7 tips to improve small business network security

According to Verizon Communication’s 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report, more than 97 percent of data breaches last year were preventable. And it’s not just the big guys that are vulnerable. Small business owners are at considerable risk for network security, and you don’t need to deploy a ton of costly countermeasures to protect yourself, either.

The most popular target for hackers seems to be person information, including individuals’ name, contact info and Social Security Numbers. In fact, this kind of data made up 95 percent of all of the data records stolen last year.

Protect your business and put measures in place that keep your data safe from would-be hackers using these 10 cost-effective tips to keep your small business safe from cyber attacks.

1. Install firewalls. Firewalls in the real world keep blazes isolated in a single area to avoid spreading to the rest of the building. Computer firewalls do the same thing, blocking unauthorized systems and hackers from breaking into your computer system from the web.

2. Create an Access Control List.  This way your system administrator  controls how many employees can access your system if they can access your data or computers from a remote location.

3. Protect the passwords in your point of sale system. Verizon’s report specifically mentions businesses that failed to change their POS password credentials. Don’t leave the manufacturer’s default setting in place when you install the software.

4. Define security roles and responsibilities. Know your employees who should have access to your business intelligence and give them access. The Federal Communications Commissionrecommends creating a time period during which an employee must hold a role before you grant them access rights.

5. Create Internet and social media policies. If you want to limit how your employees use social media and the Internet during their free time, ensure your people know your policy.

6. Find a good web-filtering program. This software blocks dangerous sites that may be inappropriate for viewing during company time. These programs also supplement your firewall to keep dangerous software from attacking your system and compromising business data.

7. Look into cybercrime insurance. These policies cover your liability in the event of a data breach or cyberattack. You can get policies that cover legal liability, direct loss and consequential loss from security break-ins. These companies can also give you network security risk assessments that gauge your business’ risk exposure.

Your best protection is to find a full service business consultant that can help you determine which technologies best serve your users and manage your business without breaking the bank.

Want to learn more? Contact us today, we’re happy to help.