How to Bolster Business Network Security

how to bolster business network security tips strengthen company cybersec

How secure is your company's network? If you don't know the answer to this question, it probably isn't secure enough.

A recent study shows cybercrimes accounted for two trillion dollars in losses. Sadly, many of these online attacks were directed toward small businesses, who are often the most vulnerable. 

Don't become a victim! 

In this article, we'll walk you through how to beef up your business network security and protect your digital assets.

Keep reading for tons of helpful and easy to understand advice on how to strengthen business network security and overall cyber security.


Business Network Security

No matter how big or small your business is, you're probably sharing and storing tons of digital information. Business network security is a method for keeping that data safe and secure.

Use a VPN

A VPN or virtual private network adds an extra layer of protection while browsing the web.

This technology encrypts your internet connection and the data transferred over your network. So, it's especially important while using public or unsecured networks where your data is most at risk for a cyberattack.

Essentially, a VPN routes your data through an external server. This masks your IP address and encrypts any information that your computer sends or receives. It also helps to keep your browsing history, passwords, and private information protected.

A VPN allows employees to log into the airport or coffee shop internet without the potential for hacking or malicious software attacks. 

Protect Your WiFi

Did you know that your company's WiFi connection could serve as a back door into your business network for cybercriminals?

Keep your internet connection safe by password protecting your router and only allowing access to your employees. You can also hide your network name to keep outsiders from attempting to access it.

You should also use a firewall to ensure that all your data passing through the network is encrypted.

Does your business need a public WiFi network for customers or clients? If so, you'll want to set up a separate system just for external use. This will keep non-employees far from your sensitive information.

Just be sure that your employees are connecting to the secure network, not the public option. This is especially important if they are accessing sensitive business data or sharing files.

Software and Firmware 

Outdated software can pose a significant security threat.

Older software versions are easier to hack. After all, cybercriminals have had years of practice at learning where the loopholes are. Updating software allows you to patch those weak spots in your network's security. And, it will improve your software's functionality, too.

No matter what programs your business relies on, make updates a regular part of your network's maintenance. This is especially important for anti-virus and anti-malware software, operating systems, and financial or inventory-tracking programs. 

If updates aren't available, it might be time to upgrade your computers or switch to new software.

Outdated firmware can also leave you open to attack, especially when it comes to your network's routers. Update all firmware when prompted, or at least once a year, to fix existing bugs and prevent potential data breaches.

Educate Employees

Human error is one of the biggest risks to your business network.

Mistakes like leaving sensitive accounts accessible on shared computers can be fatal to information security. Failing to update passwords, accidentally downloading dangerous files, and sharing confidential information through phishing scams can also put your data in harm's way.

But, there is a simple solution in employee education!

Training your staff to keep their business and personal devices secure and updated is easy, as long as you make it a part of your protocol. You can also help employees learn to spot the signs of phishing scams and virus attacks and teach them what to do if they fall victim. 

Your company policies should include rules outlining device and network access, password protection, file sharing, security software use, and how to get IT assistance if they need it.

Get Professional Help 

If some of these steps sound intimidating, don't worry. You aren't alone.

Many business owners and managers want to improve their network security, but don't know where to begin. If this sounds familiar, hiring a team of professionals to provide IT support is probably your best bet. 

These specialists can help with assessing your system to determine where its vulnerabilities are. And, they can get you started with security protocol, help you select the best software, and more.

One of the biggest perks to using professional IT specialists is peace of mind. You know that someone will be monitoring your system for threats, helping with routine maintenance, and standing by in case of emergency.

Don't Overlook Details

When it comes to cyber safety, it's important to see the big picture. But don't overlook the details. 

Physical security measures are affordable, easy to implement, and can make a massive impact.

Small steps like restricting your company's server access via a passcard system, installing password-protected door locks, or using CCTV to monitor off-limits areas are all simple ways to limit access to your sensitive business information.

You should also consider disabling the network or disconnecting network plugs when the system is not in use.

Other security measures like two-factor authentication can help to protect any data that you're storing in a Cloud database. This will ensure that only the intended employees can access this information and keep it safe fro hacking and hijacking.


Secure Your System

Now that you know the basics of business network security don't wait to take action!

Start by assessing your system's strengths and weaknesses. Then, update your business practices to fill in the gaps.

Remember that hiring IT professionals can make this process easier, and take your business network's security to a whole new level. And, while it might seem like a major investment, we promise it will pay off.

When you consider the amount of money you stand to lose as the result of a cyberattack, getting professional assistance is a frugal and prudent choice for any business owner.

Check out our other blog posts and articles for more helpful advice on digital marketing, consulting, SEO, social media, and more. Also visit the Tech section of our website for more tips on how to strengthen business network security and other cybersec advice.

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