Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down: 5 Cybersecurity Strategies to Protect Your Network

Cybersecurity is one of the most important areas for any business in any industry. Ransomware like WannaCry and Petya alone cost companies $5 billion in 2017, according to a Cybersecurity Ventures report. This doesn’t even include violations of International Safe Harbor laws.

You have a responsibility as a business to keep both your and your customer’s data safe. And it’s not getting easier with the rise of AI and IoT. Malware and hackers are getting smarter every day, and there are five fundamental steps you must take to protect your business from cyberattacks.

  1. Install Malware Protection

Every device connected to your business network needs to have an updated firewall and malware defense tool installed on it. These security essentials protect the device from malicious code while connected to the Internet. In addition, a hardware firewall is necessary to protect the network itself, including any connected peripherals and IoT devices.

  1. Train All Employees on Cybersecurity

Every employee from entry-level temps to the C-suite needs to be fully trained on how to stay safe while using company equipment. People are the weakest link in any computer network, and they can be easily exploited if not properly trained. The last thing you want is to lose all your data because a data entry operator clicked an email link to play a game.

  1. Implement a VPN

A VPN is essential for your business network, especially if you have remote workers and mobile devices. This adds an encrypted layer so that even if your network is compromised, your traffic and data would be hidden. Encryption is the single most effective defense against cyberattacks, and it’s provided by both your firewall and VPN.

  1. Update Your Software

No matter how secure software and applications are, people find ways to crack them over time. Break fixes are released daily by software developers, and during a year, you’ll need to update everything from your operating system to your chat program. It’s important to stay on top of these updates as they’re released. Otherwise you’ll leave your system vulnerable.

  1. Limit System Access

Nobody should be accessing data on your network unless there’s a business need. Creating employee profiles within your system helps limit access only to essential business tools. It’s also necessary to secure Wi-Fi and limit the websites computers can access from within the company network. These steps will ensure your network isn’t compromised from within.

Cybersecurity is more than just a buzzword. It’s an essential business process. A data breach can cause loss of customer trust, government fines, and even loss of your business. Following these five steps lays proactive groundwork to prevent a cyberattack at your business.


Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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