5 Tips for Your Company to Improve Network Security

Improving network security should be one of the top priorities for every growth-oriented company nowadays, no matter if you’re running a small business or a global venture, simply because the cybersecurity risks and threats continue to rise with each passing year. Now that online hackers and scammers are using more sophisticated tools to breach corporate IT infrastructures and even the latest firewalls, it’s imperative that you assume a proactive approach and try to always stay one step ahead of the game in order to avoid a data breach.

After all, it only takes a single successful cyberattack or a single act of social engineering to work for your brand’s reputation to get ruined, possibly for good. Add to that, the costs of getting back on your feet after a data breach can be too much for your budget to bear. Your best bet is to try to avoid this scenario, so today we’ll be taking a look at the best solutions that will improve your company’s network security.

It all starts with the firewall

First things first, understand that your firewall is your first line of defense that the hackers are going to probe for weaknesses on a regular basis, so it’s important that you try to strengthen your firewall(s) as much as possible. You might think that a software firewall is all you need to prevent malware from entering your system, and indeed, every device in your company that is connected to the web needs to have a software firewall installed. That said, make sure that every firewall is optimized for the device in question, and make sure to update it on a regular basis.

Yet, software firewalls aren’t enough to safeguard your network as a whole, which is why you should consider integrating a hardware firewall as well. This is a physical device that acts as a barrier and a gatekeeper for your entire network and can safeguard all of the devices that are hooked up to the web in your office. Lastly, make sure that your cloud provider is always implementing new cyber security measures and that they are updating their security systems regularly.

Run frequent security tests

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t sit and wait around for scammers and hackers to try to probe your security measures, instead, you should keep up with your proactive approach and regularly test your firewalls and other security systems. There are IT and cybersecurity specialists out there that specialize in cybersecurity testing, so you can hire them as full-time employees, or you can even outsource this task to a company that provides cybersecurity solutions to their clients.

Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to employ the latest probing mechanisms that will really put your cybersecurity measures to the test, and even make them crack under pressure so that you can improve and strengthen them as needed. Even if the tests show that your cybersecurity system is flawless, that still doesn’t mean that it won’t become vulnerable tomorrow, so be sure to keep testing.

Educate and train your IT staff

You might have a dedicated IT staff at your disposal that’s tasked with system maintenance and upkeep, but how many of your IT employees are actually certified cybersecurity experts that have the knowledge and the expertise to fend off cyber attacks? It’s important to have a trained professional at your disposal, so make sure to have your IT experts take a cyber security course online that will provide them with all of the training they need to keep your data stores safe, implement and innovate new solutions, and run an efficient IT infrastructure.

It’s important that your IT team receives the proper certifications that will allow them to work in numerous network types and IT environments, however, it’s best to conduct this training online so that they can improve their skills seamlessly and without taking time off. This will add value to your IT department and prevent extraneous financial expenditure.

Introduce a web filtering solution

Another powerful solution you need to include is to integrate a web filtering tool that will allow you to manage your company’s network across the board. Web filtering tools help keep your network safe by controlling all inbound and outbound network traffic, while at the same time giving your full control of the network itself, which means that you can even restrict access to all non-work-related websites.

You can also use the tool to optimize your bandwidth usage and inspect all traffic thoroughly, while at the same time monitoring communication to spot social engineering even if it slips past your employees. This way, your IT experts will have a firmer grasp on your entire business network and will be able to act proactively to stop a potential cyber attack in its tracks.

Improve password strength

One of the most obvious changes you need to make is to update your password policy. Too often do business leaders simply let their employees make their own account passwords, but that creates too many cybersecurity risks and invites hackers to try and breach your data center. Remember, you mustn’t leave such an important task to your employees because their choices will be far too predictable.

Instead, be sure to start using a reliable password management tool that will generate truly randomized strings of letters, numbers, and special characters that will make it impossible to crack. While you’re at it, make sure to update the passwords regularly, and don’t forget to delete old employee accounts as soon as someone leaves your company in order to close every back door to your data center.

Wrapping up

Elevating cybersecurity should be one of the most important objectives for every growth-oriented company, no matter the size of business or the industry you operate in. With these cybersecurity measures in mind, go ahead and create a more robust IT infrastructure that will keep your company out of harm’s way, and safeguard your brand’s reputation.

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