Top 5 Tips for Improving Enterprise Network Security

Cybersecurity has become a major topic of discussion in the business world. The rising frequency of cyberattacks, combined with several high-profile breaches in the past few years, has put the spotlight on the impact a successful attack can have.

Despite growing awareness, many businesses still don’t have basic cybersecurity policies in place, putting them at greater risk of a data breach or other kind of successful attack.

These are some of the most critical considerations for enterprise network security. Considering these tips when developing a business security policy can help owners and managers build strong cyber defenses.

1. Keep Devices and Software Updated

Outdated software and firmware can contain vulnerabilities that make devices more vulnerable to an attack. Keeping these items updated will help ensure they can’t be compromised by hackers taking advantage of vulnerabilities.

This tip is especially important for businesses with a large number of Internet of Things (IoT) or smart devices. Each of these items is connected to the internet and provides another vector of attack for hackers.

IoT cybersecurity can be much more challenging than securing devices like computers and servers, but the right practices can keep them secure. When setting up a new smart device, IT workers should be sure to change any default usernames or passwords and turn off features your business won’t use — like remote access capabilities.

Once active, IoT devices should be regularly checked to ensure they are running the latest security patch available.

2. Use Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication is a common enterprise cybersecurity practice that requires users to present both a password and another form of evidence for their identity when attempting a login.

Often, this evidence will be a code sent to an email address or phone number. The system will send users a code they must use when they try to log in. This strategy ensures people are who they claim to be — reducing the risk that hackers can compromise network accounts.

3. Segment the Network

Limiting the access users have to the business network can reduce the impact a compromised account may have.

For example, a company may create a network segment just for smart devices — allowing them to connect to the internet but reducing their access to critical or sensitive business information.

4. Provide Employees With Cybersecurity Training

Hackers can often gain access to organization networks without defeating the security software that defends the network. Social engineering attacks — which take advantage of employees with minimal cybersecurity knowledge — are a common tactic criminals use to gain unauthorized access to business networks.

Phishing attacks have caused several high-profile breaches, including the successful attack on the COVID-19 cold supply chain in 2020.

Training employees on how to spot attacks like phishing emails can help protect your network against these threats.

5. Prepare for Mobile Devices

It’s become common for employees to connect their personal mobile phones to the workplace network. These devices can make the system less secure without the right precautions.

A business should either require that employees not connect their personal devices to the network or create a security policy that handles how and when they can be used. Network segmentation for mobile devices, employee training and a requirement that software is kept up to date will help reduce the risk personal devices can pose.

Essential Ingredients for a Business Cybersecurity Strategy

Cybersecurity is likely to become even more important as hacking becomes more profitable and businesses adopt more complex networked technology. Knowing the essentials of an effective cybersecurity plan will help business owners of all kinds prepare for the threats cybercriminals can pose.