A technology infrastructure is a major part of a company’s operations. Workflows are often cloud based and business networks are not only isolated to a brick and mortar office. They often extend to employee homes. 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing guidelines, many businesses in Connecticut and the rest of the country are using a remote workforce. This adds another facet to ensuring good network security.

Your network includes all data traffic going in and out of your business. Networks also are made up of the devices transmitting and receiving that data, applications being used online and both local and wireless network connections.

Securing that network is vital to ensuring the health and well-being of your company.

What types of threats do business networks face?

  • 88% of organizations around the world experienced targeted phishing attacks in 2019.
  • By the end of 2019, the average ransomware payment demand increased 104% to over $84,000.
  • During the first three months of March, phishing attacks increased 667% due to the pandemic.
  • The average cost of a data breach is $150 per each lost/compromised record, and breaches average 25,575 records.

The number of moving parts to a business network means that several security layers need to be used. The good news is that if you take the steps that you should to deploy cybersecurity best practices, you can protect yourself from a majority of threats.

80% of data breaches can be stopped by adopting cybersecurity best practices.

How Can I Secure My Network Properly?

Here at Sound Computers, we help CT businesses with a holistic solution to network security. It includes protections for remote connections, network monitoring, software like VoIP phones and more.

Here are some of the most important steps you should take to achieve network security at your business:

Secure Network Access with a Next-Gen Firewall

A firewall acts as a sentry to your business network. It monitors all network traffic for any threats and can stop things like malware, viruses and other network attacks.

Next-gen firewalls include AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning that allow them to catch what are known as zero-day threats. These are malicious threats that are so new that they have not been cataloged in a threat database yet. Behavior monitoring is used to detect and stop them.

Use Strong User Authentication 

Weak or stolen passwords is one of the main causes of data breaches. Multiple phishing campaigns go out daily with the intent of stealing user login passwords. 

Using strong authentication means ensuring that users are employing strong and unique passwords for every login. The use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is also key, as it can stop 99.9% of fraudulent sign-in attempts. 

Use MFA to secure:

  • Cloud applications
  • Remote network connections
  • Website logins
  • Mobile app logins
  • Bank, PayPal, and other financial accounts

Keep Operating Systems, Software & Firmware Updated

Patch and update management is another vital component to ensuring sound network security. You want to have a plan in place that keeps all computers, mobile devices and hardware (like a router or wireless printer) updated.

Those updates include vital security patches that fix newly discovered vulnerabilities in software that hackers can use to compromise a system.

Use a VPN for Remote Workers

Employees that are connecting to your business apps or logging in remotely to your server from another network can pose a risk. Whether they are using a home network while working remotely or on the road and using free Wi-Fi, you want to ensure your business data is not left vulnerable due to a wireless connection that is not secure.

Having all of your remote and mobile employees using a business VPN (virtual private network) makes sure that traffic is encrypted and secured even if the Wi-Fi network they are using is not.

Use an Advanced Antivirus/Anti-Malware Application

There are new forms of malware being created all the time so you want an advanced antivirus/anti-malware program that can detect the newest threats.

This involves tools like behavior monitoring to look for any strange system behavior as well as a technique known as “sandboxing” which puts a suspicious file into a simulated environment to observe the reaction.

All devices should be protected with an advanced antivirus application.

Train Your Employees Regularly

An important part of network security is keeping your users well trained on cybersecurity. Ongoing training is vital to ensure that users are made aware of the newest threats and how to spot them as well as any new company data security policies.

Training should include topics such as:

  • How to spot phishing 
  • New threats being sent out by scammers
  • What to do if they receive a suspicious email or text
  • Proper sensitive document handling procedures
  • Company policies for password security
  • Physical device security (i.e. screen locks, etc.)
  • How to handle home network security when telecommuting

Use Data Loss Prevention Tactics

A majority of the cost when it comes to things like ransomware infections and data breaches involves loss of company files. 

The best way to prevent data loss is to have a reliable backup and recovery solution in place to ensure all data from employee devices is being saved properly in case it needs to be restored later.

Data loss prevention also includes using tools in software such as Office 365 that allow you to tag sensitive documents and automatically apply security polices such as “do not copy” or “do not send outside the company.”

Ensure Your Network is Secure & Protected

The Sound Computers team has over 20 years of combined technology experience. We can help your business ensure your network layers are in place and your company is protected.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.

April 27, 2020
Steven Nuhn