Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

Keep It On Lock: 7 Network Security Best Practices You Need to Know

On average, a website — even one with a lower amount of traffic — is subject to roughly 62 hacking attempts every single day. 

If your company’s website is hacked into, you risk opening yourself up to a lawsuit, irreparable damage to your reputation, the loss of customers, and even the potential of having to negotiate with hackers. 

We know that’s not a situation you want to end up in. 

That’s why now is the time to revaluate and upgrade your network security strategy to keep hackers and other cybersecurity issues at bay. 

In this post, we’ll fill you in on the security best practices you need to know about to protect yourself, your business, and your customers. 

1. Develop a Company Password Policy

The first thing you need to do is to establish a clear company password policy. 

We strongly suggest having your employee’s change their passwords at least once every other week. (You may have industry/government regulations in place regarding password changes.) 

Keep passwords random, and ensure they’re not related to personal information (it’s too easily guessed.)

Make sure that no one in your employ uses the same password for multiple accounts.

As of this writing, 3 out of 4 people do. This means that if a hacker can guess the password for one account, they’re highly likely to be able to gain access to everything. 

2. Always Run Updates

One of the most useful cybersecurity best practices is also one of the most frustrating: always remember to run updates. 

Yes, we know it can be annoying to drop what you’re doing to download updates and restart your computer. However, these updates were usually created to help you avoid new and dangerous security threats. 

If you don’t run these updates, you’re more than just vulnerable to a network attack — you’re highly likely to have a security incident. It’s not worth the risk.

Turn on auto-update features if you’re afraid you’ll forget.

3. Use Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software

In addition to running updates, you also want to make sure you invest in excellent anti-malware and anti-virus software when thinking of security best practices. 

This helps to lower your risk for phishing attacks, DDoS attacks, Keylogger issues, Trojan viruses, and much more. You don’t want a hacker to be able to download malware to your system and use it to steal client and company information. 

Learn more here about how the right tools and software can help protect your network from account takeovers and other serious risks.

4. Enable Data Encryption 

In addition to having a password policy, you should also encrypt your data. 

This is a bit like a password, but think of it as a shared password — kind of like sharing a house key. When you encrypt your data, only the people you choose to share your password/key with will be able to read/interpret the data you send them. 

To everyone else, including hackers, the information will just look like a random bunch of special characters and letters. 

5. Avoid Public WiFi

Everyone loves the convenience of using public WiFi — especially hackers. 

Think about it. If you don’t even have to enter a password to connect to a network, how is your data and activity being protected at all? It’s quite possible for the guy sitting across from you at the coffee shop to be stealing your information. 

This means they’ll have access to your passwords, financial information, client personal data, and much more. 

Let your staff know that it’s absolutely against company rules to use public WiFi.

If they do need to connect to the Internet outside of the office, tell them that they should only do so on their private home networks. However, the more things you’re able to keep in-office only, the more secure your data will be. 

6. Use SSL Certification

Enabling SSL Certification is one of the most important things you need to do to protect both your website and your website visitors. 

If your website address begins with “HTTP” and not “HTTPS,” you do not currently have SSL certification enabled. Customers will be quite reluctant to use and buy things from your website — and in some cases, your site may not even load on their browsers. 

It encrypts data, provides a secure site connection, and much more. 

7. Hire a Professional IT Service

If you truly want the best network security, you should hire an IT firm for your business. 

These professionals will be able to monitor your network for suspicious activity, keep an eye out for troubling log-in attempts, and update your software. They also back up your data at least hourly, and can help you to restore everything in the event of a hack or data loss. 

Plus, they’ll also be able to give you troubleshooting advice if you’re struggling with a program. In the end, having expert IT support just makes it possible for you to worry less. 

Follow These Security Best Practices to Protect Your Business

You’ve worked incredibly hard to make your business a success. 

Don’t let a hacker suddenly take it all away. Instead, follow the security best practices outlined in this post. 

Need to know more about how you can protect your website from hackers? Want to know the ins and outs of cloud-based software and security? Just curious about the most effective ways to store your physical files? 

No matter what kind of small business advice you need, our blog is dedicated to making sure you get the very best. 

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