network security tips

The best ways to secure your small business network

Lots of SMB owners think that hackers won’t bother with targeting them because they don’t have such large amounts of sensitive data to protect.

However, that’s simply not true.

Many hackers intentionally target small businesses because they’re often inadequately protected and less likely to put up any resistance. That’s why it’s more important than it’s ever been to take your security seriously at any stage of your company’s growth.

We’ve built a list of the best ways to secure your network – check them out.

Recognize (and avoid) social engineering tactics

Hackers don’t necessarily need to find flaws in your system to steal your data.

Often, they use social engineering tactics to get login information from unsuspecting employees. Training your employees to recognize social engineering tricks will make it harder for criminals to trick them into supplying information.

To avoid social engineering tricks, you can teach your staff about the pillars of IT security which include:

  • How to recognize email phishing attempts
  • How to spot phishing attempts over the phone
  • How to choose secure passwords
  • How to safely dispose of confidential information

Monitor your network traffic for suspicious activity

Many companies that suffer cyberattacks don’t know that they’ve been compromised until it’s too late. Keeping track of your network’s traffic is the first step to spotting and neutralizing potential threats.

Make sure that you create a whitelist of devices that have already been approved to access your network and applications. Labeling these devices helps you keep track of who’s connecting with what and from where.

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Related: 6 IT security policies your business needs

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Keep devices and applications updated

Operating systems and software often contain vulnerabilities that hackers can use to access your network, files, and individual devices. As these vendors learn about vulnerabilities, they release patches that improve the security of their software.

Always download OS and application updates when they’re available. By staying updated, you’ll make it harder for hackers to access your network.

You also need to update your hardware to stay current with security trends. If your business uses old hardware, then you may have a weakness or incompatibility that you don’t know about.

Keep in mind that the hardware that you use now will become outdated. Wherever possible, automate your security policies to execute updates to equipment and devices to save you time, risk and worry.

Actively look for security gaps in your network

Your network and applications could have additional vulnerabilities that you don’t know about.

Vulnerability scanning is one of the most effective ways to find security holes and determine how far a hacker can dig into your system.

There are plenty of free and inexpensive vulnerability scanning tools that you can use to find weaknesses in your system.

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Want more great security advice?
Read our blog on email security tips that you can’t afford to ignore.

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