Top Tips to Improve Network Security in Your Small Business

No matter the industry, no matter the niche, every company uses digital products and services nowadays, and every company uses the web on a daily basis.

The internet can be a scary place if you consider the fact that hackers, spammers, and scammers are becoming more proficient in their vocation with each passing year, and the fact that they are using highly sophisticated tools to extract important business data from unwitting employees and data stores with poor security systems.

Needless to say, every startup that wants to succeed over the long term has to priorities network security in this digital day and age.

To elevate the security of your internal network and improve cyber security across the board, you will need to combine employee education with cyber security tools and software, all the while staying on top of the latest trends in the field in order to stay one step ahead of every potential cyber-attack. With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at the top tips that will improve the network security in your business.

Combine software and hardware firewalls

First things first, cyber security starts with your firewall. You might think that installing a software firewall on every device in your company is enough to protect your network, but in reality, software firewalls only offer part of the solution. Many a time, an out-of-the-box software firewall will not provide you with the features you need to protect your devices, and it will definitely fail to safeguard your network on all fronts. This is why you should integrate a hardware firewall as well, in order to safeguard your network as a whole.

Some of the benefits of hardware firewalls include:

  • Increased speed. A hardware firewall has faster response times and is able to filter through high traffic volumes.
  • Elevated security. Given the fact that a hardware firewall is a physical device with its own operating system, it is able to protect every device connected to the network at the same time.
  • No network interference. A hardware firewall is an independent system, so it doesn’t slow down your network or other devices, and its performance is not diminished no matter how many devices are using the network.

Integrate a reliable web filtering tool

Before we get into the importance of employee education, we have to accentuate the fact that you should never leave your employees to their own devices, no matter how well-trained or educated they might be in the realm of cyber security. One of the reasons why some small businesses fail is because they fail to retain full control of their internal network, which creates numerous loopholes and risks that scammers and hackers can exploit with ease.

This is why integrating a web filtering solution is a wise choice, as it allows you to inspect all traffic and identify traffic sources, restrict access to non-work-related websites, and maximize bandwidth usages, among other features. In turn, this tool will help keep your business, your employees, and your data safe. 

Focus on employee training and education

Of course, one of the most important steps every business needs to take in order to elevate cyber security is to focus on employee training and education. Whether you are running your business from one location or if you have remote employees connecting to your network from various IP addresses, it’s imperative that everyone understands the basics of cyber security. That said, knowing the basics might not be enough in this day and age.

Nowadays, business leaders are increasingly investing in advanced training for their staff and will often enroll their IT team members into a cyber security course online that will provide them with a comprehensive training and education module to help them become fully-fledged cyber security experts. These experts can then conduct internal workshops for the rest of the employee collective, and thus create a culture of data security that will safeguard your business.

Take password management seriously

One of the key talking points of your cyber security workshops should be password management. Now, while it is important for your employees to know how to create strong passwords and how to keep them safe, it’s also important to note that you can never truly delegate this task to your employees. At least not fully. 

You always have to retain some form of password control and oversight, which is why it pays to implement a reliable password management tool. This is one of those SaaS tools that can be a game-changer, one that will help your employees generate truly randomized strings of letters and special characters, and most importantly keep these passwords safe.

Conduct regular security testing

Last but not least, always remember that improving network security is a process. The only way your network can truly be safe is if you conduct regular tests, probe your network for weaknesses, and if you stay on top of the latest cybersecurity trends so that you can assume a proactive approach. This will help you improve your security measures on a moment’s notice and optimize all of your tools for maximum efficiency.

Wrapping up

In a digital business world, improving cybersecurity should be one of your top priorities. Use these tips to elevate the security of your network and safeguard your brand’s reputation and image.