According to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, 90 percent of small businesses do not have adequate network security measures in place. This might explain why small businesses were targeted for 61 percent of data breaches in 2016. Unfortunately, 60 percent of those businesses went under within six months of an attack.
As a business owner or IT professional, it is pertinent that you recognize the potential for internal and external attacks to your network. Do not be part of the 90 percent of businesses that did not have any security measures in place before a cyber attack. Use the Small Business Network Security Checklist to protect your company from security breaches.
- Is Your Network Secure?
Is your company’s Wi-Fi network open? If so, ensure that it is password-protected. According to Intel, most IT-related breaches occur on unsecured networks. Securing your network, as well as the router itself, minimizes security breaches. Passwords should be changed every three months. Firewalls should also be installed on all devices that regularly access your network.
- Is Your Software Up-To-Date?
Maintaining the most updated versions of your company’s operating system and web browsers help reduce breaches. Outdated software gives hackers a free pass, but the latest system updates are continually increasing defense against malware, viruses and other forms of online threats. It's important to communicate this with employees and to set up a policy for updating systems.
- Are Your Employees Trained?
Network security goes beyond those who work in the IT department. An Internet and electronic communication policy can help you train your employees on network security and potential breaches.
It is equally advisable to lay out rules that prescribe online behavior, especially when it comes to how employees handle and protect clients’ information and other relevant data. Training your employees gives them the resources needed to identify phishing emails, malicious links and vulnerabilities in how information is being handled.
- How Frequent Are Audits Done?
To ensure that your IT systems are well-secured, it is imperative to undertake periodic audits. Information systems experts recommend that these audits be done at least every six months. Their objective should be to identify and seal any possible loopholes that might act as an entry point for hackers and other malicious individuals. Besides this, audits help you improve the network and ensure that all devices are upgraded to the latest software.
Are You Ready?
It's an unfortunate fact that hackers and other malicious individuals are increasingly targeting the network systems of small and medium enterprises. Breaches may either be accidental or intentional. Whichever the case, securing your network helps minimize breaches and resulting losses. Contact Hummingbird Networks to learn how you can secure your network!