Featured image from Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

Large businesses are the primary target of cybercriminals, but network security is critical for all businesses. In fact, network breaches hit small businesses the hardest.

Why?

Small businesses often aren’t prepared for a breach because they don’t expect them.

As they cut their budgets, they overlook network breaches that are difficult to monitor, prevent, and mitigate on their own.

They gradually grow and give access to more and more people, making their network vulnerable.

But lacking even basic network security systems can leave you with major financial damage, negatively affect your brand image, and cost you your reputation if sensitive data is leaked.

Therefore, to combat these issues, small businesses must protect the security of their network, just as any larger business would.

But where should you even start with network security?

Let’s start with the basics and work our way up to things you can do today. In this post, we suggest ways to avoid common types of cyberattacks.

What Is Network Security All About?

Network security can refer to many things. It’s an all-encompassing term that includes different hardware and software you can employ to protect your network.

This could mean using a VPN to encrypt activity, installing a firewall to keep out unwanted traffic from your network, having anti-virus software, or limiting access to your network.

RELATED ARTICLE: HOW A VPN CAN ENHANCE COMPANY NETWORK SECURITY

Basically, complete network security should protect your network against viruses, trojans, worms, ransomware, and adware.

Hackers can use these attacks to steal data, collect data for marketing, or block your access to the network.

Train Employees to Protect Your Network

Whether your workers connect to your network on site or from home, cybercriminals can use your employees to get into your network. Yet, a report from 2021 states that only 13% of small businesses train their employees in cybersecurity basics.

Employee training doesn’t have to put a financial strain on your small business. A couple of tips on how to protect your network and recognize the potential threat to your systems goes a long way.

Focus on Threat Recognition and Use Strong and Unique Passwords

Insist on strong passwords and access codes to your network. They must never be shared with others. Nor should anyone have them written out on a sticky note on a desk or table. What’s more, you should never use the same password for more than one account.

Pro Tip: Demand strong passwords from anyone who connects to your network, including both clients and workers. Weak passwords create vulnerable points that serve as perfect access points for cybercriminals.

Emails and Ads Can Be Weak Spots in Your Company’s Network Security

Email is another favorite hotspot for cyberattacks because everyone in your company has an email account.

RELATED ARTICLE: WHY EMAIL SECURITY IS STILL A PRIORITY

Hackers can send malicious viruses via links or emails from what seem to be authentic email addresses. So teach your employees not to click on random links or even open emails from unknown senders. Also, educate them on how to distinguish between fraudulent emails and those from trusted sources.

Ads with potential viruses are especially sneaky and harmful, too. Even the X you click to remove the ad can install a virus to a device. This can give someone access to your entire network or even enable them to gain control over it.

Teach your employees to use AdBlock on their devices to avoid clicking on ads.

Limit Access Within the Network to Improve Security

For greater security, limit access to administrative privileges wherever possible within your network. That way, it’s easier to pinpoint if someone is trying to get into your system.

Role-based access control is one way to limit access within your network. With this system, each employee has a different level of access depending on their position within the company.

For example, new members of your team don’t need to have access to the entire network, but only the part they need to complete their tasks.

Cyber security experts also suggest that you employ the zero-trust mindset when restricting access to your network. In other words, don’t trust anyone, either inside or outside of the network.

This means you need to require authorization and heavy passwords every step of the way, even with trusted members of your network.

Firewall or Anti-Virus: Which Do You Need?

A firewall is a base for protecting your network and providing security. It’s great at controlling traffic coming and going within your network. It blocks malware and prevents unnecessary parts of computing from overloading your network.

Anti-virus programs deal with malware that reaches your computer through different channels. This might be a USB or downloaded viruses via email links.

When it comes to the best network security what’s the verdict? You need both of these digital security tools for defending your network. Don’t rely solely on a single system of protection.

Protect Network Security with All You’ve Got

There are steps you can start with today to protect your network security and make hackers’ lives less convenient. These include:

  • Training your employees.
  • Limiting access within your network.
  • Installing both an anti-virus program and a firewall.

However, this isn’t enough for complete security of your network.

For greater peace of mind and better network security, you can also outsource this crucial task to a trusted cybersecurity company. They will set up and monitor your systems in a way that makes sense for your company.