Small business IT networks face a multitude of complex threats today. Cyber-attackers are becoming more stealthy and sophisticated. If your network security isn’t up to scratch, you could fall victim to a data breach.
At the same time, though, networks themselves are becoming more complicated. A growing number of devices, a distributed workforce, cloud applications, new platforms and more means that monitoring the network has become super tricky. Unfortunately, if you can’t monitor the network effectively, you won’t be able to spot a cyber-attacker that’s breached your company.
What is The Network?
A network is any collection of two or more connected devices. Networks can range from personal area networks (PANs) to local area networks (LANs) and large wide area networks (WANs), which connect small networks across vast distances. All businesses use some kind of network – with most SMBs relying on LANs.
What Security Risks Are Associated With The Network?
Your network is vulnerable to a host of different security risks, including:
Unauthorized access: If an unauthorized entity manages to break into your network, they could steal your sensitive data or leak sensitive information.
DDoS attacks: Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) work by flooding the network with false traffic. The aim is to overwhelm the network to the point it’s no longer working, leading to downtime and disruption.
Vulnerabilities: Malicious actors may exploit vulnerabilities in your company’s devices or applications in order to gain a foothold in the network. From there, they may spy on your employees, steal data or launch a more complex attack.
Malware: Malware stands for malicious software; it refers to a broad range of attacks that aim to either steal data or cause disruption. .
Ways To Secure Your Business Network From These Threats
While this paints a bleak picture, it doesn’t mean your company has to be a sitting duck. There are a few things you can do to improve your network security.
Undertake a network audit
A network audit is a great way to glean a picture of how secure your network is and make tangible improvements. We can undertake a network audit for you, where we will look for factors such as security vulnerabilities, the strength of your firewall, server and application health, and the use of anti-virus.
By carrying out this audit, you’ll get a better sense of your weaknesses and strengths, and what you need to do to better protect your company.
Update Your Anti-Virus
Every device that connects to your network is a potential entry point for hackers. This is why it’s vital to ensure that all devices are kept up-to-date with the latest anti-virus protections.
It’s crucial to note that anti-virus is not a once and done thing. Vendors regularly release patches with enhanced security features for devices and applications. You need to make sure your employees install the latest versions as soon as possible, or you could be vulnerable to attack.
If you’re concerned about employees forgetting to install anti-virus updates, we can help you schedule regular, mandatory updates, so your employees don’t need to do anything!
Deploy a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a security tool that ensures a private, secure internet connection between your users and the company network. VPNs are a great asset in the world of remote work – especially if your employees are working from home or places like airports and coffee shops.
Establish an Ongoing Maintenance Routine
Maintaining a secure network is an ongoing procedure. You’ll need to regularly undertake the following tasks:
- Update your software regularly
- Update network names and passwords frequently
- Undertake regular vulnerability scans
- Perform backups intermittently
While this sounds like a lot to do, it doesn’t have to be. Many organizations choose to outsource their network support to us. This enables you to focus on running your business, while we take care of the technical stuff!
Train Your Employees
Last but not least, it’s vital to remember the role of people in efficient network security. According to research, human error, or the insider threat, is responsible for a huge 82% of data breaches. While excellent network security can undoubtedly reduce the number of threats your employees are exposed to, you still need to empower your employees to spot cyber-attacks like phishing and malware.
The best way to do this is through security awareness training. If you’re not sure where to start with an employee training program, chat to us and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Enhance Your Network Security Today!
Connect2Geek.com is here to help you keep your network safe from security threats. One way we do that is by partnering with some of the snazziest applications out there like Uplevel Systems and Untangle (all-in-one cloud services and super-charged network security).
Let us secure and manage your network, while you focus on growing your business.