8 Ways to Stay on Top of Your Network Security
The security of your business network has multiple moving parts. It’s also become more complex this year in the wake of the pandemic and more work-from-home (WFH) employees.
Networks have multiple endpoints, each of which can lead to a breach causing data loss or a malware infection.
Some of the most common causes of a breach of network security include:
- Compromised user credentials
- Application vulnerabilities
- Non-updated OS or software
- Misconfiguration of security settings
- Too many high-level permissions
- User errors
- Phishing/social engineering
Companies in Sydney and around the world understand the importance of keeping their networks secure. A recent McKinsey report shows that in 2021, the top three areas for new IT spending for enterprises and small businesses will be:
- Network security
- Endpoint security
- Identity and access management
What are the best focuses for your technology spending to keep your network secure? We’ll go through the top things you can do next.
Strategies for Keeping Your Sydney Business Network Secure
Identity Management & Privileges
When you are not keeping up with users or which user credentials can access which system data or resources, you’re at a much higher risk of a data breach.
It’s important to use the Rule of Least Privilege, which is to give users the lowest privilege possible for them to still do their work.
By properly managing user identities and privileges, you can decrease the risk that a compromised password will be able to cause high-level damage to your network.
Firewall & Advanced Threat Protections
A firewall is the gatekeeper of a network. It monitors incoming and outgoing traffic to detect and stop any found threats before they can harm your data or systems.
For today’s sophisticated threats, you want to ensure you have advanced threat protections that can catch zero-day malware. These generally will use AI-supported behavior-based algorithms to detect suspicious activity.
Each endpoint connected to your network is a way inside for a hacker or malware attack. It’s important to understand what devices are connecting to your network and data and to monitor their access.
Most companies don’t realise that mobile devices now make up about 60% of the endpoints on a typical business network. They’re often not being tracked properly, especially if devices are employee owned.
An endpoint device manager keeps track of all devices (computers, mobile devices, company and employee owned) that access your business data and they monitor traffic as well as grant or revoke access remotely.
One type of endpoint device manager is Microsoft Intune, which is included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan.
Login & Password Protection
80% of hacking-related data breaches are traced back to lost, stolen, or hacked passwords. It’s vital to put in place good password security which includes the use of strong, unique passwords for every login.
You should also be using multi-factor authentication, which is one of the best ways you can protect your accounts from breaches of passwords.
Email Security & Phishing Protection
Emails are the entry point for phishing attacks, which are largely responsible for most network data breaches. There are several safeguards you can put in place to prevent phishing incidents and boost email security.
- Anti-phishing email filtering
- Email authentication to detect email address spoofing
- User phishing awareness training
- Anti-malware/antivirus protections
Advanced AI-Based System Security
Fileless malware attacks have been a growing threat in recent years and they’re very difficult for standard anti-malware programs to detect. To ensure that your network isn’t taken over by a fileless attack that sends malicious commands to Windows PowerShell, you need advanced AI-based security protections.
These include tactics like application white listing, which prevents all but approved applications and processes from running automatically.
This is often accompanied by application ringfencing, which is a way to tell which programs can give commands to others and to put controls on how system applications can interact with each other.
Wireless Router Security
A little over a year ago Wi-Fi 6 and WPA3 were released. This included a much-needed update to the security of Wi-Fi networks. If you haven’t already, you should upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6 router to boost security protections.
Some of the additional protections added to WPA3, which make it much more secure than WPA2 include:
- 128-bit encryption
- Protections against dictionary/brute force password attacks
- Additional security for IoT devices
- Data encryption is individualised (stops hackers from snooping on network traffic)
- Ability to use higher encryption for more sensitive traffic
Remote Worker & Cloud Security
It’s important to expand network security to include remote workers and cloud use.
Using a business VPN can encrypt connections for remote workers no matter how unsecure their Wi-Fi connection may be.
For cloud security, the use of a cloud access security broker (CASB) can help you maintain consistent security policies across all cloud accounts, detect the use of shadow IT and, evaluate cloud apps for compliance.
Do You Need Help Securing Your Network? Come to GKM2!
Network security is a vital part of any healthy business. Our team of experts can help you eliminate network vulnerabilities and ensure you’re monitoring access from all users and devices properly.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.