Security & Technology Blog

Security Checklist: 9 Essential Tips for Network Security

Cybersecurity. It has a wide range of approaches and definitions. There isn’t just one way to protect your business and data. The best method is a multilayered approach, utilizing each strategy to bolster your defense. Each of the tips below equips businesses to apply the proper security measures that should be in place to protect your business.

1. Level up your passwords

Your network’s security is only as strong as its weakest password. Instead of relying on Password123, consider implementing a password manager and Multi-Factor or Two-Factor Authentication! Having a password manager allows you to use long, complex passwords without having to memorize them. Adding Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) creates an additional layer of security. Even if your password is compromised, 2FA can protect your account. This is one of the best security investments you can make.

2. Set up a firewall

Firewalls allow you to recognize threats and block them before it is too late. They are an alert to any suspicious activity and allow the threat to be isolated before it is too late. Firewalls are the security guard to your network traffic.

3. Install reliable antivirus protection

Antivirus protects against viruses and reinforces your security. It is yet another essential tool that should be added to your infrastructure. Here are a few benefits of implementing reliable antivirus:

  • Detects malware and malicious activity by scanning specific files and directories.
  • Removes malicious code and other infections.
  • Surveys the health of your computer with scheduled assessments.

4. Schedule Regular Backups & Updates

Cyber criminals are always adapting to safeguards, and how they attack. Testing and scheduling regular backups and updates are yet another way to protect from vulnerabilities that have surfaced. This is a best practice that also ensures you do not lose essential data. Your backup system will be a lifesaver – as long as it is used correctly!

5. Monitor All Company Devices

Do your employees know how to properly care for devices?  What attachments to download, how to store information, and keeping work data separate from personal files are just a few measures that should be in place. All devices should be regularly scanned and updated to check for possible malware. 

6. Network Access Control

Do you have a Network Access Control List (NACL)?   This allows you to manually select which users have access to specific IP Address. It is one safeguard that should not be ignored. Critical company data should not be at risk of a data breach. 

7. Recognize phishing emails

The most common form of cyberattacks are phishing scams. Have you ever been encouraged to download a form, click on a link, or share information for an email that you thought was from a trusted source?  Links and attachments are just another way cyber-attacks damage your data an infect your computer. The personal information gained from a phishing scam could be used for fraud or theft. 

Common characteristics of a phishing scam:

  • Sender’s name or email address is unfamiliar.
  • Lack of a personal greeting
  • Grammar or misspellings
  • Sender asks for personal information, like a password or credit card number.
  • Sender creates a sense of urgency to click a link or download an attachment.

Not all phishing scams will have incorrect grammar or other indicators listed above…moral of the story – do not let your guard down. If an email comes across that is asking for information, encouraging you to download or click on something a best practice is to follow up with that person/company over the phone or in person. Give them a call before clicking and sending data! 

8. Create an incident response plan

After 2020, companies are realizing they need to be prepared for anything. Create an incident response plan so you can respond quickly to challenging circumstances, minimize the damage, and protect your data. If an attack takes place, you need to have the ability to trace the attack and isolate any threat as quickly as possible. Retrieve the data through backups and remove the infected device from your network. After it is all said and done conduct a post-incident review to address and resolve vulnerability that caused the attack. Then update your cybersecurity policy and plan for the future. 

9. Educate, Educate, Educate

Last but not least, employee cybersecurity training and education should be an ongoing initiative. Hackers prey on uninformed network and email users, and a little bit of training can solve a lot of big issues. Employees are the biggest risk to your business’s cybersecurity but can also become your most treasured asset if properly educated. 

-Identify the risks – weak passwords, inappropriate device use, email phishing, etc…
-Create campaigns and training programs to target those risks.
-Through education you are reducing the business’s security risk and empowering your employees to be part of it. 

Here are some cyber stats that happen each day worldwide. (Source: TechJury)

  • 30,000 websites are hacked daily.
  • 64% of companies have experienced at least one form of a cyberattack.
  • Each second, 75 records go missing.
  • About 94% of all malware is spread through email.
  • An average of 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked daily on the internet.

Each one of these tips creates another layer of protection. Start implementing them today to help protect your business from cyberattacks!

Need help? Contact us today!