Businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. According to the 2018 Hiscox Small Business Cyber Risk Report, 47% of small businesses experience at least one cyber-attack over the course of a year. Despite this concerning statistic, the report also found that only 52% of businesses have a cybersecurity strategy in place.
Maintaining small business Internet network security best practices are critical to running a successful, safe business. To help secure your business, we’ll walk through the basics of network security and provide a few easy tips to put your business on the right track.
What is Network Security?
Small business Internet and device network security is all the hardware, software, policies and practices that you use to protect your business’s network from a breach. In other words, it’s everything that you do to reduce the risk of data lost and protect against phishing, spam and ransomwareto protect a company’s network from unauthorized access.
Here are some tips on improving your small business Internet and device network security:
Install a Firewall
A firewall is often a business’s first line of defense against a cyber breach. It helps lock down all of the areas that a cybercriminal could use to get into your network and ultimately steal important data. If you don’t already have one, take some time to consider the different firewall solutions available and select one that best meets your unique needs.
Setup a VPN
A VPN is another way to defend against a network breach. A VPN lets you and your employees log into your small business Internet through an encrypted tunnel. When you’re logged in through a VPN, all of your activity and data is hidden to others. Using a VPN is especially important if you or your employees are working remotely.
Install Antivirus Software
Antivirus software helps remove any unwanted malware and viruses that hackers could use to breach your network. These types of programs can detect any malicious programs before installed on your computer. This can help reduce your overall risk of a breach, even if your employees don’t always adhere to cybersecurity best practices.
Train Your Employees
Ensure that your employees are educated on the cybersecurity risks of working remotely and your company’s security guidelines. This will ensure that they follow security best practices and regulations even when they’re not using the business Internet router at your physical office or place of business.
There are a few simple steps that each employee can take ahead of time to remain alert and attentive to all possible security risks.
Watch out for phishing texts and emails: Criminals who are attempting to steal data and information will often employ these techniques via complex phishing texts and emails disguised to fool your employees into clicking links and giving information out. Educate your employees on these methods ahead of time so that they are better able to spot a suspicious email or text message.
Never use personal computers for work: Ensure that all your team members are using their company-provided laptops/desktops, virtual machines, or VPNs at all times. Personal computers tend to run on outdated applications and free antivirus programs, leaving them more susceptible to virtual attacks.
Create strong passwords: Strong passwords are the first line of defense, yet they are often a precaution many employees fail to take. Ensure that your employees are changing their passwords often and not relying on simple passwords that are easily hacked, such as repetitive numbers or letters. To learn more about how to create and manage strong passwords, check out our post “The Best Password Managers to Protect your Business from Cyber Attacks.”
By following these best practices, it will be much more difficult for hackers to penetrate your network. Combining these preventative measures with constant monitoring will help ensure your network resilience and overall business continuity.