Businesses today have to deal with more potential problems than in any time in history. They are dealing with cost increases at every turn, personnel shortages, and a regulatory landscape that is always evolving. One of the biggest issues that can have a negative effect on a business is not having the processes and resources in place and working to secure its data and network. Today, we will look at five suggestions that can work to help your business keep its network and data more secure.
For a long time, every person on a business’ computing network had access to every file and application hosted on it. Over time, this caused a lot of problems with data security. There is absolutely no reason why every employee needs access to every file on your network. In fact, it can only end poorly. Partitioning certain parts of your network and implementing access controls to get the tools (and access to files) to the employees that need them, while also minimizing your risk by limiting access to some is a best practice that all organizations should employ.
Every single business has a myriad of third-party vendors that they use. While you may know your sales representatives well, you don’t know everyone that works with them. This presents significant potential risk. Nowadays, with data privacy laws beginning to pop up regularly, businesses that don’t have some semblance of access control for their vendors could stand to face civil or even criminal legal action, let alone compliance fines and reputational harm. If your vendors demand access to your network, you have the right to demand transparency in return. If they cannot (or won’t) offer that, you need to rethink your business agreement.
One of the most important parts of having a strong cybersecurity posture is implementing a comprehensive cybersecurity training regimen for your employees. This includes how to properly create passwords that protect their employee accounts, how to spot potential phishing messages, and why they need to be active participants in protecting your business’ network and data. Nowadays, a majority of outside threats are aimed at getting employees to grant access to accounts so that cybercriminals can plant malware, siphon data, and even steal money. The better prepared your employees are for this eventuality, the more secure your business’ network and data will be.
Another major avenue of attack is through vulnerabilities created by software that hasn’t been updated properly or timely patched. Most software your business relies on is constantly developed by the company you get it from and if you don’t consistently make an effort to keep every server, workstation, or networking device updated, new vulnerabilities will form. This can be a real problem for your business.
Finally, not every threat is going to be caught by security software and not every vulnerability is going to be consistently caught by infrequent penetration testing. You need to have a dedicated cybersecurity response process in place that will direct your organization in the right direction should there be a network breach. It takes an average of three-quarters of a year for most network breaches to be detected. By then, it is difficult to mitigate the damage done. A business’ reputational damage is significant if a data breach happens, and if you don’t have a plan of attack to get out in front of it by evaluating what happened, what was taken, and resolve it quickly, things will certainly get worse.
At Heart of Texas Network Consultants, we work with Central Texas businesses to help them secure their network and data, come up with policies, procedures, and training platforms to help mitigate the chances of a data breach, and manage the lingering negative effects that a lack of network security can have on your business. To have a conversation about how we can improve your business’ security posture, call us today at (254) 848-7100.
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