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The Five Security 'Musts' You Can't Ignore

Last month I told you about some myths that have grown up around security, but that are not necessarily things you should believe.

This month it’s time for things you really do need to believe in and act upon if you’re to stay out of trouble. Instead of myths, they’re the “musts”: security actions you must take regardless of the size of your enterprise or your network.

But be forewarned, this is not a complete list. These are just the first things you must do. There are plenty of others that depend on your specific needs and infrastructure requirements. But if you start here, you’ll be on your way to having a secure environment, whether you’re on a single computer tied to a DSL line or running an enterprise with thousands of users.

1. Know Your Network

First, you have to learn what sort of protection against intruders exists on your network, both at the site of your ISP and at your own site. Then learn what sort of connections you have to the outside world. Of course, this will include your DSL or cable connection, but it may also include dial-up access available to individual computers. Even if it’s just your home office, knowing that someone can dial out to the Internet over a phone line bypassing your firewall is important when you’re fighting against worms, viruses and intruders.

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