Having a secure network is vital to your businesses cyber defence strategy. Here are 10 ways to ensure that your network is protected.
1. Use a Firewall
A strong firewall is an important factor in cyber defence. A firewall is a network security device which monitors your network traffic and protects it from viruses and malicious code. It can also stop users from accessing certain external sites.
2. Update Passwords Frequently
Your company should have an IT policy which requires strong, complex passwords. This means passwords of at least eight characters with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Users should be required to change their password after a certain period of time and previous passwords should not be re-used. Employees should be reminded never to write down their passwords and not to share them with anyone else.
3. Maintain Anti-Virus Software
Installing anti-virus software is a non-negotiable when it comes to defending your network. However, many businesses fail to keep their anti-virus software updated which can be the cause of cyber-attacks. Hackers are becoming smarter every day, finding new ways to violate your network and deploy viruses. Keeping your anti-virus software updated is critical to ensuring that you have the best technology protecting your business.
4. Train Employees
One of the most important aspects of keeping your business safe is empowering your employees to use technology safely. Train them in company security policy; for example, creating strong passwords and changing them every 30 days; being aware of potential malicious links that they receive through email or reminding them of procedures for encrypting personal data.
5. Use Encryption on Wireless Access Points
An open wireless network is an invitation to hackers. Encrypting your wireless networks is the most effective way to secure your network and protect the sensitive information and data being handled.
6. Hide Your SSID
Your routers should all have obscure names that doesn’t identify them or which area they service. Do not put any real information that makes it clear who the router belongs to; i.e. don’t use the name of your business or the product name as this provides potential intruders with information.
7. Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can add an extra layer of security to your network. It works by encrypting your IP address and data in your network. Having a VPN also reduces the risk of being hacked when an employee is working remotely.
8. Regular Backups
Backing up your data in multiple places is crucial. If your business has already migrated to the cloud, backing up your data is not an onerous task. However, the cloud is still vulnerable to data loss or hacking so it is a good idea to have a local backup. The strongest protection comes from following the 3-2-1 rule: keep at least 3 copies of your data, store 2 backup copies on different storage media, with 1 of them being offsite.
9. Use SSL Certificates
An SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) creates an encrypted, secure link between a browser and a web server. It helps prevent information such as credit card details and residential addresses being stolen. An SSL certificate is also required for CCPA compliance.
10. Limit Administrative Privileges
Not every employee needs to have access to all the information and data your business stores. The fewer people who have access to sensitive information, the smaller the risk of a data breach.
Cardonet can provide you with a comprehensive range of cyber security services to help you stay secure and, at the same time, help you demonstrate compliance with industry and regulatory standards. To find out more about our Cyber Security Services, please click here.
If you are concerned about cyber-attacks and how it could affect your business, call us on +44 203 034 2244 or +1 323 984 8908 Alternately, you can contact us online. We will be happy to help you overcome your IT challenges. Cardonet have been working with businesses for the past twenty years to help them overcome their technological challenges. We have engineering bases in the United Kingdom, Europe and Southern California and our group of highly experienced engineers are available 24/7 to assist and ensure that your IT infrastructure is secure and running seamlessly.