Network Security Tips for Small Businesses
Digitalization has given small and medium business entrepreneurs ample opportunities to start their businesses with minimal costs and maximum profits. With the ease of making websites on user-friendly CMS platforms, these entrepreneurs plunge into the digital market to establish their business, unaware of the cyber-dangers lurking near them.
They fail to notice that be it a small enterprise or a large corporation; you are still vulnerable to hacker-attacks and cyber-threats. Without proper optimization of network security for your small business, you may end up losing huge finances, which ultimately ends in bankruptcy or business closure.
To keep your business and data secure from these cyber thieves, I have penned down some tips, which will help you in securing your network.
But before that, let’s check out what exactly network security is and its importance in the digital market.
What is Network Security?
Network security protects the confidentiality of data and its unauthorized accessibility to hackers via computer networks, including hardware and software automation.
Network security includes all the steps to protect data privacy by preventing phishing attacks, preventing malware and ransomware, spam, etc.
Importance of Network Security:
Network security is very important because it helps in minimizing data theft by securing computers from cyber-attacks.
Network Security Tips for Small Businesses:
Some effective network security solutions that will help safeguard your website and data from hackers are mentioned below. Let’s check them out.
Install a Firewall:
A firewall is a very pivotal tool for your network security. It’s like a sentry which blocks malicious visitors from entering your network. Firewalls also block malicious content (malware) by denying access to compromised IP addresses.
Keep it updated at all times to prevent security lapses.
- Using a combination of both hardware and software-based firewalls is the best for securing networks.
- It’s advisable to install an internal firewall and an external one so that all malicious traffic requests are forbidden entry.
Some of the best names include Bitdefender Total Security, Avast Premium Security, Norton 360 Premium, etc.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
Additional security is always better because the digital market space involves a lot of risks. Hence, if you feel that a single security factor like a strong password is enough to secure your password, you are wrong.
Using dual protection in the form of multi-factor authentication makes it tough for hackers to access your computers and networks. In MFA, the user must submit two or more authentication certificates to access computers and networks.
Educate Staff on Network Security:
Oops!! Human error is accountable for 95% of security breaches.
- Employees failing to update software regularly
- Employees failing to detect phishing attacks or malware
- Employees failing to detect suspicious activity
- Employees failing to use strong passwords
All the above reasons pinpoint a basic problem: the lack of cybersecurity awareness training amongst employees.
Educate your employees by:
- Investing in cyber-security training
- Making them aware of cyber-threats and their solutions
- Training employees to perceive phishing attacks and other suspicious activities
Implement proper training and awareness strategies to educate your employees regularly and make your weakest links your strongest barriers in cyber-security.
Protect your Business Website:
Just like you install anti-virus software for protecting your software, firewalls for protecting your systems, use passwords for protecting your applications and data, buy an SSL certificate for protecting your business website. There are so many trusted ssl brands available like comodo ssl, rapidssl, geotrust ssl and many more.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate secures browser-server communications with robust 256-bit encryption security and 2048-bit data security standard to encrypt and decrypt data.
Tip: Install an SSL certificate from Cheap SSL Shop who has all the global brands to offer to your small business. Go ahead, grab one now.
Daily Data Backups:
All the network securities fail in case of unwanted circumstances like system crash or cyber-attack. Loss of data is more costly than monetary loss.
Secure Payment Gateways:
Payment gateways are essential to bloom business since they capture and transfer the customer details and payment to the intended recipient. This online service which is located on the e-commerce platform, helps in making and receiving payments.
Tip: Use of third-party payment processors like Square, PayPal, Stripe, etc., is also preferred.
Set up a VPN:
An additional factor that takes care of your data privacy is to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which secures your business by providing an encryption tunnel for your sensitive information.
While accessing your data from an unsecured network, a VPN provides an additional layer of security by veiling your IP address and encrypting login credentials and data. This helps in keeping your small business secure.
In the case of employees working in remote locations, non-usage of VPN (a virtual private network) may expose your business and data to cyber-criminals. The use of Remote Access VPN works the best in such cases.
Upgrade all Your Software Tools:
Many web owners are under the myth that once a software tool is installed in the system, it will be ever-lasting and does not need attention. But software tools also become outdated and vulnerable to cyber-attacks, thus posing a security threat.
Implement Mobile Device Security:
Many small businesses opt for BYOD (bring your device) policy to lessen their investment cost. These business owners allow their employees to use their own devices for accessing emails, networks, and systems.
Irrespective of a few advantages, the risk factors in implementing BYOD policy are:
- The device can be stolen, leading to loss of data
- Data can be compromised due to less security
The best plan is to invest in Mobile Device Management solutions that allow IT personnel to monitor, manage and secure mobile devices.
If your digital securities are in place, your business network is secured from cyber threats. Use MFA, educate your employees on cyber threats, limit access, keep your software updated, hire a security professional to audit your security, and last but not the least, invest in SSL certificate security. Be Secured, Be Safe!!