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< Network Security Checklist for your Organization >

< Several crucial (and cheap!) band-aids>

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You're being hacked right now.

Most people do not pay much attention to security of their system. This is especially true with home networks, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. There is a simple reason for this: Security is expensive.

Good security involves a dedicated IT staffperson who knows the problems, a reasonable budget, and contingency plans. If your data disappear tomorrow, what will you do? Do you have a backup?

Here are some simple solutions that you should consider implementing. They will not prevent the likelihood of attack, but could lessen your vulnerability. And some of the solutions are FREE!!!

  1. Get the latest service packs and security patches for your Operating System. For Windows users, you can easily do this by clicking "Windows Update" in the start menu.
  2. Develop a Backup Plan for your Data
    Even if it's just a CD that you burn, or you use a zip disk, it is crucial that you back up your data and keep a copy off-site.
    What should you back up?
    • Your database
    • Email
    • Word Documents
    • Spreadsheets
  3. Get the newest Anti-Virus software
    Norton Anti-Virus and McAfee are some brands.
    New viruses are discovered all the time, and the Anti-virus databases are updated regularly.
    You should update your anti-virus database once a week.
  4. Make sure that your anti-virus program is scanning your incoming email.
  5. Do you have a firewall?
    A firewall will prevent hackers from attacking your system. It can be hardware, a physical part of your network, or a piece of software that filters all requests into your network.
    Zone Labs offers Zone Alarm, personal firewall software available free for non-profits.
  6. Install and run Adaware. This software will scan your system for spyware that is often bundled with free third-party applications.
  7. Stay informed.
    There are several organizations that track newly discovered vulnerabilities and common methods that hackers will use.
    These alerts will come with solutions, which usually involve downloading the most recent security patch.
    Designate a member of your team as the security point person to receive these alerts.
    Some important organizations doing this work:
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