Digital theft is a common threat to individuals and businesses alike. Malicious individuals and groups are always looking for their next heist. As you will learn today, businesses just like yours are becoming the new favorite target of hackers worldwide. Thus, it is crucial to establish quality small business network security as soon as possible. Failing to do so could result in disaster.
It’s a well-known fact that small business often cannot afford the big budgets that large corporations spend on network security. That is why they are more prone to network security breaches when their systems are under attack.
Hackers know this, and that is why they choose small businesses as their top targets. If you’re running a small business, hackers see you as an easy target. That’s just how it is.
Fortunately, even if you do not have an enormous IT budget, you can still take some steps to strengthen the network security of your business.
Read on to find out what tools and tactics you can apply to protect your company data without requiring bank-busting budgets.
Provide training for employees
Most network security breaches occur because of an employee mishap. A lot of employees store valuable business information on their personal devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones).
Many of them simply forget to create strong passwords for their emails or other login accounts. When many employees behave in such a reckless manner with company devices and login accounts, a disaster is inevitable.
Educate your employees about the types of cyber-attacks your data may be subjected to. Teach them to recognise when a breach has occurred, and when an attack is ongoing, so they can respond diligently.
Hackers will always try to exploit your security weaknesses. Oftentimes, this is the behaviour of your less-diligent employees. But, confident and skilled employees are a good safety valve that will stop those attacks from doing damage to your business.
Establish safety protocols
Even trained employees will sometimes make errors in judgment that may cause chaos.
Make an effort to design clear rules and procedures for handling business data and information. Get your employees to change their login passwords every 60 to 90 days.
You can even create safety clearances that only allow access to crucial data for certain authorised employees.
Hire professionals to take care of your security
Procedures, rules, and taking care of your wi-fi and networks are a tough task without a guiding hand. Hiring professionals to set up your network security and counsel you on necessary procedures for data security is a wise move.
Professionals can tighten everything up and prevent loopholes that might be exploited.
At InspiredTechs, we can do all this for you and minimise the risks associated with data security. Our highly-skilled professionals will work around the clock to provide you with data backup when needed, and will aid you in setting-up antivirus and anti-spam measures.
We will do all the legwork so you can focus entirely on building and growing your business.
Virtual Private Networking (VPN) is an efficient way of preventing data loss or other breaches. When using VPNs, your employees can access data on-the-go without exposing themselves to all the risks that come with such endeavors.
Reliable VPN providers will route your data through their servers and mask the IP address of your employees. Thus, they cannot be noticed and intercepted by outside entities.
VPNs are especially handy if you must access business data through public or other unsafe networks.
Take care of your wi-fi security
Make sure that the security on your wi-fi network is tight. Use complex passwords, and change them every month or two. Encryption is key when it comes to protecting your wi-fi network. Therefore, use WPA2 level of protection, since it’s harder to crack than the other methods of encryption.
SSIDs (service set identifiers) are another way through which your wi-fi can be breached. Hide your SSID or use an obscure name so you don’t attract unwanted attention.
Whole disk encryption
Your employees often take their work laptops home or carry USBs full of company data in their pockets. Thus, it would be a wise move to enforce a full-disk encryption rule.
Services that offer disk encryption are either free (not recommended, since they offer poor protection) or pretty affordable (but offer stellar security).
Some services also allow encryption of specific folders and files. But, it’s generally more secure to do a full-disk encryption.
Back-up important data
Be very diligent when it comes to backing-up your client data as well as your company information. Make copies of the data and store them at a secure location.
There are also services that will help you back up all your data in a secure way. Investing in a backup service will pay off dividends, and it’s worth more than what you pay for it.
At InspiredTechs, we offer setting up back-up services for small businesses. This will ensure the safety of your data in case of a breach.
Use security software
Antivirus and malware protection is a must if you want to secure your business data. It goes without mentioning that you have to install such software and keep it updated.
If you have a subscription, regularly check if it’s close to the expiry date and up for renewal.
This also goes for mobile devices and the devices your employees use at home. Some of your employees will take their work with them and pick it up at home. Cover each potential loophole that might arise with this scenario.
You should also consider getting a firewall. A firewall will lock down specific ports that you use to connect to the Internet that don’t need to be open. This will prevent hackers from easily accessing your data.
Update your router
You’d be surprised to know how many businesses are affected due to their router’s firmware being outdated. Learn from their mistakes, and often check if the firmware of your router is up-to-date.
Update your software
Computers with outdated software are prone to all sorts of vulnerabilities. Hackers are constantly on the lookout for these loopholes and are ready to exploit them.
Expired software is one of the primary reasons for a destructive cyber-attack. So, set up an automatic reminder to update all your software programs. Or, manually check the lifespan of your software from time to time.
You cannot have 100% protection
Even with all these measures implemented, you cannot be 100% certain that you are always safe from everything. Even the largest companies in the world get hacked, and they have much larger security budgets than any of us can dream of.
However, implementing the aforementioned suggestions will significantly improve your security. In fact, without implementing these, it’s like you’re asking to be hacked at one point or another.
If you want to make the process much easier, consider letting professionals handle your small business network security
If the list of measures to implement seems overwhelming, don’t worry. Nowadays, you no longer have to do it all alone. Thanks to InspiredTechs, you can rest easy knowing that your data is in safe hands.
We can either help and compliment your onboard IT experts or handle all aspects of your IT for you. Whatever you need, feel free to reach out and let us know how we can help.