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Business Network Security: Basic Security Tips for Small Businesses

business network security

Business Network Security: Basic Security Tips for Small Businesses

Do you believe your network is safe from a cyberattack because it’s so small? Think again!

In fact, 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses, and this number continues to grow. Today, one out of every 40 small businesses are at risk of cybercrime with more cybercriminals seeking these businesses with minimal network security, which makes them an “easy target.”

If you want to ensure your business network security is up to par to ensure cybercriminals efforts don’t impact you, use the tips here.

Back-Up Everything

Regardless of what type of data you have, or how much of it there is, you need to back it up. Don’t store anything you can’t afford to lose in a single location or on a single device.

It’s a good idea to use an external drive for your backup. Cloud storage options are growing in popularity because of the flexibility they offer. You may also want to keep several additional hard copies of your data, too.

Create Stronger Passwords

Using passwords to protect your network is a must. You probably know this. If you want to make the most of this security measure, you must observe stringent standards.

It’s essential to create a strong password and change it regularly. You also need to implement company-wide policies to deal with issues related to sharing passwords.

Educate Your Employees

One of the biggest cybersecurity threats to your business (and any business, regardless of size) is human error. This includes mistakes like leaving an account open on a shared computer, not updating passwords regularly, downloading malicious files accidentally, and giving away information through a phishing scam.

It’s up to you to educate your employees about proper network security to help mitigate some risks. Help them know what to look for to identify phishing scams and teach them what they should do if they are a victim of this. Explain the importance of updating software too, and show them how to keep both personal and business devices updated.

Create security policies and make sure your workers understand them. The policies need to include the rules regarding network and device access, password creation and how often it should be changed, reporting procedures for stolen or lost devices, security application policies, best practices for file sharing, and other important factors.

Encrypt Everything

Backing up your data, as mentioned above, is only a good option if the information backed up is secure. The best way to keep information safe is by ensuring it is encrypted on all your devices. Also, encrypt emails that contain any sensitive information.

Limit Access

Using layered security can help you keep even extremely sensitive data safe even if there’s a breach in your network. To do this, you must limit access to specific types of information and add more layers of protection, such as increased encryption, passwords, and more.

Keep All Software Updated

Outdated software is another serious threat to modern small businesses. Regardless of if it is inventory tracking software, your operating system, anti-virus program, financial tracking software, or website content management system. You need to make sure it all remains up to date.

Usually, the older versions of software are easier to hack because nefarious individuals have figured out where the loopholes are. The updates that are created will patch the security vulnerabilities and improve overall functionality to help protect the business against malware, viruses, and other forms of hacking.

Sometimes, software updates aren’t provided for older models of hardware. This means you may have to update your computers or other hardware every few years.

Install a Firewall

Putting a firewall on your network should be a top priority. There are several options for firewall software available, so shop around to find one you know works.

Monitor Personal Devices

Running a small business often means you don’t have the capital to provide devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops for your employees to use. As a result, your employees may use their personal devices.

If this is the case, create policies that let your network administrator install automatic security updates, monitoring software, and call for frequent password changes. This doesn’t mean you have to invade personal privacy or disallow certain apps and software.

While this is true, you need to protect your business if employees happen to put your network at risk of an attack or breach while they are using their personal devices.

Consider Using a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) provides an additional layer of security for web browsing. It can be particularly beneficial if you are accessing files through an unsecured or public network.

A VPN will route your data through their services first, masking your IP address and encrypting the data to keep information protected from possible hackers. If your employees use a VPN, you can significantly reduce the risk of having business files or passwords intercepted when an employee is accessing your software or accounts while on the go.

There are many large corporations that create their own VPNs. For small businesses, this may not be a practical option, but that doesn’t mean you are at a total loss. By working with a VPN service provider, you can establish these benefits for your business.

Is Your Business Network Security Up to Par?

Have you evaluated your business network security recently? If not, now may be the time to do so. If you don’t have at least some of the safeguards here in place, now is the time to consider investing in this protection.

If you need help with your network security, contact us today. Our team can help ensure your small business is protected from cybercriminals and their nefarious methods to steal your data and cripple your business.

Tony
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