The average cost of a data breach is around $3.86 million. This is a pretty scary figure if you own a business as it shows that a data breach could send your business to the grave.
But if you’re worried about the security of your network, you may not know how to change things for the better. Is it enough to update your router? Do you even know what a phishing email is?
Though network security can feel like a complex topic, you can protect yourself by implementing some best practices. Read on to discover some of the cybersecurity fundamentals you need to focus on if you want to keep your network safe from hackers. Let’s begin!
Teach Everyone About the Dangers of USB Drives
Even if you spend a lot of money on making your network secure, it’s all going to count for nothing if your employees don’t know how to prevent network breaches. You only need one employee to make one mistake for the entire network to be at risk.
At the most basic level, you need to teach employees they shouldn’t plug in USBs they’re not familiar with.
A common tactic used by hackers is to leave USBs lying around a building which contains a network they want to hack. Employees who work in the building might come across these USBs and will plug them into their computers to see what’s on them. Of course, the USBs contain a virus and now the entire network is open to hackers.
If you can make your employees aware of the dangers associated with plugging in a random USB drive, you should be able to prevent such a scenario. If you want to take things even further, you could even invest in computers that don’t have any USB ports.
Be Cautious of Phishing Emails
You also want to teach your employees how to spot phishing attacks, especially since 91% of network attacks begin with a phishing attempt.
Phishing is when a hacker sends someone an email designed to extract confidential information. This email may send someone to a fake website that looks legitimate. Once there, the person might enter their login details, thus giving the hackers the credentials needed to breach the network.
You can reduce the chances of this happening by showing your employees what a phishing email looks like. You should also tell your employees they’re not allowed to open any email attachments or links if they don’t know who is sending the email. If you want to see if the training has worked, consider sending some ‘practice’ phishing emails.
Update Your Software
If you update the operating systems of your computers, you remove vulnerabilities which leave your network open to hackers.
If you’re worried about an update affecting other software on your computer, contact the company in question. They can let you know if the software is compatible with the new operating system update.
You also need to update any network hardware you’re using, such as your router. Updating a router is a bit more of a manual process, and you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s website to see if they’ve released any new firmware. If they have, you can log in to your router and use the built-in update process to get everything up to code.
If you don’t have the time to do this, you can hire a specialist company to take care of the task. Companies like Acumera will keep a close eye on your network, ensuring all your devices are running on the latest software.
Duplicate Your Data
In the event that your network goes down, it helps to have duplicate copies of your data stored in the cloud. You can build your own cloud storage system, but this can be quite a complex task. Thankfully, many companies provide cloud storage specifically for business use.
The good thing about using a specialist company is that you’re able to take advantage of their built-in security protocols. For instance, you’ll have a lot of control over who has access to certain documents.
This means if someone leaves your company, it’s easy to make sure they have absolutely no access to company files. You’ll also receive notifications if there’s any unusual login activity. Such companies also make use of high-level encryption to ensure both company and customer data is kept safe.
It’s worth noting that by having duplicate data, you’ll find it a lot easier to recover if a ransomware attack hits your network. There won’t be any need to pay the ‘ransom’ because you have copies of your data stored elsewhere. Thus, you can wipe the hardware and start over, without too much trouble.
Install Firewall and Antivirus Software
A firewall will keep an eye on all the traffic going through your network. If it detects any unusual activity, it’ll alert you to the problem. You can then investigate the issue and determine whether someone is trying to hack into your network.
If someone does get into your network, antivirus software will serve as another line of defense. This is because once someone hacks your network, they may install some code such as a keylogger, to help them gather data. If you have installed an antivirus, though, you’ll be able to spot any malicious code on your systems, thereby limiting the potential damage.
Of course, if your antivirus ever does pick up on some malicious code, it’s vital that you conduct a post-mortem. You need to consider how this happened and what can you can do to prevent it from happening again.
Ask Employees for Suggestions
You should consider asking your employees for suggestions on how you can improve the security of the network. In some cases, you may even want to hold events where you ask people to come up with ways to hack into your network. You could then have a special prize for the person who comes up with the best idea.
If you want to make these events even more effective, you should also hold extra events teaching people about the basics of network security. Thus when ‘hacking events’ take place, your employees will know what to look out for.
Do You Know How to Improve Network Security?
As long as you run a business, you’ll need to focus on how you can keep your network secure. If you don’t pay attention to the security of your business network, you may soon find yourself the victim of a data breach.
Throughout this post, we’ve explored a number of things you can do to improve the network security. You can teach employees about the dangers associated with USB drives. You can also make an effort to keep your systems updated.
Be sure to conduct regular assessments on how you can improve the security of your network. If you can do this, it’ll be a lot harder for hackers to gain access to sensitive company data.
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