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5 Security Features that a Business’s Online Network Needs

5 Security Features that a Business’s Online Network Needs

If your business uses an online network, security is tremendously important. Whether you have individuals logging in from remote locations or a single, centralized one, without various security safeguards in place, hackers can access your network. They might take that opportunity to crash it, or they could steal sensitive information. When hackers get your client information, your customers will no longer trust you. There’s no faster way to lose a business relationship. Also, your workers’ information will likely be on your network, like their bank account router numbers if they have direct deposit. You don’t want hackers to get any of that, or they can use it for identity theft and other nefarious activities. Let’s look at five of the online security features that every business’s network should have.

Automated Software Updates

Aside from SOC 2 compliance, you should also have automatic software updates installed for your business’s platform. If you fail to have that:

  • You make it so much easier for hackers to get into your network
  • Your entire network can slow down, making it harder for your employees to do their work

Your IT department can handle this. They can set your software and drivers to update automatically, so every time a new iteration comes out, they won’t need to address that themselves. If you have a website content management system, anti-virus programs, inventory-tracking or financial software, all of that needs to be current. If you have older versions, it’s likely that cybercriminals will have studied it, so they’ll know where all the loopholes are. Remember that in some instances, there are no software updates for older hardware models. That’s why every few years, you’ll need to allocate money for new hardware, including brand-new computers. Don’t worry, though: you can write them off in many cases.

Wi-Fi Safeguards

Your Wi-Fi is a way that many criminals can access your business network. However, there are certain things you can do to prevent that. For example, you should:

You can password-protect your router, and you should also update that password frequently. It’s best if you use a random, computer-generated password. It would amaze you how many prominent companies use something like “password” to get into their network. You might also hide your network so that others cannot access it. You can set up your network so it does not broadcast its name. That will discourage all but the most tenacious hackers.

Get Yourself a VPN

A VPN, which stands for virtual private network, is one of the greatest anti-hacker weapons a company has. There are business VPNs that can conceal your network activity. You want one of these because even if you feel like your network is secure, your employees are likely sending and receiving information from outside of it. If you get a VPN provider, that allows you to route your data through their servers. That encrypts it. Think of all the data that you can encrypt. You can encrypt your passwords and browsing history. You can also encrypt inter-office communication that might include valuable trade secrets and proprietary information. Your employees might access your software and accounts when they are on the go. The VPN makes sure that no hackers can intercept it when that’s going on. If you have lots of employees working from home right now, this is a critical safeguard.

Two-Factor Authorization

You should also set up two-factor authorization. If you have a cloud database, a hacker can often access it if you have left outdated versions exposed or if you haven’t turned on authentication measures yet. Having a cloud-based system is excellent for several reasons, but there are potential infrastructure vulnerabilities, and having two-factor authorization can eliminate many of the worries associated with it.

Eliminate Human Error

Human error is not a security feature companies think about all the time, but it’s something you should take steps to counteract as well. Employee education is the best way to do that. Tell your employees to never leave their account open on a shared computer. They should also update their passwords regularly. They should never download any potentially malicious files, and they should watch out for phishing scams. If you set up all these features, then you should feel much better about your network. It’s difficult to stop all hacker attacks entirely, but with these measures in place, you should deter most of them.

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.