As more and more business owners look to manage their own network security it’s more important than ever before to safeguard your data. In 2019, malware attacks have been on the rise as symptom of a wider increase in threats to global business networks. Modern business owners are treading carefully trying to navigate the threats of hackers, spyware, malware and viruses designed to disrupt their businesses.
Today, preparation and network security are the keys to ensuring that your data stays protected from outside attackers. A solid network security plan will manage the physical security of your hardware as much as your software. Investing time and money into your network security will not only safeguard your data but your reputation as well.
Network security can be challenging, particularly for SME’s who are new to the shear diversity of cyber-threats online. However, with a little bit of research even the most novice internet-user will find a wealth of ways to help bolster their network security and keep their data safe. Below we look at 5 network security hacks that can help to eliminate cyber threats.
1. Check Your Physical Network Security
Ensuring the integrity of your network begins with physical network security. In short, physical security is keeping hardware protected from unauthorized access and theft. Many organizations invest heavily in well-guarded facilities to safeguard their network servers from unwarranted access. Any data stored locally needs to be protected just as much as data on the network.
It’s a good idea to store as little data as possible locally and make use of online backup services where possible. When files are stored at a secure backup location, data is protected even if local hardware is stolen or otherwise compromised. When backing up data, avoid using unsecure software like Dropbox as your data is open to unauthorized access.
2. Implement Password Protection
Utilizing passwords to protect a network is a staple in many network security strategies and for good reason. Passwords are extremely effective at controlling access to important internal systems and data when managed properly. However there are still many users and organizations that pick basic passwords like “password” or “1234” and leave themselves open to attacks on their network.
Yet when password protection is managed carefully, and staff set strong passwords, that are changed at regular intervals and rarely shared, passwords are very effective at keeping unwanted snoopers away. Passwords should be applied wherever possible, whether on desktop devices or network routers themselves.
3. Use Patch Management Software
Managing and updating your software can often be a time consuming process but with a patch management tool you can automate the process of updating your software. Patch management software will ensure that your IT infrastructure receives regular updates and patches, to protect you against the latest security threats. You have the option to schedule regular software updates or set the system to update as and when new patches are available.
4. Encrypt Your Devices
When it comes to your network security, there’s no better point of entry that encrypting your devices. Unencrypted devices are vulnerable to unauthorized access, and can be used by anyone who has physical access to your phone or laptop. Your data can then be linked up to a USB drive and extracted. Encrypting your data will prevent any intruders from stealing your information. New Apple and Android devices are now encrypted by default, and when it comes to Windows 10 devices, you can set Device Encryption to protect your information.
5. Secure your VPN
A virtual private network or VPN is used to encrypt data from an endpoint to your network and helps to authenticate user access. Yet in order for a VPN to be completely effective, it’s important to secure it with data encryption and identity authentication to prevent unauthorized access. Many businesses take a cavalier attitude towards their VPN, which is problematic as open network connections are susceptible to attack by hackers and DDOS attacks.
Securing your VPN and encrypting your data is a great way to make sure that no one is stealing your information. As an extra precaution, use multi-factor authentication to make your users prove their identity. By requesting users enter a password, a PIN or randomly generated numerical code you can ensure that no unwanted visitors have access to your data.
6. Implement Policies to Manage your Network Security
Taking steps to ensure your network security is impossible unless you implement internal policies and procedures to keep everything running. If your staff has a poor knowledge of your network security strategy, your devices won’t be encrypted, your patch management software won’t be maintained and your physical network security will be compromised.
By creating well-defined policies to manage your network security, you’ll make sure that what you’ve planned goes into practice. Without articulating clear policies to your staff, your network security is going to be disjointed and ultimately, unprepared for the wide variety of threats you’ll face in future.
Commit to Keeping Your Network Secure
A solid network security strategy will ensure that authorized users gain access to all the data they need, whilst restricting those with malicious purposes. By taking basic steps such as managing your physical network security, securing your VPN, using passwords, encrypting your devices and using patch management software, you will help to keep your network up and running.
Failure to protect your network is costly not only in terms of your data, but in terms of your reputation as well. Nobody wants to be known as a company that can’t secure the integrity of their data, so use your network security policy as an opportunity to display your commitment to cyber security and to differentiate yourself from the competition.
If you’d like to find out more about your company’s Network Security why not get a FREE audit. Book yours today www.couno.co.uk/security-audit