If you’re like most people, you probably think network security is only important to large corporations or governments. However, the truth is that no matter how big or small your business is, you need to take steps to protect your network and network traffic from unauthorized access and data theft. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to some of the top reasons why cyber security is so important. We’ll also give you tips on how to keep your network secure from cyber threats.
Network security is a collection of measures, both physical and digital, that protect the integrity of your computer network. Network security includes various types of protection for your online personal or business data.
Network security can be used to prevent unauthorized access from outside employees, customers, and other individuals and organizations, but more often it’s used to prevent unauthorized access from someone with inside knowledge – a rogue employee who’s physical access to your system space.
Cybersecurity prevents intrusion or cyber attack into software and hardware, as well as your network cables.
There are two ways to gain unauthorized access:
- Someone can either hack into a server from the outside (by breaching firewalls)
- or physically hack into a server from the inside (by breaching cable connections).
The way you protect yourself depends on which approach an intruder takes.
Web security: Protection against external threats includes things like securing firewalls, anti-malware software, and strong passwords for accessing online accounts; these are all important measures to ensure that no one from the outside can get into your system directly unless they’ve special software or knowledge
On the other hand, there are also things you can do internally to protect yourself from internal threats- such as allowing access to sensitive files only at certain times when employees, such as support staff at IT, are supposed to use them, and implementing policies that require company computers to be used only for company use.
Both approaches will help you prevent someone from abusing their privilege of internal access to damage your system or steal sensitive files.
Network Security Can Help Prevent the Loss of Business-Critical Data
Everything we do in life is about data. Whether you’re happily checking your email, drafting a speech for work (or school), or choosing between an iPad and an Android tablet: The things you do with your digital data make up your digital identity – and are the main reason you use technology to get anything done at all.
This is why network security is so important. Even employees who aren’t involved in system administration should think about their company’s security measures because they’re affected by them as well.
Network security means preventing your data from being stolen and making sure the outside world knows it’s been lost if it falls into the wrong hands.
Most people have only heard of network security in the context of protecting valuable corporate intellectual property (such as intellectual property or trade secrets) or sensitive customer data, but these concerns shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.
Just look at what can happen when sensitive customer data is leaked to the public: Imagine having to cancel dozens of subscriptions because of an unwanted appearance on a phishing list or blacklist or having an entire department’s efforts go to waste because they started a task for a new project only to have it backfire because the wrong recipient received an email with the wrong details.
Imagine having to explain to customers that their data has been stolen. That’s why having a network security policy is so important.
Network Security Protects Against Loss of Revenue
The loss of revenue can affect almost every aspect of your business. If a hacker gets into one of your products and wipes all the hard drives in a malicious attack, it’s the potential to destroy any data your company might’ve from that product.
That means you lose customers who want their data back, and it also means you lose money because those customers miss work (or have to pay someone else to do it) while they wait for the data they need to come back.
If a hacker is able to take over a server, they not only have the ability to delete data but also to manipulate it – a huge security threat. This can cause significant productivity problems if a hacker decides to change orders in a shipping database or edit prices in an accounting program. Your employees could spend hours searching through everything for discrepancies just because one person has bad intentions.
If hackers are able to gain access to an employee’s or customer’s personal information, they can also steal credit card information and use it offensively against your business.
Cyber criminals may charge large amounts of money in your name, which you’ll then have to pay (these amounts won’t appear on your bank statement until several months later).
It’s possible that hackers who penetrate such systems may even manipulate invoices or force them to pay more than would normally be expected. Employees may come home from work one day to find out that their house is being foreclosed on because of these extra payments!
Network Security Ensures Safety of Employees and Customers
Employee and customer safety and security are important, yet have often been overlooked by business owners.
The importance of these protections is only made more clear when you hear security breach stories like the one in this article:
Professional networking giant LinkedIn saw data associated with 700 million of its users posted on a dark web forum in June 2021, impacting more than 90% of its user base. A hacker going by the moniker of “God User” used data scraping techniques by exploiting the site’s (and others’) API before dumping a first information data set of around 500 million customers. They then followed up with a boast that they were selling the full 700 million customer database.CSO Online
Network Security Helps You Remain in Compliance With Regulatory Standards
If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably developed procedures and policies to help your company comply with the multitude of standards, regulations, and laws.
In today’s world, new requirements are constantly being added.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was introduced by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (a consortium of credit card companies). It was developed to raise the security standards of companies that process credit card-based payments. To date, it’s considered one of the most important information security best practices in existence.
In 2016, Europe adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which became enforceable in 2018. Basically, it protects data from being misused by companies. This includes the right to know whether and how your data is being collected and used. Companies that violate the GDPR can be fined up to $21 million or four percent of their annual global revenue.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) applies to companies that use electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), including medical data, for administrative or healthcare operations. It also requires safeguards on the use and disclosure of private medical and health information. Failure to comply can result in expensive fines – up to $1.5 million and criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and jail time for executives.
Network Security Keeps Your Systems Up and Running
Let’s say you run a business with a website and a customer database. Without any security measures in your network, anyone could access the information stored there. If it would be easy for shady people to gain such access, chances are someone will take advantage of it.
Once hackers gain access, they can steal data about your customers that you should keep confidential: their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers – anything that’s in the database about them or even about you or your company’s employees.
If a customer finds out that someone has stolen information from you, they probably won’t trust you anymore and could even take legal action against you.
You’d also be liable for any damages incurred by your customers after the data theft (for example, if they become victims of identity theft). This could cost millions of dollars in compensation if many people are affected.
If this all sounds like the plot of an action movie where the hero has to race against time to save everyone before it’s too late – it basically is! But instead of just pushing a button at the end and blowing up the bad guys’ hideout, you’ve no way of finding out what damage the criminals have done in the first place because they’ve been so careful and sneaky about it.
Security Audits Help You Maintain the Highest Level of Network Security Possible
Every company needs regular security audits to ensure the highest possible network security.
These audits can be done internally, but it’s not uncommon for companies to hire an outside auditor to perform a separate, objective analysis of their current security systems. If you want to find out how your company can best protect its sensitive data, consider audit services from data security companies.
There are likely many companies in your area that offer data breach audits. When choosing a provider, you need to check what kind of services they offer. Some will just do a general audit and give recommendations on how you can improve certain areas. Others go further and help you implement those changes.
Ideally, you should choose a company that offers both options – the former is good if you just want advice and clarity on what steps need to be taken, but if your business actually wants support with implementation, it makes more sense to choose a company that offers a comprehensive service.
There are two main types of data breach audit providers who can help advise a network security solution:
These are people who have experience dealing with network security issues and are also familiar with internal policies. They go through all possible scenarios and make suggestions on how companies can prevent being hacked or breached in the future by setting up a secure network, or how they can reduce their chances of being hacked/breached.
These are people who come into an organization from the outside and perform an audit of the infrastructure of IT. Their job is to identify existing vulnerabilities that could lead to data breaches or hacks and provide an overview of how likely those vulnerabilities are to be exploited.
Security audits help you maintain the highest possible level of network security. They can also help identify gaps in your current practices before they cause harm to your organization. It’s important to use external auditors who can provide an objective opinion and recommendations.
- Regularly test your security systems.
- Regularly test your security policies and procedures.
- Audits can help you identify problems before they cause harm.
- Audits can help you identify security vulnerabilities.
Checklist Points to Consider With Cyber Security
Some of the things to consider when assessing your security needs are:
- Application security
- Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Physical security
- Penetration testing (to see whether a system can be hacked)
- Device security
- IOT Devices (Internet of Things)
- Cloud security
- Sensitive information
- Network device setup
- Network system
You Must Secure Your Network to Keep It Running Smoothly and Securely in an Ever-Changing Business Landscape
The network and your ability to run it is a fragile, complicated thing. If you want to protect yourself from the ever-increasing risks of the cybercrime potential threat, now is the time to start.
A good place to start is to secure your perimeters and keep an eye on what’s happening in your organization. If you’re not a highly technical person who can tell a router from an FTP server, or if you’re unable to keep up with the myriad subnetting options, you should leave that responsibility to someone else – and get some help!
Once you’ve secured your network with hardware and software, you should review all aspects of data flow, including traffic encryption, access control lists (ACLs), email security, and enforcement policies.