Business Network Security: How To Secure Your Network
Business Network Security Takes A Front Seat
Business network security is more necessary than ever for small business owners. With the recent economic collapse, small business owners have become increasingly frequent targets for scams and theft. If you’ve ever been the target of a hacking attack, then you already know the financial damage it can cause.
There are necessary steps you can take towards securing your business network. You don’t have to be a business network security guru to do any of this. Just be ready and willing to pay for software and services where necessary. There’s no such thing as a free lunch anymore.
Network Security Suite
Using a network security suite is common sense nowadays, but it still deserves mention. Small business owners should pay careful attention to what network security suite software they are using. Not all network security suite software is created equal. Some network security suites are designed for home use while others are for more serious protection.
I cannot stress enough that you get what you pay for when it comes to business network security. Do not use a free, limited network security suite. Pay for a full-featured product. An excellent full-featured network security suite should at least have anti-virus with heuristic scanning (behavior-based scanning), a firewall that monitors application behavior and ports, ransomware protection, and a password manager. Make sure you make full use of all these features!
One of the most popular forms of hacking a business network involves snooping your traffic. A VPN, or virtual private network, obscures your real IP address and encrypts your network traffic. This way, you are harder to find. Even if they do see you, they will not be able to decipher any of your network traffic. These VPN applications are available for both cell phones and PC.
Fortunately, many network security suite companies have integrated these services into their software. There also is a wide variety of standalone VPN services available. If you only need basic network security, your network security suite’s VPN should work just fine. However, if you regularly engage in highly sensitive communications, you may want to seek a standalone VPN service.
Two Factor Authentication
Two factor authentication requires both a password and a temporary secret code when you log in from a device for the first time. It’s a great way to stop password hacking attempts in their tracks. Make sure you have this enabled on your email accounts, bank accounts, and social media. Enable it anywhere else it is offered. You can never be too safe from brute force attacks!
Keep an eye on your account’s login history and apps. You can find this information in your account’s security settings. If you see any suspicious logins or apps connected to your account, disconnect them and reset your password. Check this at least once a month.
Security Through Obscurity
While it is not an entirely foolproof method to use, making your most frequently used accounts unknown to the public certainly helps. You can try setting up an email address for logins that no one knows about except you. You can also set up a prepaid card for daily use, and then keep your central bank account private. Using a VOIP phone number for your phone communications falls under this category as well. You can obtain one for free from Google Voice. Anything that can put an extra layer of obscurity between the outside world and your data helps keep you secure.
Break Up Your Online Services
While keeping all your services through one provider is convenient, it also makes it comfortable for anyone that manages to gain access to that account. So, it’s smart to break up your services rather than relying entirely on Google, Microsoft, or Apple to manage all your data. By keeping unique passwords for each service, you will be creating extra work for a hacker to gain access to them. If you don’t want to break up your services, at least back up your data to a secondary account. If it gets deleted from your primary account, you won’t be completely helpless.
It would be best if you ALWAYS used an encrypted connection for communicating private and sensitive data. It obscures the data while it is transferred so no one but you and the participant can read it. There is a plethora of encrypted messengers and email services available. Some of the most popular include WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger (they call it “secret conversation”).
Use A Password Generator
As hard as you may try, you just can’t beat the security an excellent password generator has to offer. Your password manager should have one built into it. If it doesn’t, there are tons of free password generators available online.
Fail Your Secret Question
Don’t give real answers to your secret questions used to recover your account if your password is lost or forgotten. Most of the answers to these questions can be found out by doing a little research on you. Instead, try to come up with a response that isn’t true but isn’t forgettable, either.
Use Pen and Paper
Yes, it helps to go a little old-fashioned sometimes and pull out the pen and paper. You don’t have to put ALL your notes online or on your devices. If you want to keep something private, the best way to go is to keep it on paper in a secure location.
Good Business Network Security and Online Profile Security Depends on Your Level of Caution
Ultimately, good business network security depends on your level of caution. If you remain aware that anything you put online isn’t necessarily secret, and that anyone that contacts you via phone or email may not be well-intentioned, you will be okay. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to get more recommendations on what software to use.