News of security breaches in an organization’s computer and network security have been rampant. Organizations are losing millions of dollars when such security breaches occur. According to a report by IBM, the average cost per incident went up again in 2019 to 8.1 million USD for companies. This is more than twice as much as the global average.
The healthcare industry is known to be the most vulnerable since it has experienced the highest average losses. Cybersecurity is a great challenge for small and medium-sized companies that still can’t afford full-time IT staff that cater for system maintenance. It is hard for such businesses to know what is required to protect their network.
The good thing is there are a couple of network security practices that can be implemented to secure your company network. These good practices will offer your computer company network impenetrable protection against hackers.
Here they are:
1) USE A FIREWALL AND MONITOR ITS ACTIVITY
The firewall is a set of software or hardware created to block all unauthorized access to your computers and networks. It is a couple of rules that control the incoming and outgoing network traffic. The computers and networks that follow the set rules are the only ones allowed into access points while those that don’t are barred from accessing your system.
Firewalls are evolving and becoming more sophisticated every day. Integrated network security platforms have been created and feature various approaches and encryption methods to help prevent breaches.
2) REGULARLY UPDATE YOUR PASSWORDS
When assigning passwords first begin by avoiding all default passwords. Forget using obvious phrases such as “password”, dates of births, “12345” and many other obvious ones. Encourage all your employees to use strong passwords for added security. They can combine both uppercase and lowercase letters for added security.
Emphasize the importance of using strong passwords for your employees, because hackers are getting smarter and are always figuring out simple passwords. Change your passwords quarterly, but you can also opt to change them as often as you can.
You could also adopt the two-step verification feature when connecting to your company’s network. This will enable anyone who wants to successfully access the system to enter not only the username and password but also include a code they receive through their text or other means.
For added protection use an encrypted protocol for passwords on the router for your company network. The best one is the WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). Ensure that this protocol is enabled in your network router.
Lastly, we always recommend using a password manager such as Passly, Bitwarden, or LastPass. This will enable you to use a randomly generated, long, unique password for every account you have. Most people create simple passwords that they use across accounts because it's impossible to memorize dozens of different secure passwords.
3) KEEP YOUR ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE UP TO DATE
Failure to do regular updates for your antivirus software is putting your network at great risk by inviting cybersecurity issues. Hackers will always find ways to “crack” your system and release new viruses to infect your system. Keep ahead of these hackers by updating to the latest versions of your antivirus software.
Educate your employees on the things to look for to know if their computer has been hacked. Cybercriminals are getting smarter and sometimes even the most vigilant efforts to secure your network can be thwarted by the most determined hackers.
4) USE A VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK (VPN)
A VPN will encrypt internet connections and data transferred through your network. It creates a secure connection between remote computers (home networks or computers used by people on the road) and other “local” computers and servers. VPN services often have this built-in feature that acts as a kill switch that will disconnect your hardware from your network when a protected connection is lost.
This will help keep your company network more secure especially from unexpected data leaks. With VPN your employees can use Wi-Fi securely when working remotely without putting your company’s sensitive data at risk. At this age of remote working because of the pandemic, such a measure would be very convenient.
5) SEEK A PROFESSIONAL
You could be successfully managing your IT in-house and thwarting hacking attempts. You might be successfully implementing all these measures and ensuring your employees are adopting safe practices. Still, the latest cyber threats might catch you off-guard. All it takes is one employee to forget to change their default settings or click on an “innocent link” from someone they think they know.
The best way to ensure that you never get to experience such challenges is by hiring an experienced IT provider. An IT provider who is well-versed with the latest security threats will make sure your system is always secure. Working with such a professional will have you worrying less about your security because their expertise will be used to monitor your network 24/7 and keep breaches at bay.
These professionals will also tackle any arising issues because they will anticipate these issues and have plans to deal with them. With a full-time skilled professional vigilantly protecting your computer company network, you will hardly have any breaches.
Nothing will happen that can’t be resolved quickly. This will help you focus more on other company growth-related activities and worry less about vigilant workers and dangerous viruses invading your system.
Employing all the above measures is awesome. However, they won’t help you in your security matters if the users of your system are not embracing good security practices. Remind your employees about the risks that come with carelessness.
Encourage them to value security. You can even have meetings and educate them on the security risks and how to avoid them. When your employees are well aware of the importance of good security practices, your system will be safer.
Also, forget using shortcuts to avoid spending more on ensuring network security. Cheap options will be the fall of your company network and hackers will gain easy access. Have a budget to cater to cybersecurity and you will have the best security practices from professionals whose job is security.
When such measures are implemented, your company network will never be a victim of cybercrime. You will not fall under the category of businesses that have lost millions or gone down because of cyber-attacks.