Your network connects your business to the outside world, whether that’s partners, customers, stakeholders or prospects. It also stores a majority – if not all – of your company data – public or private.
The data you’ve got stored is the lifeline of your business operations and must be safeguarded. The protection of your data isn’t a nice-to-have, rather it’s a fundamental requirement for organizational health.
As more and more of business operations are conducted and stored within the walls of networks, rather than the walls of physical offices, risks and vulnerabilities will continue to rise.
And the reality is, cyber criminals don’t care if you are a small business or not. They don’t cherry-pick attacks based on annual revenue or total number of employees. Cyber criminals make decisions based on vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The goal for them is clear: find gaps within network security systems that can be exploited.
So, it’s time for a pulse check. How secure is your network? Here are four tips for a smarter, more secure network:
Commit To Designing A Complex Password
It sounds simple and you’ve certainly heard it numerous times before, yet it’s one of the safeguards many overlook. But creating a complex password is one of the smartest ways to protect your data. When designing your password, don’t reuse old passwords and be sure to change them out regularly. It’s easy to create one and stick with it, but that’s what cyber criminals are hoping you’ll do. Don’t let yourself or your organization fall victim to an attack because of an easy password.
Monitor Your Network 24/7
Data that is critical for business operations cannot be protected here and there. Consistent, around the clock monitoring is required to keep your network as a secure as possible. One of the smartest things you can do is ensure your IT team has a consistent watch plan in place. With consistent monitoring, IT teams can swiftly detect threats, neutralize unwarranted traffic and resolve problems quickly, without delaying business operations.
Ensure your encryption works for those inside and outside company walls
In its most basic form, encryption is all about encoding information, and it’s vitally important to your overall security strategy. But to be most effective, the encryption you have in place has to work smart for those inside and outside company walls.
Be confident that your encryption still allows employees to easily access and tap into the information they need to perform their jobs. But it also needs to allow customers and prospects to move through your site without troubles or delays.
The most effective encryption is one that blocks unauthorized users from accessing data, while enabling those authorized to access what they need when they need it.
Provide training and educational opportunities for employees
We often hear about cyber attacks that hit mainstream media, but there are many that don’t get publicized. Those that fall under the radar are usually happening inside the network because of human error. Those cases can be prevented with more employee education.
Make the time to train your employees. Don’t assume they understand what needs to be done on their part to keep company data safe. By training employees on network vulnerabilities, such as weak passwords or opening unknown email attachments, you can minimize your risk and safeguard your organization.