Network Security is very important for any business because it helps them protect against cyber threats. You should have a comprehensive network security system for your organization, with different layers of protection to ensure safety from various categories of cyber-attacks.
Just installing firewalls or IPS devices in your network will not help you in preventing all possible attacks caused by hackers and malicious software like viruses, adware, spyware etc. Some of the top five & extremely important tips to ensure defense from cyber-attacks include:
1. Backup and Encryption of Business Critical Data
You should take regular backup of all business-critical data to avoid any impact caused by cyber-attacks. You should configure an automatic backup schedule that suits your business needs, by signing up with any of the cloud services providers who offer excellent security and backup with powerful resources and data redundancy.
Another important requirement to ensure safety from cyber attacks is encryption of all your business’ critical data. There are multiple ways to encrypt data ranging from simple play cipher algorithms to powerful 256-bit AES encryption algorithms.
Encryption is an important network security aspect for small businesses which will guarantee the safety of data stored in your cloud network and also data you are transmitting over the Internet. You should hire the best security consultant who can offer the best encryption solutions suitable for your company.
2. Using strong Authentication Systems
Authentication of users with strong passwords is very important to reduce the risk of unauthorized hackers getting access to the network and stealing confidential business data.
You should log in to sensitive accounts only through trusted authentication systems. There are different authentication protocols like RADIUS, TACACS+, and DIAMETER etc. which can be used to protect your network from unauthorized access.
Attackers can use malware for stealing passwords to such accounts or to record keystrokes that can lead to the breach of confidential data and identify thefts. You should also choose strong passwords to protect all your business-critical accounts. You should never disclose the passwords to anyone and should not write them down anywhere.
All sensitive accounts should necessitate users to answer a few security questions before getting access to it which is an old security technique but is still very effective. Otherwise, you can opt for 2-factor authentication for an additional layer of security.
3. Installing Strong Firewalls and Intrusion Prevents Systems in the Network
The most vulnerable spot in your network is where your internal systems communicate with the internet.
A firewall monitors all incoming traffic from the internet to your internal network and blocks any suspicious traffic based on the configured policies and filters.
It will typically reside in the perimeter of your network and protect against hackers reaching into your system and also safeguard against worms, viruses and other malicious software from reaching into your network.
It will not only monitor the incoming traffic, but also outgoing traffic generated by Trojans or viruses that could be transmitting sensitive information from your network to attackers present outside the network.
Similar to firewalls, Intrusion Prevention systems also monitor the network traffic and block unauthorized traffic based on applied filters.
4. Installing an Antivirus to Protect your Network from Malicious Software
There are various categories of malicious software such as viruses, adware, spyware, worms, trojan horses, ransomware etc. In order to protect your network from such harmful software, you should install the best antivirus application which will perform automatic scans periodically to check for security threats.
You should always keep antivirus software updated regularly with the latest virus signatures so that it can detect any new categories of virus threats easily.
5. Be Careful About Spams and Phishing Mails
Phishing is a type of attack used by hackers in which they pose as legitimate users and send emails with malicious links that can be used to steal important information from you.
Whenever you get any emails from strangers, you should question the legitimacy of such emails and should not click any links present within them.
You should always disable the option to download attachments automatically as they can contain viruses or links to malicious software.
Before you provide your credit card information or any other critical information online, ensure that website is using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) so that data is transmitted in an encrypted format.