The Importance of Network Security
Network security is probably the most important function of your IT systems. Even so, often businesses overlook, forget, or completely ignore flaws in their systems that can be easily fixed. In the modern age, it is absolutely crucial to identify vulnerabilities in your network and data and close security holes tightly. While the list below contains commonly seen flaws, this list is nowhere near complete.
Here are 10 common network security flaws that you may or may not have considered:
Training all of your employees on essential cyber security best practices.
No matter the size or age of your work force, you should never assume that all of your employees know the best practices in regards to cyber security. With all of the possibilities for human error, it is essential that each one of your employees always follow best practices.
- Are your employees trained to identify phishing and spoof emails?
- Do you have a shadow IT policy at your business?
- Are your employees well informed about how to share data and which data should not be shared?
- Have you implemented and documented an IT usage policy for your business?
Constant monitoring of all of your systems.
When your systems are properly and constantly monitored, you can prevent thousands of viruses, infections, and hacks from infiltrating your systems. With monitoring, you can seamlessly update security protocols, find violations, and stop costly issues before they happen.
Password management system.
All of the computers and devices that access your system should be protected with a centrally administered password management system. A properly managed password system well help you enforce and keep a secure environment.
A website content management system.
No matter what IT policies you have in place or what training you have done so that your employees understand security best practices, there is almost always one employee that thinks they won’t be caught or is gullible to scams. An end user can put your network at risk by visiting websites that are infected, that’s why a website management system is so imperative.
Your Wi-Fi should be set up so that only authorized users can access it. If your business has a lot of clients in your office and you want to offer free Wi-Fi to them while they are visiting, you should have your guest Wi-Fi completely segmented off from the network that contains your business data. If guests are able to access your Wi-Fi that houses your same business data, you are putting yourself at risk of a breach.
Centrally administered antivirus and anti-malware.
The deployment of antivirus, anti-malware, and updates for them should always be centrally administered. Meaning, you should never allow or expect the end users to install or update their own antivirus solutions. Making sure everyone is running the same versions of the same security applications will prevent gaps in your security. Here are some of the things that can happen if your antivirus and anti-malware programs are not centrally administered:
- Programs that are not updated on time with patches might not block new viruses and malware that are targeting end-users in ways that the previous patches addressed.
- Having your end-users running different antivirus programs and versions of programs puts your other applications at risk for failure if one of them is incompatible with it. The outcome for something like this might likely be hours and hours of testing and troubleshooting on each individual computer.
Having a password that contains lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters makes your password more difficult for someone to guess. You should also be using a separate strong password for each one of your devices.
Keep all of your software up to date.
From time to time, hackers find vulnerabilities or exploits in software or applications that you may use in your daily operations. Generally, when this happens, someone notices, and the software is patched right away. This is why it is so important to keep all of your applications up-to date. If a previous version does have a hole in it, you want to make sure you close that hole as quick as possible.
Always use a secure file sharing system.
A business’ digital files often contain sensitive data. Client and employee information, financial information, and proprietary information is all information that hackers would love to get their hands on. You can’t afford to have that data stolen or compromised by a malicious attack. When you are sending data across the internet, it must always be secure and encrypted to lessen your risk of it being stolen.
Make sure you always update logins and remote access privileges after an employee is no longer working for you. Often, businesses confiscate badges, keys, or tools when an employee is fired or quits, but it is also a common occurrence for a business not to make the same digital changes once the employee is gone. Leaving the digital keys with a disgruntled employee is the same as leaving the physical keys with them; if they have malicious intent and access to your systems, the damage could be substantial.
Since cyber-crime is fueled by dozens of avenues of vulnerability it is always important to protect yourself from both internal and external threats. Staying one step ahead of cyber-criminals isn’t always easy but if you put enough layers in place and always follow best practices, you should be able to keep your networks safe.
For more information or to get a security assessment, contact us today.