Companies have a solemn responsibility to protect their own data, employee data and customer data. It’s not possible to do that effectively without having a well secured corporate network.
Cybersecurity costs money but the alternative is far more expensive. A single data breach can cost your business millions of dollars in terms of lost reputation, declining sales and the direct costs of repairing the breach to ensure it doesn’t recur. Not all businesses recover after taking such a hit.
The following are the most important steps you should follow if want to keep your corporate network secure.
1. Prohibit Remote Access
We are in the era of the telecommuting worker. Thanks to the advancement of technology infrastructure, some job roles can be performed remotely irrespective of the employee’s physical location. There’s certainly great convenience in this as it gives companies the power to hire talent from anywhere in the world. Onsite employees can also continue to access company systems when they are on the road.
However, remote access creates new and harder to control avenues through which attackers can penetrate your systems. Your network will be more secure if you disable access via the public Internet unless it’s absolutely necessary. And even when it’s unavoidable, you can temporarily allow access then disable it as soon as it’s no longer required.
2. Use Antivirus
All computers and servers on your network must have reputable antivirus software installed. It may seem obvious given how long computer viruses have been a scourge in the tech world but it bears repeating. A surprising number of companies will install an antivirus on only their internet-facing computers and leave those only on the LAN unprotected.
Make sure your antivirus versions and the virus definitions are always up to date. The value of an antivirus is in its ability to thwart the latest malware. Often, operating systems already have security patches and inbuilt anti-malware tools to take care of long known viruses. It’s the newer viruses that you should be most concerned about.
The more the security tools you have, the better. Hardware monitoring software can help you pick up suspicious activity from new viruses that may otherwise be missed by antivirus.
3. Keep Backups Offsite
Data loss can at best disrupt your operations for several hours and at worst completely run you out of business. Data is the single most important asset in your organization. You can replace an employee but it’s much harder to reconstruct lost data that you’ve accumulated over several years.
That’s why you need to have an elaborate disaster recovery program that includes a robust data backup process. Keeping backups onsite doesn’t do much to alleviate the danger a serious crisis poses to your data. Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and severe ransomware attacks, are all disasters that can render your premises and production systems unusable.
By placing your data backups offsite, you’ll create a critical physical barrier between your data and any existential threat to your production environment.
4. Server Sharing Not Desktop Sharing
If you allow file sharing on every laptop and desktop computer in your organization, you exponentially multiply the dangers your business is exposed to. If the computer were to be connected to a public wireless network, there’s a risk of an unauthorized party gaining access and retrieving sensitive company information.
Instead, you should only allow file and folder sharing on your file servers. The administration of file servers is centralized. You can quickly issue and revoke permissions as is necessary. File servers also give users the ability to take advantage of the much larger memory space available on the server thus avoiding burdening their desktop computers unnecessarily.
Remember, the closer a desktop’s hard disk approaches its full capacity, the more its performance deteriorates.
The fate of your business is closely tied to the security of your technology infrastructure. These tips will not guarantee the security of your company’s network. What they will do is to substantially reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.