5 Ways Cincinnati Businesses Can Protect Their Network
Small and medium-sized businesses alike need to do what they can to protect their network. You might not think about it, but a network that has too many holes leads to various business-related issues such as a data breach, decrease in customers, negative business reputation, and even potential business closure.
The best way to secure your company’s network is to educate yourself on the proper measures your business needs to have a place. If you’re a small or medium-sized business in Cincinnati, we’re going to share 5 ways you can protect your network. But first, let’s look at a few warning signs your business network has been compromised.
4 Warning Signs of a Compromised Business Network
Knowing the warning signs of a compromised network helps businesses move quickly when an attack happens. Here are 4 warning signs businesses in Cincinnati need to watch out for.
Your Computer Network Is Constantly Freezing, Crashing, or Running Slowly
This is one of the most obvious signs that your network has been compromised by an attack. If you have older computers, you might be thinking that poor performance is due to age. While it’s true that computers don’t move as quickly as they age, it may also be running an older, unsupported operating system. In this case, it’s likely infected with a virus, or it is a hacking attempt.
Fake Antivirus Messages
While fake antivirus messages don’t occur at the same rate as they used to, they can happen. Unfortunately, once you’ve received an antivirus message, your network system has already been infiltrated. But this usually isn’t an attacker’s endgame.
The attacker’s goal is to get you to click on the fake warning message, which then takes you to a professional-looking website where you’re asked for payment details to “clean” the computer. This won’t just result in your computer being compromised but your credit and banking details as well.
Unknown Browsing Toolbar
Searching the internet for information is part of regular business practices, which is why the toolbar is a common way that attackers target businesses. If you notice that your browser suddenly displays toolbars that you didn’t authorize, this could be an indication that your network has been compromised. Keep in mind that you might have installed new software that came with the toolbar. So be sure to double-check before jumping to conclusions.
Emails are one of the most popular ways for attackers to infiltrate a network system. This is because email data must travel across public servers, which creates an opportunity for an interception at any point.
If you start receiving emails from what seems to be a legitimate company requesting sensitive information, or you get unknown emails with various grammatical areas, these are clear signs of phishing.
5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Business Network
Too many businesses have their network at the bottom of their priority list. As a result, they’re never prepared for unexpected issues that can threaten business operations. If you’re ready to secure your network, let’s take look at what you can do.
1. Employee Training
Employees are your biggest threats to your computers. They need to have the training, information, and curiosity to not put your company at risk. Think about it, your employees are constantly communicating with customers and other team members throughout the day. These employees are essentially the face of your business. As such, they perform various administrative duties that put your business at risk.
Let’s say one employee checks their work emails in the morning before beginning their day. They click on a link inside the email that appears to be from a legitimate organization. Except, the email contains a virus from a hacker. At this point, it’s already too late.
This is why employee training is essential. All employees need to be able to identify security risks and know the protocol on how to address the potential risk to mitigate business vulnerabilities.
2. Software Patch Management
Software patch management isn’t just about compliance, companies put their business at risk when they don’t invest in it. Your operating systems such as Windows 10 and all applications need to be updated.
Patch management is beneficial for companies because it fixes vulnerabilities on your software and applications that are at risk for cyberattacks. Essentially, software patch management it strengthens your network and gives businesses peace of mind that they are operating with all the right updates.
3. Employees Are Not Local Administrators
Too many businesses want to cut costs by having employees take on multiple roles instead of hiring the help they need. But employees are not local administrators and therefore, should not be installing software on your computers.
Your company’s data is sensitive. Thus, outsource your needs to an IT support team that manages all installed software.
While it may seem cost-effective to have employees double down on their roles, it’ll cost your company in the long run if your systems get a virus or your company experiences a data breach.
4. Enterprise Firewall for Network Protection
Businesses need an enterprise firewall that monitors all the traffic entering and leaving the office. This is an added layer of security that many companies don’t think about.
An enterprise firewall will help protect your network from potential security threats designed to infiltrate the network protocol and control your company computers. Another benefit of an enterprise firewall is that it only provides access to specific data over the network and restricts any other unknowns sources from obtaining access.
5. Enterprise Anti-Virus
Anti-virus software is essential for all businesses. Its primary function is to protect companies from getting a virus on their systems. But it also prevents phishing attacks, scans and removes devices, protects companies from identity theft, and blocks spam sites and ads.
Businesses that don’t invest in anti-virus software are essentially leaving themselves open for an attack. But quality anti-virus software boosts productivity and gives businesses confidence about their network protection.
Protect Your Network
For companies in Cincinnati, protecting your business network is crucial for business sustainability and success. A secure network protects company and customer data, increases internal productivity, and helps keep money in the company. 4BIS provides IT services in Cincinnati with a people-first approach. If you’re ready to protect your business network, contact us to learn how we can help.