Small Business Brief

Technology & Software

7 Proven Ways to Improve Network Security

Do you own a small business? If so, you need to make network security a priority. 

Studies show that 43% of hackers target small businesses. The vast majority of these companies are unable to defend themselves, and end up having to pay an average of $200,000. 

Unless you want to fall victim to cybercriminals, you need a plan that will secure your network and protect your digital assets. 

Luckily, there are many simple steps you can take to secure your company’s digital front. Despite being easy and painless to implement, all of these can make a big difference in cybersecurity. 

Read on to learn about seven things you can do to improve network security. 

1. Only Use Strong Passwords

This might sound like a no-brainer, but many cybercriminals end up wreaking havoc on a business because somebody used a weak password. Save yourself the trouble later on by using only strong passwords. 

Whether it’s your company’s WiFi password or your Facebook account, use passwords that nobody could guess. Using a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters is the best way to do that. 

If you’re setting passwords on the web, Safari and Google Chrome can help you remember them. Consider using their suggested passwords, as these are difficult for hackers to crack into. 

2. Train Your Employees

You can have tighter network security than the US government, but if your employees don’t have the proper training, it’ll all be for nothing. All it takes is one person to compromise the entire network. 

Make sure to take the time to train your employees on all things cybersecurity. They should know which sites they can click on, and more importantly, which ones they’ll want to stay away from. 

You’ll also want to make sure that the work they do happens at the office or on a business device. Personal devices are much more difficult to keep track of. 

3. Check for Weaknesses

Many people don’t realize that hackers are continually evolving. As new technology comes out, hacking techniques change with the times. Unless you want your network to become compromised, you need to always check for weaknesses. 

Run some tests to see if you can find any vulnerabilities in your network. Look for points of entry into your system that are wider than you’d like them to be. Once you do that, get to work figuring out how you can close them.

In many cases, it can be something as simple as changing a password or adding an extra layer of encryption. 

4. Have a Network for Guests

It might cost you a bit more, but it’s worth having an extra network at the office for guests. That’s because it’s easy to keep track of your employees, but it’s much more challenging to keep track of office visitors. 

You never know who’s visiting your office or even who’s on the street trying to connect to your WiFi. Having a public option available and a secure connection for employees helps prevent people from accessing sensitive information. 

It also keeps the number of people using your internet connection to a minimum. If you ever experience bandwidth issues, having a separate guest network could be the solution, 

5. Keep Your Software up to Date

If you can’t remember the last time you installed a system update on your work computer, get to work installing one as soon as possible.

While the continual reminders can be annoying, updating your software is an important thing to do—and not just because it makes the notification disappear.

With each system update, developers close security loopholes that they found in the past. When you avoid updating your computer, you open yourself up to attack since these vulnerabilities remain present. 

6. Consider Using a VPN

If you’ve never used a VPN, it might be time to start. VPN stands for virtual private network, and it’s the key to a safe and secure network experience.

VPNs provide users with secure internet connections. They create an encrypted tunnel that all data traffic goes through. This protects your network and prevents other people from seeing things like your IP address. 

You can download a free VPN to get a sense of how it works. Ultimately, investing in a premium VPN might be worth it. The little money it costs each month will be well worth the peace of mind. 

7. Work With an IT Technician 

Let’s face it—many business owners don’t have time to worry about VPNs or separate wireless networks. If you fall into that category, you can still make your network security a priority by getting some help.

IT technicians are always able to help strengthen your company’s network security. Depending on the company you decide to work with, you can sign up for anything from consulting services to a complete network security plan. 

Do your research to ensure that you work with a reputable company that you trust. They’re going to be handling a lot of important data, and there’s no room for error. 

Network Security Made Easy

While network security is something that everyone has to worry about, businesses in particular need to be especially careful. All it takes is a single slip-up for your company to lose valuable data or money. 

To make your life easier, make sure to follow the tips mentioned in this guide. Remember that if you’re worried about security, there’s no shame in asking for help. A Desktop technician can help you rest easy by plugging any holes in your network. 

Are you looking for more IT support guides and tips? If so, spend some time checking out the rest of our site for more great content.