5 Network Security Mistakes You Should Avoid
Risk is considered a regular part of running a business, both in a digital sense and a brick-and-mortar and office-based sense. However, taking risks shouldn’t be part of your cybersecurity measures, or any security strategy while you’re at it. Letting your customers know that there’s even the slightest hint of risk when interacting with your business online, and all you’ll see is a cartoonish outline of them running away towards your competition. To ensure that much-needed business-wide security for all of your communications and exchanges, you need to keep your network safe and properly maintained.
It’s also important to note that mistakes are as integral as risk when it comes to running a business. You’ll easily misjudge the perfect posting time on your Facebook page and lose views on your latest video, or you’ll make a typo on your landing page. All perfectly acceptable. It’s in the realm of cybersecurity that you cannot afford to make mistakes. They can cost you not just data and customer info, but they can ruin your hard-earned business image. To protect it, you need to keep your business network safe by avoiding the following mistakes.
No unified security policy
Do your employees know what is at stake and what their roles are in keeping your network safe? Do your IT experts have access to the necessary software and hardware to do their jobs properly and keep your network protected? What about handling security credentials and ensuring data encryption across the board?
Every single behavior in your business can have a repercussion unless you have a clearly communicated and transparent security policy that keeps your employees informed. Plus, such a policy allows you to ensure compliance, which further makes your business a legally protected entity in case a breach does occur.
Lack of security measures
Unless you’re a versed cybersecurity expert, you might believe that a strong network password and a few security software solutions will do the trick. Alas, with growing cybersecurity threats arising from more experienced hackers, you need to up the ante, as well. Businesses of all shapes and sizes require comprehensive computer network security solutions that include everything from network access management to firewall platforms.
A unified security system will serve as the main defense mechanism for all security threats inside and out. Simply put, the security system will recognize and prevent employees from trying to access unauthorized websites via your network, and it will prevent external parties from penetrating your systems. Malware and ransomware protection should also be part of your strategy, so make sure that your software is always up to date and properly maintained by your expert staff.
Improper password management
Such a simple habit, yet it can have such a profound impact on the outcome of all of your security measures. One hacked employee account on a single software platform, and any decent hacker with the right tools can dig their way to your most sensitive customer data and jeopardize the stability and security of your entire network.
Some of the common password management mistakes include creating passwords that are too simple, recycling passwords, using the same one on multiple platforms, etc. You might be tempted to resort to these practices, as all those passwords can be difficult to remember. You might also try writing down your passwords or saving them on your browser, but this could all seriously hurt your cybersecurity. Instead, if your employees have a hard time remembering and creating impenetrable passwords for a multitude of accounts, you should invest in a password manager that will serve as a secure vault and a password generator for your employees.
Lack of employee training
Your employees are the building blocks of your organization, but they are also your greatest source of risk. Their behavior will define how well your company copes with cyber-threats, because it’s their behavior that can prevent data breaches and security weak links in your systems. How? Simply by abiding by those core cybersecurity principles that you teach them from day one.
That, however, implies that you do have a security curriculum that’s regularly updated so that your teams can stay on top of the latest trends in cybersecurity. Annual training and seminars will help build a culture based on cybersecurity within your company, and your employees will recognize their share of responsibility to protect your network and business integrity.
Lack of access regulation
Most business owners already have a decent handle on managing their router and basic network management principles to ensure greater security. However, when you’re a growing company and more employees join your ranks regularly, some of them leaving your brand to take on a new challenge, you need to have a strict access control policy. After all, your network shouldn’t be open to anyone who waltzes into your office, and your employees should know how to use your network securely.
That means that different levels of network access and management should be handled properly. Grant admin access only to a handful of people who are in charge of your cybersecurity and IT. Other than that, teach your employees not to use your business network to log into their personal social media accounts, or to share the credentials with anyone who’s not your employee.
Running a business on a dedicated network with a trusted provider makes for a solid foundation for all of your security practices in the future. However, your network provider can only do so much to protect your data and your employee accounts, especially once you start using complex software systems and cloud storage solutions. That said, how you tackle network security as a business entity can make all the difference in the world to build up your reputation, protect your employees and customers, and set the stage for all future growth. That’s why it’s essential to have a unified cybersecurity policy, use reliable network security solutions and password management tools, as well as to educate your employees and offer training that will help you build a culture based on cybersecurity within your company.