It seems like every week you hear about another major corporation that has had their network breached, which resulted in their customers’ personal data being stolen. Cyber bandits are constantly coming up with new ways to exploit the network security systems of some of the largest companies in the world. Sometimes, it is easier for them to attack smaller businesses that do not have the sort of robust network security systems that are necessary to thwart their attacks and to protect themselves. Utilizing the services of a knowledgeable Houston network security company is your best option to protect your vital business information.
The National Cyber Security Alliance recently reported that 20 percent of small companies are victims of cyber-attacks. Only 40 percent of those companies remained in business six months later so considering some kind of internet outage monitor would be a good idea. Every owner of a small business needs to understand the fundamentals of maintaining a secure network and internet security, including the different types of network security threats and how to prevent or mitigate the damage by implementing a Houston backup and disaster recovery plan for their company.
Network Security and Your Business
Any type of program or activity that is intended to safeguard your network’s infrastructure is part of your network security. The best systems will use a combination of hardware and software solutions to identify and resist the broad range of potentially damaging cyber threats before they can get into and infect your network. The easiest way is to consult with a specialist in Houston managed IT services to set up a battery of programs that work together to keep your network safe from hackers. This could involve installing any or all of the following, which are especially critical if your employees access your network remotely.
- Anti-virus and anti-spyware detectors
- Virtual private networks
- Intrusion prevention systems
The Most Common Security Threats
Your network faces a variety of security threats, such as malware, spyware and viruses. Any of these can make their way into your network via a random email or an inadvertent click-through to a website. Sometimes, they immediately go to work by locking up your system. Other times, they infiltrate your system to see where the sensitive files are kept. After identifying the vulnerable area in your network, they gather company and customer data, including social security numbers, credit card information and passwords. The best network security prevents these programs from gaining access to your system.
Professional hackers can exploit weaknesses in operating systems. If they can find a way into your network, they can gather and disseminate sensitive company data and customer information. Until your IT department can develop a patch to stop the intrusion, the hackers can help themselves to whatever exclusive or confidential data they desire. You could hire a team of ethical hackers whose job it is to find weaknesses in your network before those who wish to cause you harm do. They do this through a process known as manual penetration testing.
How Small Business Benefits from Network Security
In addition to keeping your network up and running, network security has other benefits for small businesses.
- Employees can work from remote locations.
- The network can be expanded and enhanced depending on your company’s needs.
- Small businesses can comply with regulations established by the government and your specific industry.
- Clients will be confident that their sensitive information is safe.
- Secure remote network access encourages collaboration among employees and strengthens communication links to clients.
- Your liability is lessened in the event of a security breach.
- If a breach does occur, the recovery time is shorter.
The Cost of a Security Breach
It only takes one security breach to bring down your company. Clients are reluctant to continue conducting business with companies that have had a security invasion. The average cost to a business is approximately $130 per record. That kind of unexpected expense can bankrupt a company. Plus, your business then has to spend additional money to re-establish your brand’s reputation and your clients’ trust. Forewarned is forearmed. It is better to strengthen your network security before anything bad occurs.