In earlier blogs covering the rise of cyber attacks and why small businesses have increasingly become targets, we took a look at the insecurities in network security, whether you’re running a large enterprise or a small business.
It’s not enough just to know that cyber attacks are happening more and more often… what can you do to keep your own Small-to-Medium Business (or SMB) secure? We have a few tips to help you out.
If you own an SMB that handles consumer financial transactions, one of the best things you can do to improve your online cyber security is utilizing a financial transaction provider like Shopify or BluePay to handle them. As a small business owner, need to get the best outcome with the most minimal investment of your finances and time. Working with these providers allows you to keep your focus where it belongs — on your business and the day-to-day. These third-party providers even store information regarding the transactions, so you’ll be able to keep accurate records without paying for extra storage you don’t need.
We tend to advise our clients to never keep the entirety of their financial infrastructure on a self-hsted server. Outsourcing your server management to a third party provider allows your security protocols to be more effectively managed and keeps your network more secure. At BACS, we provide data security services and hosting benefits. We not only keep our clients’ data and network safe from security threats, but also store their information in a way that isn’t vulnerable to server theft or destruction. Learn more about cloud services here.
Some SMBs won’t want to outsource all of these important aspects and will want to go it alone. If that’s the decision you’re thinking of for your own business, you’ll want to take our advice and ensure that your network ports are secure.
A network port is any location in your network that is reachable by the outside Internet. When left unsecured, network ports are easy for hackers to use as a way to break into your system and gain access to your information. Keeping your network ports secure is your first step towards overall network security.
How many times have you logged into a public network only to find numerous Wi-Fi accounts with a standard name like, “Linksys 4325” or “XFinity Wi-Fi”? These are usually the “default name” that the modem comes with upon purchase and is a good sign that the Wi-Fi from that connection is not secured. If your Wireless Access Points (or WAP) are still set to factory defaults, it will be incredibly easy for them to be broken into. All it takes is a quick lookup of the factory settings for your particular set of network equipment.
To secure your network, deploy WPA2 encryption solutions, change factory installed settings on your entire infrastructure, and take the time to hide your Wi-Fi access points. You can do this by changing factory settings — the baseline is to allow outside network access. Just change yours to deny it.
Another mandatory way to secure your small business network is to turn on a DMZ, or “demilitarized zone”. This is just an additional layer of security that can be appied to your network. A DMZ will ensure that publicly accessible servers within your network are unable to communicate with internal network hardware. Essentially, it keeps an outside source from trying to send data that would interact with your equipment and stops all progress before that first contact is even made. In businesses that work a lot with financial transactions or e-commerce, a DMZ may be indispensable when it comes to your SMB’s peace of mind.
These five tips will help get you off to a great start when it comes to network security. At BACS, we can go even further to ensure that your network is completely protected. If you’d like to learn more about our network security services and what we can do to protect your small business, contact us online or give us a call at (650) 887-4601. You can also simply click the banner below to schedule your IT security audit today!
Published on 10th December 2015 by James Berger.