Network Security: Strong Passwords, Regular Updates, and Strict Policies
As a business owner, especially one with lots of experience, you know that managing all aspects of your establishment is crucial. Aside from having a long-term business plan, for example, the devices and infrastructure needed for operating your business (as well as promoting and marketing to customers), are also essential. Depending on your situation, social networks might also be beneficial.
With that said, have you taken your network security into consideration as well? Even as a savvy business owner, there are always ways you can improve upon your protection. Do you know the ins and outs of keeping your data safe, and are you truly taking full advantage of the ways you can protect your sensitive data? Here are some important tips you should consider.
#1. Use a Strong Password
There are plenty of things you need to do to make sure your network is secure, and using a strong password is a step in the right direction. After all, a common issue with business owners is that they take their password(s) for granted. They may not create a strong one because they feel hackers won’t be able to figure out the password, anyway. Not to mention that if they own a small or medium business, they may be more laid back in their attitude about network security. After all, hackers only go after large businesses, right? That’s actually a common misconception. Besides, considering the lack of resources in small and medium-sized businesses, this can make them an easier target. After all, why go after the larger businesses that have much tighter security?
So when creating a strong password, it should consist of numbers, letters (upper and lower case), and special characters. However, it should still be something you can figure out easily. For example, you could create a sentence like “I hate coming up with passwords”, and use the initials for the words with a system of using capital letters for every other word, plus adding a series of numbers and special characters at the end, so your password ends up to be “IhCuWp12!@”. It appears very random but it’s something you can remember.
Of course there’s more to network security than having a single strong password. You should change it on a regular basis as well. After all, you’re supposed to update regularly, since it’s part of keeping the workplace secure. Speaking of which, that brings up my next tip about network security.
#2. Update Your Network Regularly
Speaking of changing your password, it’s also essential that you keep your business network updated on a regular basis. Whether it’s tools on the network itself, or security which you haven’t updated in a while, it’s easy to forget the importance of this. Many cybercriminals look for security holes and vulnerabilities in outdated software, and use that to their advantage. As an example, let’s say you’re protecting your network with the latest anti-virus software. It may be keeping your network secure now, but cybercriminals could find ways around it in the near future since they are always looking for ways to bypass even the most advanced network security. Regular patching and updating is essential to your security.
#3. Set Strict Policies
Another tip for keeping things secure is to set strict policies for your business. Remember that you’re not the only person in the business. One of your employees could end up making a careless mistake that impacts your network security. First of all, setting strict policies lets your employees know just how important network security is in the business. Second, it also establishes that there are rules to be followed, and failure to adhere to them could have serious consequences, not just for the company, but for those who break the rules as well.
Speaking of strict policies, it’s a bad but common practice to share password(s) with others. While it may seem like common sense for most to not share this information, it’s easy to become too trustworthy or just get lazy about good practices. Plus someone could be working within the business since the threat is not always from an unseen criminal from cyberspace. Without individual passwords, network events can’t be tracked, so always keep passwords individual, safe and secure.