Worryingly, at least 1 in 5 small businesses have experienced a cyberattack, and this statistic is only set to rise. And while there’s no way to prevent network intrusions and data breaches entirely, there are 5 easy steps you can take right now to improve your network security. Let’s check them out.
1. Create a security culture
Reports suggest that at least 70% of workers have accidentally put company data at risk. This happens because they simply don’t know how to work online safely. That’s why education and fostering a security culture are crucial. Staff should understand, for example:
- Why they should change passwords regularly
- How to protect their login details
- The ways to identify phishing emails and online scams
Looking for a cost-efficient way to train your staff as quickly as possible? That’s where a managed services provider comes in. They promote cyber awareness across the company, and they show your workers how to access networks securely.
2. Secure your networks
Your network’s only as good as the security tools you use. Ensure you separate your private office WiFi from the public WiFi so that even if hackers access the public server, they can’t get into the private one.
If employees work remotely, make sure they use secure VPNs and only ever log on from private networks.
The good news is that managed services providers can provide various network monitoring and security solutions for your company’s needs — all for a set monthly fee.
3. Use multi-factor authentication
Passwords are useful, but they aren’t enough to keep your network secure. In fact, reports show that compromised passwords are responsible for over 80% of hacker attacks.
So, what should you do? Use multi-factor authentication for an additional layer of protection. With multi-factor authentication, users need to supply at least one further proof of identity (such as a temporary passcode or fingerprint) before they can access your company data.
Multi-factor authentication means that, even if a user’s password is compromised, hackers can’t easily access your system or confidential client files.
4. Update your software
Don’t forget to keep software and applications up to date with the latest security releases. Specifically, you should ensure you always update your antivirus software and firewalls.
If you’re worried about remembering to schedule your system updates, managed services providers can schedule automatic software updates for you, which saves you time and keeps your network secure. And remember, by reducing the time spent on admin tasks like software updates, you can focus instead on growing your business.
5. Deploy a remote working policy
If you allow employees to work remotely or use their own devices in the office, you need a remote working policy. This policy should set out rules for accessing company data securely, such as:
- Using VPNs and secure private networks to access files
- Avoiding suspicious emails and links
- Contacting IT for any questions or security concerns
If you’re unsure where to get started, a managed services provider can help you devise a remote working policy that’s scalable to your company’s specific needs.
Maintaining a secure network is one of the best ways to protect your company from costly data breaches and system downtime. For more information on network security solutions and advice on how managed services can help your company, contact us now.