Small and medium businesses are more attractive to hackers because they adopt cloud technologies faster, are easier to breach and also have valuable data. Even with a large number of attacks against businesses, many still don’t take security as seriously as they should.
While any business network can be compromised, planning ahead can help prevent or reduce its impact. The cost of IT downtime is high and an unlucky business may not recover from a network attack.
We discuss some protective measures for networks below.
Deploy the Right Software
Update all your business software to block vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of a network breach. Also, make sure your back up system is working. Every important file should be regularly backed up to multiple source and locations on automated mode.
Make sure you have firewall and SSL installed on your server and also regularly scan your operating systems for malware and malicious code. Only useful apps should be left on your system to reduce the points of vulnerability.
Lock Down Your Network
Most businesses have a wireless network through which employees are connected. WiFi is popular because it is convenient to set up and use. However, WiFi can be a strong magnet for hackers. Thus, you cannot be lax with your wireless network security because confidential and business info can easily be stolen through it.
Disable your router’s SSID and never use a default password. Your routers firmware should be updated to the latest versions. Insecure authentications such as WEP and WPS should never be used. Moreover, limit router configuration access to key staff.
Use Robust Anti-Malware Programs
Hackers discover new vulnerabilities as old ones are blocked. However, a good anti-virus program that is up to date can still block many attacks based on similar signatures. Anti-malware programs with network scanning functions are preferable because malware will usually spread through an unsecured network before they find a suitable host. Audit all your network infrastructures to know what assets need to be protected.
Secure Data Storage and Transmission
Even if you operate a closed network, watch out for eavesdroppers in your network. Hackers are after valuable data that can be easily stolen. You can make your business a hard target by encrypting all the files on your system and the packets transmitted through your network. Data such as credit card, SSN and bank details of employees or customer must be encrypted. A good solution for a business with highly sensitive data may want to consider utilizing full disk encryption such as Bitlock for PC and FileVault for Mac. End to end encryption of business communication should also be implemented.
Educate Your Employees
Many cyber attacks involve social engineer and phishing. That is, a hacker pretending to be who they are not and getting a company staff to hand over important files or system access. The human element can render a sophisticated security system useless. You must train your employee to recognize common ways of attacks and the best response to them.
You should set up a company network policy which will guide your staff behavior when dealing with sensitive data and suspicious requests.
From the above, you may conclude that setting up a secure network is complicated and you would be right. The good news is that there are managed service providers (MSP) such as ourselves (SDTEK) that can help your business stay safe. Signing up with an MSP will remove worries about covering your bases on network security. With 24/7 security monitoring, they can easily detect and block hacking attempts.
Services such as network monitoring, backup and disaster recovery and other cybersecurity tasks should be outsourced to an IT support company. You may not feel any harm at the moment from a computer hacker, and there really is no way of telling when a hacker may strike. The best thing to do is to be prepared. Keep your network safe from hackers with the help of an expert – this is a security measure you will want to invest in for the safety of your company and your most sensitive information.