Network security has always been an essential component of any business. It lowers the possibility of sabotage, data loss, and theft, which can potentially cost you a lot of money and damage your business’ reputation.
Unfortunately, securing a business network is not as easy as it was before, as hackers gain access to more advanced techniques and tools that can potentially aid in their crimes.
On the bright side, we’re also seeing improvements in network security technologies and techniques. If you want to guard against the latest cyberthreats, you need to adopt the latest techniques into your business’ network security strategy. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Segment Your Network
Network segmentation is the practice of dividing a network into segments or subnetworks. People often think that this would make the network more vulnerable, but it’s the opposite.
When a network is segmented, fewer people are required to manage each section, which would equate to fewer points of vulnerabilities. After all, hackers often target employees instead of breaking the network security. In the case of a security breach, having several sections also means that the hacker can’t gain access to the whole system at once, as each section has independent controls and security measures. Consider it as effective damage control.
One more benefit of network segmentation is that installation and testing are simple. Learn more about segmentation testing with these helpful hints.
2. Educate Your Employees
People are the biggest vulnerability in a system. Even with all kinds of security systems, it won’t do you any good if the hackers target your employees. Most data breaches you see on the news occurred because one employee clicked on the wrong thing. So, how can you prevent this?
You can start by providing appropriate training to your employees. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Don’t be afraid to invest in security tools for your employees.
- New types of cyberattacks develop daily, so you have to train your employees regularly.
- Encourage your employees to change their passwords once in a while.
- Include cybersecurity training in your onboarding process.
As your business’ main driving force, it’s essential to equip your employees with the necessary tools and techniques to guard against cybercrimes. However, this doesn’t guarantee a zero percent chance of data breach.
Employees are also humans—they can make mistakes. On the bright side, you can further minimize the possibility of data breach by limiting their access to important data.
3. Practice Role-Based Access
If all your employees are able to access the same systems within your business, that means that even if one were to fall prey to cyberattacks, the whole system will be at risk. Your goal is to control the damage incurred with data breaches. One way to do that is with role-based access.
Role-based access is the practice of restricting data access to authorized users. Simply put, it’s when each employee has access to a limited amount of data, in accordance to their roles. For instance, the HR staff will only have access to employees’ personal information, while the customer support staff can only access clients’ data.
With this system, when individuals fall prey to a social engineering attack, they can’t divulge as much information as they would when they have access to all the network data.
It’s similar to how segmentation minimizes the damage done by data breaches. But, if it’s absolutely necessary to provide an employee with access to all systems, you might want to consider using multi-factor authentication.
4. Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication
If you know how two-factor authentication (2FA) works, you might have a general idea of what multi-factor authentication (MFA) is. Put simply, MFA is when the system asks the user for multiple verification codes instead of just one or two. These codes will be required to access resources such as online forms, accounts, an, most importantly, network systems.
Normally, a platform will only require the username and password of your employees, but multi-factor authentication can go further and ask for verification factors like:
- Personal Identification Number (PIN)
- Face recognition
- One-time password
- Business key card
With multi-factor authentication, it’s possible to avoid cyberattacks by warning your employees against logging into platforms that ask for more than their username and password as it’s most likely a fake platform if that’s the case.
Now you might be thinking, how can you manage all these security measures if you’re barely able to handle other business matters? Well, you can always consider outsourcing.
5. Consider Outsourcing
Whether you like it or not, you can’t always deal with your business’ network security. Perhaps you’re currently busy with the development of a new product. Maybe you’re dealing with the damage done by the previous data breach. Either way, you can’t monitor your network security 24/7. You have to hand over some of the responsibilities to others, but if you don’t have someone specializing in network security, you’re left with no choice except outsourcing.
Outsourcing is when you hire a third-party agency to handle a particular business operation. For instance, you can hire an outsourcing agency to manage your business’ IT support or financial auditing. In your case, you need to let them handle your network security.
You might be thinking that this will cost you more money, but it won’t. Hiring specialists is usually much cheaper than when you sort out your network security independently.
While hackers are, indeed, becoming innovative due to the advancements of technology, the same goes for cybersecurity. Internet of Things (IoT), segmentation, biometrics scanning are just a few recent cybersecurity developments you need to leverage into your network security, and you should be good to go.
- 5 Ways to Improve Your Business’ Network Security Strategy - March 29, 2021