Running a business is complicated. You have so much to think about, process, and execute on a daily basis when it comes to your network, you expect it to run smoothly. From accessing important company files via the cloud to sending direct messages to another member of the staff, your business network should run like a well-oiled machine.
The problem is, even the best well-oiled machines can develop problems behind the scenes. In the world of business networks and network security, this may appear in the form of external cyber threats. A skilled cybercriminal will find the smallest weakness and exploit it. Taking advantage of the managed IT services of a company such as Charlotte IT Solutions is a valuable start to improving better ending protection, but the ball still is, and always be, in your court. There are a number of steps you need to follow in order to enhance your network protection.
Thankfully, this isn’t a difficult process. In fact, to help out, here is a simple-to-follow guide to boosting your endpoint protection.
Tip #1: Learn How To Properly Handle Passwords
If you are like most people, you probably have two or three passwords you like to rotate between different applications. Maybe you switch it up and add a number or symbol to the end based on the system requirements, but to make it easier to remember, you likely don’t go too crazy when it comes to password creation. The problem with this is eventually, when there is a data breach somewhere else on the Internet (it will happen, trust us), your password will be leaked. If that password falls into the wrong hands, a cybercriminal will try to pair it up with your other accounts, including your business accounts.
Now, maybe you’re good, and you don’t do this. You keep your passwords fresh and different with every software. You even change your passwords every few months, just in case. That’s great, as it means you are taking your password security seriously. The problem is, are all your employees doing the same thing? Probably not.
So what can you do? You need to look for ways to enhance your password protocols. First, you can go over the importance of having unique passwords with your employees, but this training will only go so far. We recommend utilizing multi-factor authentication as well as biometrics. What exactly is this? It means in order to sign into an account, especially when doing this from a new device, you need to not only type in your login credentials, but you then need to authenticate the information by clicking a link that is emailed to you or texted to you. Biometrics uses a fingerprint or eye scan to add additional protection. We highly recommend using one or both of these password protection features.
Tip #2: Update Everything (stop hitting “remind me later”)
How often do you put off a system update? You’re working on your computer and then, out of nowhere, you receive a notification of a new system update. You click the “Remind Me Later” button and tell the computer to remind you the next day. Then the next day. Then the next. This can go on and on for weeks, if not months, all the while your system is falling further and further out of date. This leaves your entire network susceptible to external threats. Remember, your network security is as strong as the weakest link, and an out-of-date network is especially ripe for a cyber criminal’s picking. When you receive an update notification, do it.
Tip #3: Plan For Device Loss
The world of modern business means you and your employees are likely going to be traveling with their computers, tablets, and smartphones. They will access data from anywhere and everywhere. Maybe some employees work from home or take their work with them when driving kids to soccer practice and dance recitals on the other side of the state. All of that is great, but it also means there’s likely going to be a time when a cell phone is lost or a laptop is stolen.
A lost (and especially stolen) device puts your business at risk. So you need to plan accordingly for this. It’s best to assume that, at some point in time, every device will be lost. This way, you can kill off all network connections the devices have to your network remotely. With the flick of a digital switch, you will prevent that device from ever accessing your network again. With enhanced endpoint protection, you’re able to not only lock the device but wipe the drive. While nobody likes dealing with a lost electronic, having this in place will, at the very least, give you peace of mind knowing your data is still secure.
Tip #4: Scan All External Devices
How often have you gone to a business event, and the swag handed out was a USB thumb drive? These are great little devices, especially when you want to quickly save a file and back it up externally. The thing is, malware can easily install itself onto a flash drive and then spread itself onto your network. Flash drives often go unscanned. Make sure you are scanning all external drives that are introduced onto any computer system connected to your network.
Enhance Your Entire Network Security Today
While you can follow every single one of these steps, you still need to protect your overall network and enhance network security by partnering with a managed IT services provider. You have enough on your plate. Trying to stay up to date on the latest networking trends and cybercriminal hacks is a full-time job in itself. Here at Charlotte IT Solutions, we are a locally owned and operated organization that strives to enhance not only your endpoint protection but to enhance your entire network operation. So, if you’re ready to take your cyber security, cloud services, and network infrastructure to the next level, now is the time to contact our team here at Charlotte IT Solutions.