Every business network handles a range of sensitive data from financial records to intellectual property to personally identifiable information. To protect your organization from the rising tide of cyberthreats, it’s imperative that you take every reasonable step to ensure nothing bad gets in and no confidential records leave through unsecured channels.
#1. Manage risk
There will always be risks, no matter how robust your network security. One of the main jobs of any network security team is to bring this risk down to an acceptable level, one that may be managed and mitigated without getting in the way of innovation and productivity. Administrators must keep full visibility into their digital assets with a centralized web-enabled platform.
#2. Layer your security
If your network infrastructure has a single point of failure, then it’s just a matter of time before it falls victim to a breach. In much the same way that medieval castles had moats, walls and guards to protect them, your network also needs multiple layers of security. This includes an enforced security policy, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and endpoint protection.
#3. Tighten up access controls
Many data breaches occur at the hands of mismanaged access controls. While your apps and data need to be consistently accessible to those who use them for work, it’s always a good idea to follow the principle of least privilege. In other words, nobody should have access to anything they don’t absolutely need to do their jobs. Enabling multifactor authentication, whereby login access is secured with passwords and another authentication method (e.g. temporary security codes sent to the user’s phone), is also a must.
#4. Implement endpoint controls
No matter how robust your overall network security, a single vulnerable endpoint can bring it all crashing down. Endpoints refer to any device connected to the network, including mobile phones and employee-owned devices. Administrators must track every endpoint on the network and grant and revoke access rights as needed. They also need anti-malware software to scan for and remove any harmful programs lying dormant within company devices.
#5. Migrate to the cloud
Looking after hundreds or even thousands of endpoints is hard work, especially when sensitive data potentially resides on every device connected to the network. For this reason, it’s best to avoid storing confidential data on any devices other than a centralized server or, better still, in the cloud where it can be managed and secured as a single connected environment.
#6. Prepare for the worst
You always need to prepare for the worst-case scenario, no matter how thorough your network security protocols might be. New threats come and go, and it’s impossible to protect against every eventuality. That’s why a backup and disaster recovery plan is an integral part of your wider security and compliance strategy.
#7. Train your team
Most data leaks and breaches occur because of human error. This isn’t helped by the fact that many of us have developed poor security habits. Every member of your team is a potential target, which is why security is everyone’s responsibility. An ongoing training program with a top-down approach will create a culture of accountability and security.
#8. Deploy patch management
Software developers regularly release security updates for any products they still support. You should never defer these updates, since doing so may leave the system, and consequently the entire network, vulnerable. If any software or hardware device is nearing the end of its support life cycle, you should retire it as soon as possible.
NetWize helps businesses drive real results and reduce risk with modern technology solutions you can depend on. Call us today to deploy a robust cybersecurity framework that keeps the bad guys at bay.