5 Easy Steps to Secure Your Small Business’s Network

(STL.News) 2022 has welcomed us to a more challenging business environment in securing networks where cybersecurity threats lurk around every corner.  In recent years, cyber threats have spiked up targeting every possible vulnerability businesses have to exploit them.  That’s why companies must prioritize network security in order to prevent cyber attacks and the damage they cause.

Securing your network goes through protecting different types of network security components: hardware, software, and users.  Businesses can ensure the safety of their network through various cybersecurity technologies and practices.  Proper protection of every business network component is especially crucial to prevent targeted cyber attacks such as phishing, social engineering tactics, and zero-day attacks.  Cybersecurity is an aspect that needs active efforts to prolong the effectiveness of its protection against threats.  That’s why businesses must be proactive to build a safe network.

Along these lines, there are essential practices to secure a network, and every business no matter the size, must implement them.  These cybersecurity practices are super easy to implement and secure your network, especially if you are a small business.  Even if small businesses can’t afford additional cybersecurity solutions, they can still ensure the safety of their network against threats and data breaches.  Let’s get into how you can secure your small business’s network with 5 easy steps.

1.  Monitor Your Network Traffic

Threats present themselves both internally and externally within a network.  Businesses must monitor all activity across their network to detect and block any suspicious actions.  Stolen credentials mostly cause infiltrations and data breaches.  Cybercriminals can gain access to sensitive information and roam around within the network by using stolen credentials.  So, it is crucial to inspect every traffic and user activity to secure your data and network.  In this manner, access management is also crucial as it helps administrators to authenticate and authorize users with specific actions for certain applications and data.  Additionally, alerts can’t work with 100 percent efficiency.  That’s why businesses shouldn’t solely rely on alerts to detect dangerous or suspicious activity.  Necessary actions must be taken by trained administrators when necessary.

2.  Perform Regular Updates

Businesses must ensure the security of their networks against all kinds of cybersecurity threats.  They must secure their assets, data, and users by enforcing strict security policies and implementing strong solutions.  To ensure the effectiveness of their defense against malicious actors and cyber threats, businesses must perform regular updates.

Also, since outdated software and operating systems are the main target for zero-day attacks, it is crucial to keep them updated and minimize vulnerabilities.  Otherwise, cyber criminals can easily exploit the vulnerabilities of software and infiltrate the business network.  Data breaches and infiltrations are irreversible when present and cause significant damage to companies.  Your business can lose millions of dollars if a data breach occurs.  From a small business’s point of view, you don’t want that to happen.

3.  Train Your Employees

Employees form the major part of networks.  So, training your employees about cybersecurity threats and security policies is crucial to prevent attacks.  Also, employees should be aware of any policy changes and act accordingly.

Cybercriminals are constantly trying to deceive non-suspecting employees into downloading malicious files and codes or giving their credentials through social engineering methods such as phishing emails and malvertising.  Social engineering has numerous variations.  So, training your employees about social engineering attacks is surely beneficial for your company.  According to the 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing is found to be the most frequently used method in social engineering among 3841 incidents.  That’s the reason why businesses must educate their employees to prevent these malicious attacks.

4.  Perform Network Audits

Strengthening the security of networks is only possible when businesses know the existing vulnerabilities and how to improve the weaknesses.  One of the easiest ways to identify the vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the network is by performing a network audit.  Network audits assess not only the potential vulnerabilities but the overall strength and health of software and identify unnecessary or unused applications.  Also, businesses can manage backup history and schedule by performing network audits.  Additionally, penetration testing can be conducted within this process.  Network audit results help businesses to improve the areas of networks identified as weaknesses or vulnerabilities.  To fully improve your network security, network security audits are essential as they will address necessary actions needed to be taken.

5.  Protect Against Data Loss

Data loss can be prevented with the implementation of data protection solutions.  Data loss prevention technologies hinder data leakage by detecting policy violations and enforcing necessary protective actions.  DLP software also prevents invasion of privacy and data breaches.  That’s why data loss prevention helps businesses to comply with related cybersecurity regulations.  Especially for small businesses, this aspect is crucial without the need for additional security solutions.  Protection against data loss put businesses in a position where sensitive information is recovered if a data breach occurs.  Small businesses are easier targets for cybercriminals to breach their networks because they use limited resources for cybersecurity.  For this reason, implementing data loss prevention tools is essential for small businesses.

Final Remarks

In today’s world, small size businesses are facing the highest security risks.  To handle these increasing threats, small businesses can follow five easy steps that are mentioned above and improve security even with limited resources and a cybersecurity budget.