It doesn’t take an IT savvy person to tell you that every small business is constantly at risk for Cyber attacks. Almost all the big companies are protected against these threats at some level or the other. The big question however is ‘Is your small business network safe?’.
Most people make a big mistake when they believe that small businesses fall far below the radar of the hackers. This is not always true. Since the well established companies have good security measures in place, many hackers find it easier to target small businesses. All they need is a small loophole in your network security to exploit the information that they extricate from the company.
You can find any business use wifi or fiber broadband to stay connected with its customers or suppliers. So what can we do to stay safe?
1. Manage Your Wireless Access Points
The main trick is to pay attention to your wireless access points. Rather than leaving your wireless network wide open, ensure that you have an encryption in place. This will ensure that a hacker does not have access to your traffic or your company’s sensitive data.
Most people do not realize how important the service set identifier (SSID) is. By simply changing the name of the of your SSID to something different or common, you can hide the identity of your company network. That way a hacker will find it difficult to identify the network with that of your company.
Ensure that the you disable access to your network from any outside network. While you are at it also ensure that you change the default password. It may seem like a simple thing to do but it is really a life saving rule when it comes to protecting your network.
2. Firewalls Are Always Important!
Don’t believe anyone who tells you that firewalls are not important. Hackers scan networks for open ports and vulnerabilities. A firewall shuts down all such open ports. Never forget to log into your router and check if the firewall is active. Most business routers have an in built firewall, even if you don`t have additional firewall installed you can use one on your Operating System . So it is most likely that at least one firewall is in place.
Like your wireless system it is also good to check to see if your firewall has a password and ensure that you change the default password.
3. Scan Your Network
Scan your network and ensure that no ports are open. A repeated scanning process will help ensure that you are aware of the loopholes in your system and you can work toward obliterating them!
4. Keep Offsite Backups
Though almost everyone believes in backing up their data, keeping an offsite backup can help save you from ruin. This is especially helpful in protecting you from instances like theft and fire.
5. Disable file Print/ Sharing
This function though primarily important for laptop users comes with it’s own set of risks. Disabling the File Print/ sharing option helps to prevent accidental sharing of confidential and classified information and business papers and plans with everyone in the vicinity. Having a professionally written business papers and plans can be quite important and expensive so make sure you keep them safe from others.
6. Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Protecting your network is one thing but ensure that you extend this protection to your phone and to your employees who are remotely connected to the company network. The encrypted tunnel that a VPN uses ensures that you can shield all your employees by using the same firewall.
Protecting your network is always the smart thing to do. The amount of Cyber threats around the world are increasing every day. Be proactive and protect your company. All it takes is a little extra effort.