Nearly every day, there are news reports that highlight the vulnerability of computers with regard to hacking attempts and data theft. The impacted companies aren’t usually small businesses, in fact, they’re often large corporations that serve thousands of customers. Business professionals must examine these news stories and correlate them to potential problems at their facilities.
The threats are real and unexpected in today’s fast-paced world. If you’re wary of your computer network’s vulnerability to hacking, then try these best practices to protect your corporate-network security.
Implementing Security Hierarchies
Each company has its own hierarchy of employees. From receptionists to executive VPs, these employees all offer their talents to the collective business. They don’t require the same security clearances, however.
To protect your business from computer vulnerabilities, follow the recommended practices by the experts. Create security limitations for each employee type, with specific access points, so you’ll be able to narrow down a breach if it ever occurs. For example, the custodial staff don’t need access to customer invoices.
Your company may have dozens of different devices – tablets, smartphones, and laptops that are checked out to individual employees are difficult to manually track. To guard against this, you should invest in a software package that offers asset monitoring.
On one screen, you’ll see a list of assets and the assigned employee to each product. Here you can verify the asset’s location, usage time, and diagnostic levels. If anything appears unusual, the software notifies you immediately with pop-up messages. Then, you can contact the user so that all vulnerabilities are promptly addressed.
Notifying Personnel of Foreign Devices on Network
A common pathway for hacking into any network is by connecting a basic device. Large networks are often so complex that identifying any unknown devices would take hours. The IT professionals would have to be aware of a current vulnerability as well.
Specialized software instantly informs the IT department when an unknown device logs into the system. Hackers might need several minutes to compromise the data, but the IT professionals can rapidly cut off the connection only a few seconds after the notification.
Keeping up With Security Patches
Your company’s computers are a difficult target when you keep up with patch management. This industry term simply refers to the security updates offered by third-party software entities throughout the year. They don’t require a full download of a new, software version., instead, these so-called “patches” just fix any vulnerable “holes” in your current software. Without patch management, hackers can easily infiltrate your computer network.
Scheduling Regular Updates
Whether you’re installing a patch or an entirely new program, scheduling the updates is always a recommended practice. Procrastinating and delaying in installing these updates will inevitably result in a vulnerability in your system.
Ideally, you should preset weekly updates to automatically download after hours. By dedicating one or two hours each week to network security, you’ll ultimately save time and money. The users shouldn’t see much of a difference on their desktops, however, the overall security and protection will be extremely vital.
Avoiding Personal-Device Use
A fuzzy area that’s often overlooked by businesses is the use of personal devices on the corporate network. Specialized software might “see” the devices on the system, but they’re still vulnerable to hacking.
IT professionals won’t know if the devices are updated with the latest patches, for instance. This fact alone compromises the entire system and if corporations want their employees to be connected at all times, company-issued devices must be the standard.
Encouraging Complex Passwords
Every patch and firewall in the world won’t stop the most talented hackers from breaking into a business network. To make access more difficult for unauthorized people, encourage employees to use complex passwords for their logins and account. Your IT professionals can implement a mandatory code in the system that ensures all passwords are of a certain strength, for example, longer than seven characters with required symbols.
You can even go a step further and force employees to update their passwords on a monthly basis using a password-reset function. Using complex passwords and changing them regularly serves to protect your network from hackers and cyber criminals.
Communicating With Employees
Hackers rely on confusion and overlooked areas in a network’s system. It shouldn’t be just the IT professionals who’re aware of certain threats. Depending on the situation, you must communicate with all the end users. This involves warning them of potential issues, such as an embedded link in a seemingly benign email. Informed and aware staff are far less likely to fall prey to phishing scams and malicious redirect fraud.
Consider using a network-software program that has end-user communication built right into the platform. Forums, blogs, and other announcement pathways are clever strategies that can connect everyone in a large business.
Moving Forward With Alternative Access
Typed-in passwords or codes are archaic ways to access a company’s network. Some businesses might think about updating their systems and implementing fingerprint or facial-recognition software.
Adding this extra level of security makes hacking into your system harder than before. Hackers prefer an easy target, so having a complex and secure system will frustrate them and encourage them to find an easier target.
Taking a Look Back
Even if you’ve implemented countless patches or updates over the past few months, you still need to frequently examine your system’s diagnostics. Consider if the patches are performing as expected or if there could be improvements.
Reducing your system’s vulnerabilities requires both quality software and detailed observations from your staff.
Remember to educate your IT professionals with the latest courses on security and patch management. Technology is constantly evolving as software becomes more complex by the day. With efforts from business owners and technology experts, fighting off computer hacking will be possible within every corporation.