Business’s Network
Network security breaches are commonly heard about in the news. Not only are they frustrating for victims, but they also cost the organizations affected millions of dollars each year. It has been reported that the average cost per situation increased, yet again, in 2019 to approximately $8.1 million for companies in the U.S. This is more than twice the average around the globe. The healthcare industry is still the most vulnerable, and it experiences the highest losses on average.

While the facts about cybersecurity are scary and protecting your network is essential, it’s often challenging for small and medium-sized organizations. This is especially true for those that have no full-time IT staff to handle maintenance.

While it’s challenging to know the right way to protect your network, there are a few best practices you can implement to secure your data and increase your protection from viruses and hackers.

Establish and Monitor Firewall Performance

Firewalls are hardware or software designed for blocking unauthorized access to your network. Put simply, firewalls are a series of rules that control both outgoing and incoming network traffic. Networks following the set roles can access points and those that don’t are prevented from getting into the system.

Firewalls are becoming more sophisticated today, providing a higher level of security than they did in the past. You may have also heard about other firewall-like protection like IDS and IPS; however, before implementing this technology, it’s best to learn about the differences and capabilities of IDS vs IPS.

Update Passwords Each Quarter

By now, your employees should know to avoid any default passwords or phrases such as “12345” or “password,” along with their birthdates. Along with using passwords that include both numbers, symbols, and letters – and some uppercase letters – for additional security, you should require your employees to change personal passwords on systems that access the business network.

Make sure your employees understand that when they are choosing passwords, substituting letters with characters that are shaped similarly, such as “pa$$w0rd” is not a good idea. Hackers know this trick too.

Experts recommend having employees change their passwords every quarter at a minimum, but more is always better. It may also be beneficial to require two-factor authentication.

Maintain Anti-Virus Software

If you fail to perform regular updates for your anti-virus software, you will put your network at a higher risk and create possible cybersecurity issues. That’s because hackers can find ways to “crack” these tools and deploy all new viruses. You can stay ahead of these issues by using the most updated versions of available software.

It’s also smart to help employees get to know the signs you should look for to know if their computer is hacked. Cybercriminals are growing their knowledge, abilities, and methods daily, and a cunning hacker may compromise even the best efforts to secure a network.

Use a VPN – Virtual Private Network

VPNs offer more secure connections between remote computers and other “local” servers and computers. These networks are usually only available to those who need access to the systems, including the wireless network, and to equipment that has been authorized in your network settings. VPNs can help reduce the possibility that hackers will find a wireless access point and cause issues for the network.

Train Your Employees

All the tricks and tools available won’t do any good if the people who are using your system are not following the computer best practices. Providing regular reminders about potential risks and the steps to mitigate this will help keep network security top of mind for all workers.

Keep Your Network Safe

You have to take the right steps to ensure your network remains protected. Using the tips and information here provides you with a good starting point for this. If necessary, hire outside help to ensure the desired results are achieved and that your network is secure and protected, regardless of the skills the tech-savvy hackers who are trying to break in have.