Cyber attacks cost businesses time, money, and productivity. Data loss compromises a company’s reputation and may even cost you customers. Network security is crucial for protecting data and keeping your infrastructure safe from cyber crime, but what are the best ways to bolster your network security?

We’ve compiled our top 9 tips below.

Why good security practices are so important

The importance of keeping your network safe can’t be overstated. An unprotected network is vulnerable to hackers and to data loss, and cyber criminals can infect your infrastructure with malicious malware and ransomware.

  • A corrupted network leads to downtime and wasted resources
  • Time spent investigating network vulnerabilities is better spent running the business
  • Lost or stolen data damages a company’s reputation
  • Replacing and repairing damaged infrastructure and network systems is expensive

So, what can you do right now to improve your network security?

1: Devise a security plan

Have a contingencyplan in place so that, if there’s a data breach or the network’s compromised, you know precisely what to do and how to implement your actions. This saves time and money, and it also keeps your mind focused on disaster prevention. Be aware of network security risks and understand how to mitigate losses at the outset.

2: Write a security policy

Alongside your contingency plan, write out a security policy. This tells everyone what their IT responsibilities are, who controls the network security, and who employees can approach with network concerns. Everyone in your organization should know what part they play in your security goals.

3: Set up separate guest and business networks

It’s handy for guests to access the internet on your premises, but they shouldn’t be on the same network as personnel.Set up two separate networks — a public guest network, and a private network — to make it harder for outsiders to infiltrate the business and potentially access private files.

4: Set up administrative privileges

A really straightforward way to make your network safer is to set updifferent levels of security clearance. Only select personnel should ever be able to install new programs or make system changes, for example. Adjust the computer privileges across your organization to reflect what an employee should and shouldn’t be allowed access to.

5: Use strong passwords

A password should not be easy to guess. Make sure passwords include lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t let employees share passwords, and encourage everyone to keep their passwords safe.

If you’re unclear about how to pick a good password, a password manager can generate strong passwords for you. Change passwords frequently to be extra safe — there’s always the chance that someone’s hacked the password even if they haven’t accessed protected data yet.

6: Take care with attachments

It’s good practice to delete attachments unopened and unread unless they come from a trusted source. Attachments can contain viruses and other malicious software, and so they’re a common way for hackers to infect computers.

Make sure thatemployees know what attachments they shouldn’t open, and who they can turn to if they have concerns.

7: Keep software updated

Install the latest security and software updates when they’re available. Thesepatches protect your programs against new and emerging threats, and they keep your system running smoothly. Antivirus and cyber security packages are especially important, and these should be updated regularly.

8: Clean up inactive accounts

If an employee leaves the business, delete their IT accounts. Hackers sometimesexploit these accounts to access privileged information. Deleting inactive accounts is a quick and easy step any business can take today to improve their network security.

9: Employ specialists

Specialist ITproviders can devise network security solutions entirely tailored to your business needs. They save you the trouble of managing network security so you can focus on running your business.

Want to learn more about how to manage your network securely, or about any of the services we offer?Get in touch with our team today.