As cybercriminals evolve and develop new attacks, companies of all sizes must follow the latest network security best practices. It is especially true for businesses with a sizeable unsegmented network, as these can give hackers a bigger attack surface.
Protecting endpoints where the private network meets the public network is crucial. Some of the most effective network security best practices include:
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Educate Your Employees
Cybersecurity is a crucial investment for every business, no matter its infrastructure size. However, even if your company has the best hardware and software available, it must be fully protected if your employees need to follow safe cybersecurity practices. Implementing an education system that requires your staff to follow safe cybersecurity guidelines is vital.
According to a study, training should be a continuous process that includes regular phishing email campaigns that test your employees’ ability to recognize standard attack methods. It will help reduce the number of phishing attacks and other social engineering techniques that can lead to data breaches and the exfiltration of sensitive information, whether it’s for financial gain or because of compliance regulations.
It’s also vital to teach your employees about the basics of network security in cyber security, including password protection and enabling multi-factor authentication. It is often considered the “cyber hygiene” of an organization, and it’s something that’s just as important for small businesses as it is for massive conglomerates. Educating your staff about these basic safety practices can significantly reduce your chances of data breaches and other cyber crimes. These basics include using strong passwords, regularly updating software, and thinking before clicking suspicious links. These are all easy steps that will go a long way toward keeping your company’s information and networks secure.
Monitor Your Network
Your network is the backbone of your business, and it must be constantly monitored to ensure availability and optimal staff performance. However, cyber attacks can be challenging to detect. If a breach occurs, you must have an immediate response plan that limits damage and downtime.
Maintaining the most recent software and hardware upgrades is the most crucial thing you can do to fend off intrusions. It’s also critical to back up your data and to employ encryption technologies that can virtually prevent files, directories, or disks from falling into unauthorized hands.
If you use third-party vendors to manage your hardware and software, they must utilize best practices to protect your information. It includes requiring multi-factor authentication, encrypting critical data, and providing you with reports of any suspicious activity.
You should also monitor changes in your network configuration, which can signal an attack or have a domino effect on system availability and performance. Ideally, it would be best to utilize passive and active network monitoring solutions to decrease the time to identify issues. It’s also a good idea to move your routers to a secure location and install security cameras or video surveillance equipment in your server room. In addition, you should use a demilitarized zone (DMZ) to separate your private network from the internet and incorporate firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems into your DMZ.
Install a Firewall
Firewalls are one of the most essential tools a business can use to protect itself from cyberattacks. A firewall is a system that monitors the traffic in and out of a computer network and controls what can enter or leave your private data. Firewalls are usually positioned between your network and the internet, making sure that people who do not have access to your data cannot interface with it.
Firewall software can detect and block malware, viruses, spam, and denial-of-service attacks by analyzing the information being sent from your system to an outside address. The firewall can also stop hackers by detecting and disrupting their connections with compromised systems to steal login information, financial details, or other sensitive information.
A firewall can also limit the number of devices connected to a router and provide a separate connection for each employee. It helps prevent employees from using personal devices that can be hacked to gain entry into the corporate network.
While a firewall can help, it cannot protect against Trojans, worms, and viruses. These malicious programs can be introduced to a computer through a backdoor or spread on their own, causing computer crashes, insufficient memory, or deleting files and software. A firewall will alert you to these attempts, however, so that you can take steps to stop them before they do any harm.
A new business is apologizing for a data breach or acknowledging that they have been compromised by attackers every day. The truth is that companies of all sizes are susceptible to cyberattacks, but implementing network security best practices can significantly mitigate the risk.
For instance, encryption technology scrambles sensitive information into unreadable code authorized recipients can only decipher. It prevents hackers from accessing confidential data and protects customers’ and employees’ privacy.
In addition to encrypting data, you should prioritize backing up important information regularly. It is especially critical as ransomware attacks continue to be a growing threat to businesses of all sizes. A backup plan can minimize the impact of a data breach and help your business recover quickly.
Another way to mitigate the risk of a data breach is to install firewalls and monitor network traffic for suspicious activity. In addition, you should also ensure that all devices have the latest updates available. It can help you identify and fix vulnerabilities as soon as they appear.
While cybersecurity may seem overwhelming, it’s worth taking the time to implement. After all, the more steps you take to protect your customer and financial data, intellectual property, and office systems, the less likely it will be that a cyberattack will occur.