately, many people take halfhearted measures when creating passwords. Take charge of the process by creating rules that everyone must follow that include the following:
- Creating complex alphanumeric strings with special characters
- Using unique ones for separate operations
- Keeping passwords private
- Rotating passwords routinely
Monitor Your Server
Unfortunately, your server can be compromised without warning; worse, far too much time may pass before the problem is discovered. Employing commercial server monitoring would provide real-time protection as well as alerts to problems. Proactive services do more than safeguard against external threats; they also monitor server processes and create activity logs to provide insights into events.
Keep It Updated
Vendors continually push updates for their products. These serve three purposes: First, they offer performance or features improvements. Second, they fix issues that arise. Third, they patch security holes. The final rationale is the most important feature of an update. Delaying the process exposes the main server, productivity software, or operating system to malicious actors, so make certain to automate the process.
These actions are a starting point for protecting your small-business server. Once you have them in place, you can feel secure that you have the foundation of a strong security fortress in place.