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7 ways to make your business network more secure

July 24, 2018    |    Cyber Security    |    Lauren Elkins

Smart home devices have expanded the home security industry, allowing homeowners to do more than lock their windows and doors. A home owner who wants to cover all of the bases could include a whole list of features: smart locks, door and window sensors, motion sensors, security cameras, connected smoke and CO detectors, leak sensors and motion lights.

Businesses can also reap the benefits of an expanded network of security devices, providing more choices and lowering costs. For many, it’s a must-have to protect their physical locations.

Is your cyber security protection plan as comprehensive as a full home or business security system? Here are 7 areas you should make sure you’re covering and protecting.

1. Using VPN. Keep your internet connection private and secure by using a VPN such as Private Tunnel. Our fast and secure VPN service protects your path across the internet and works seamlessly across all devices. By using a VPN, your internet is private, from your IP address to other sensitive information. Private Tunnel uses the worldwide standard in encryption, AES, which is virtually uncrackable. And for small businesses where many employees work remotely, VPN is a must-have. When you connect to a hot spot at your favorite coffee shop or co-working space, you put yourself at risk on the open network. With VPN your traffic is encrypted, no matter who operates the public Wi-Fi so you and your employees will be secure.

2. Set a regular schedule for updating router firmware. Your router has its own operating system designed specifically for it (unless you’ve set up the open source firmware DD-WRT or similar). This OS is the firmware. The router manufacturer will provide firmware updates for the specific makes and models of routers and publish them out on their websites or through the router’s administrative console. When was the last time you checked the version of your router? When did you last update? Some manufacturers allow setting up automatic updates. Others have a feature from the router console to “check for updates.” Keeping your firmware updated means you’re getting the latest security updates, which is a must have for your cyber security plan.

3. Monitor for intrusions. Similar to security cameras and door sensors for home security, you need monitoring on your networks for intruders. Small and mid-sized businesses can’t operate under the assumption that they’re too small to be targets of cyber criminals. All companies are vulnerable. Options are available from open source to vendor provider solutions. An intrusion detection system (IDS) proactively flags threats hitting your network to help you catch and stop botnets, malware, worms and Trojans.

4. Set up a web application firewall (WAF). Small business have so much more to cover with the online marketplace than owners did ten years ago: social media platforms, online reviews, flexible website design for many different devices, SEO and a website security plan. How are you monitoring your online presence? A WAF monitors the traffic in and out of your website, watching for hackers, protecting against vulnerabilities and shutting down possible DDoS attacks.

5. Secure your Wi-Fi. Think of your company’s Wi-Fi like your windows in your home, with lots of possible entries spread throughout the property. It would be best to lock those up and make sure you are securing your internet connections. Password protect the router and change it from the default of “admin.” You may consider setting up your secured Wi-Fi so that the router doesn’t broadcast the name. For guests, provide them with a separate guest network and define a connection policy for how you grant that access.

6. Create a cyber-safe culture. Teach your employees that data protection is part of their job description! Get buy in from them on upping their game in regards to using strong and unique passwords, not clicking on questionable links and following a BYOD policy so unsafe devices aren’t connected to the business network. Interactive training and events are better than simply blasting out an email to everyone. Get them involved!

7. Regularly scheduled assessments. Conduct a thorough assessment of your network, document it and flag any security vulnerabilities. Think of it like a virtual tour where you’re “walking” around and looking for open windows, unlocked doors, etc. Do it often and include testing of your current policies to make sure things are locked and backups are working.

Instilling a company culture of cyber safety is a must. Your business needs to be physically and virtually secure. Regularly revisit these 7 tips. Keep your business network secure.

Better Safe Than Sorry