Small Business Network Security 101: A Guide For Online Protection

small business network security
Did you know that 43% of cyberattacks are on small businesses? Many small business owners mistakenly think that online criminals go for bigger fish. And by the time they realize they’re a target too, it’s too late. Cybersecurity is extremely important for businesses of all sizes, as well as personal accounts. Without a good plan in place, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to hackers.
What’s your current network security like? Does it need serious upgrading? Then you need to keep reading. Here’s a guide to small business network security 101 so you know how to keep your investment safe and secure.

Have Firewalls On At All Times

Firewalls are a must when it comes to small business network security. This is basically the gatekeeper of your network traffic.
A firewall monitors the data that comes into your network. There are certain filters in place, and if the data doesn’t fit the criteria (is suspicious), then it’s not allowed into your network.
As you can see, a properly managed firewall can keep cybercriminals out! But the beauty is, they don’t just do that with outbound traffic. If there’s somehow been a malicious program installed on a device, firewalls can also stop it from sending your sensitive data out to the hacker.

Install Robust Antivirus Software

Another basic “must” you should have for your company devices is robust antivirus software. You might want to save some money and go with a free program. However, these often aren’t top of the line, and worse yet, might be malware themselves.
Do yourself a favor and invest in a reputable program. Paying a little bit now will save you from paying significantly more in the future, considering that most small businesses have to close within a year of a successful hack. That’s just how financially devastating a cyberattack can be!

Keep Programs Updated

Software providers will usually come out with regular updates and patches. Make sure that both you and your employees install these promptly.
These will eliminate any current vulnerabilities with the programs, so it’s imperative that you don’t delay. Every minute that goes by without installing these updates is another minute a cybercriminal can penetrate your network.

Back Up Your Data

Something that’s on the rise is called “ransomware”. This is where a cyberattack locks up your device and the fraudster promises to give you access back after you pay them some sum of Bitcoin, as it’s an anonymous transaction that makes it tough to trace who the recipient is.
The problem with paying the ransom is that there’s no guarantee you’ll regain access to your device after. So not only can you lose out on your data, but also a hefty sum of money. You can prevent that from happening by not clicking on or downloading suspicious things. However, we all make mistakes.
By backing up your data, you’ll mitigate the havoc ransomware can wreak. If your computer gets locked up from ransomware, simply wipe the device and restart from your last backup. You might lose a little bit of current data, but it’s certainly better than losing everything!
Plus, you never know if a natural disaster will happen. A flood, fire, or theft can render your devices either damaged or gone. When you have a backup (or two), you’ll have better peace of mind knowing you can pick back up with business, regardless of what’s happened.

Get Workplace Cybersecurity Training

Your staff is the front line when it comes to cybersecurity. While you definitely should have the best in technology for firewalls and antivirus software, you should consider those your backup plans. If your employees know what to look for, then they won’t get to the point where your firewall and antivirus need to stop malicious files.

It can be beneficial to hire someone to be your chief security officer (CSO). They can stay on top of everything that’s happening in the online world. Then, they can provide training and testing to your staff so they know all the signs of cyberattacks.

Work With A Cybersecurity Expert

Cybersecurity experts will know exactly what it takes to keep your network and data secure. Not only that, but they can offer round-the-clock support. So if anything ever goes wrong, you don’t have to wait for long to get it resolved.
It’s the job of these professionals to stay up-to-date on the latest that’s happening in IT. They can help you back up your data, put in business disruption avoidance and disaster prevention measures, and more.
These experts can work hand-in-hand with your CSO to upgrade your network security. In the end, they’ll work synergetically to fortify your network so it’s next to impossible for cybercriminals to get through!

Create a Crisis Management Plan

No matter how cautious you are, there’s always the possibility of an attack being successful. Because of this, you need to be prepared.
It’s never too late to create a crisis management plan. Sit down and form a crisis response team so your employees know exactly who to go to should things go wrong. Every second counts, so the clearer your process is, the better chance your company stands.
With this response team, go over what needs to be done and who is responsible for those tasks. It can be helpful to come up with a flowchart that every employee has access to so they know what steps they need to take.

Follow This Small Business Network Security 101 Guide

This small business network security 101 guide has outlined all the important steps you need to take to keep your company safe.
Of course, it might be easier said than done. It can be a lot more effective for you to enlist the help of IT professionals, as they can take charge and give you the best online protection possible. Leave network security to the pros!
Do you need help with your company’s network security? Then get in touch with us today. We can help with all your small business network security needs!