The 2019 Verizon Data Breach Report found that 43% of all data breaches were caused by weak or stolen passwords, making it the top cause. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to such cyberattacks, as they often lack the resources or expertise to properly protect their networks and data. That’s why businesses need to re-evaluate their network security on a regular basis. It’s better to be proactive than reactive.
How often should businesses evaluate their network security?
For smaller businesses, it’s recommended to do a thorough network security assessment every six months. This usually involves running a vulnerability scan to identify any security gaps or weaknesses in the system.
For larger businesses, or those with sensitive data requirements, it is suggested to conduct a full-scale security assessment once a year. This will help ensure that all safeguards are up-to-date and working as intended. It should include an evaluation of user authentication methods and access control policies.
What if businesses find holes in their security?
If businesses find any gaps or holes in their security, it is important to address them right away. This may involve running additional scans, changing user authentication methods, or updating access control policies. Depending on the severity of the issue and the sensitivity of the data involved, businesses may need to hire a professional security consultant to help them assess and address their network security issues. Even if their system looks secure, businesses need to remain vigilant and re-evaluate their security standing regularly.
What can businesses do to avoid security issues?
Here are some best practices businesses can implement to help avoid security issues:
- Regularly update software: Keeping software such as operating systems, web browsers and applications up-to-date is a must. Dated software can contain many security vulnerabilities.
- Train employees on security best practices: Make sure employees understand common security threats like phishing emails and how to respond appropriately. If employees have admin privileges, they should also know how to protect data and manage user accounts properly.
- Utilize password management tools: Password managers enable businesses to create complex passwords that are harder for cybercriminals to guess or crack.
- Invest in cyber insurance: Cyber insurance policies can help businesses manage the fallout from an attack.
- Monitor network activity: Regular monitoring of network activity can help businesses identify any suspicious behavior.
- Utilize multi-factor authentication: Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security, requiring users to provide additional credentials or confirmations before they can access the system.
- Invest in a secure backup system: Regularly backing up data ensures businesses can quickly recover any lost or damaged files.
Businesses need to routinely evaluate their network security in order to keep data safe from cybercriminals. Implementing best practices such as regularly updating software, training employees on security protocols, and utilizing password management tools can help businesses avoid potential security issues. If any gaps or holes are found, businesses should address them immediately. Ultimately, remaining vigilant and proactive is the key to staying secure.