How to Improve Network Security at your Small Business
Improving network security is important for businesses at any size. Whether you are a small business active around San Diego or a fast growing company with a regional presence, improving network security is key to avoiding cyber threats and costly data breaches. CSCi will safeguard your small business from network security issues through a range of multi-platform information technology solutions.
Improving Network Security in Wireless Solutions
As more small businesses rely on cloud-based applications, tablets, and mobile devices, the risk of cyber attacks increases. Without a strategic network security plan for your small business you may be vulnerable to costly data losses, disruptive ransomware, and time-intensive access issues. Even as a small business there are simple ways you can improve network security across all of your digital operations.
Deploy Strong Encryption Technology
Encryption is a process that allows you to encode your original data into ciphertext. The resulting ciphertext is only readable by parties with the correct codes and security permissions. Encryption protects your wireless networks from hacking threats and stolen data. You may have heard of double encryption, where two or more layers of encryption can be used to improve network security at your small business.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
CSCi can help you secure your online accounts with multi-factor authentication, or two-factor authentication (2FA). Multi-factor authentication grants access to data based on a combination of factors, such as a code, confirmation of the possession of a device, or a permission-based network role. Two-factor authentication is the simplest, most effective way to check user identities before sensitive data is accessed. Many large companies, such as banks and online software providers use multi-factor authentication to allow secure access to your accounts. This technology is important for your small business as well since it helps maintain and protect sensitive data.
Install Firewall Protection Across All Devices
A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. All inbound and outbound communication between your device and the internet can be protected through firewalls. Personal firewalls are handy for protecting each device within your small business operations, while network firewalls are important for preventing threats against your entire digital ecosystem. Without a firewall, hackers may be able to access your network, use malware to gain control over your devices, and steal sensitive data.
Firewalls improve network security at your small business by limiting the chance of Trojan backdoor hacking threats, DOS & DDOS attacks, and viruses. CSCi can analyze your current firewall system and identify key areas for strategic improvement. Keep in mind that even though a firewall provides critical protection from unauthorized access, it cannot remove malware from a system that has already been infected. Consequently, firewalls should be used in combination with other proactive measures.
Simplify Your Network Security with Unified Threat Management (UTM)
Unified Threat Management (UTM) is a simplified approach to network security for small businesses. UTM uses a single hardware or software installation to provide multiple security functions. Our UTM solutions include anti-virus, anti-spam, content filtering, and web filtering all in one seamless service.
Get Educated About Phishing
Chances are that you’ve seen suspicious emails and text messages requesting personal information. This is routinely referred to as “phishing”, “spear phishing”, or “whaling”. Today’s phishing techniques are more advanced than ever; a hacker may impersonate a customer, co-worker, or vendor in order to steal sensitive credit card information, email addresses, order details, and more. The most common form of phishing is via email where the attacker will register a fake domain that mimics a genuine organization and sends thousands of generic requests to unsuspecting users. You and your entire small business team must stay educated on the latest phishing trends and conduct regular training to avoid attacks.
Provide Network Security Training
Whether your small business is made up of a single-person, a small team, or a network of independent contractors it is crucial to conduct regular security training. You can improve network security at your small business by hosting mandatory cyber-security classes, conducting simulated phishing attacks, and providing teams with best practices to prevent threats.
Update Your Router
Router updates offer enhanced protection from the latest generation of cyber threats. Most router manufacturers provide regular router updates via email notifications, system notices, and on their websites. A full-service IT provider can regularly screen for router updates, or you can manually run updates at your convenience.
Install Antivirus Software
Viruses, or malware, are software systems designed by hackers to compromise the security of your network. A computer virus can lead to erased, encrypted, or stolen data. Viruses can be shared via email, hidden within a USB drive, or by visiting an unsafe website. Whether your small business relies on PCs, tablets, mobile devices, or a combination of all three, anti-virus software can help keep your network safe.
Limit Network Access
If your small business is made up of a team of employees and independent contractors you can allocate access controls based on each users’ needs. At CSCi we recommend limiting network access to only those who require it and provide a diverse range of permissioning controls to limit potential cyberthreat exposure. You can also limit access to particular devices, websites, files, or shared drives to improve network security.
Learn About Network Compliance
Depending on the nature of your small business, you may be required to enact corporate or regulatory compliance with IT network security protocols. Both corporate and regulatory compliance offer a framework of regulations and best practices designed to protect consumers. Corporate compliance refers to the regulations and practices and organization uses, while regulatory compliance refers to regulations relevant to external policies, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) or Systems and Organization Controls 2 (SOC2). Not sure if your small business is required to comply by regulatory compliance protocols? Our team can help you review the typical policies relevant to your industry and provide guidance on the best way to fulfill regulations.
Work with a Local IT Service Provider
For the last three decades, CSCi has improved network security for hundreds of businesses in San Diego, California and beyond. As a managed cloud and security service provider, we help small businesses save time, money, and reduce the risk of cyber threats. Whether you need comprehensive IT network security support or guidance on the best firewall techniques, CSCi can help.