A Network Risk Assessment can dispel security concerns and propel your team to the ultimate goal for your organization and its network infrastructure – peace of mind.
For me, there’s perhaps no better mind-clearing, stress-relieving pastime then a jaunt along the trails at a nearby state park. The sun poking its way through the towering pine trees, coupled with the low-volume sounds of the early morning surrounding me, provides me peace of mind to empower a productive week ahead.
Isn’t peace of mind – in our homes and our workplace – what we all ultimately crave? Given today’s volatile cyber security climate, fear and uncertainty of everything from downtime to network intrusion can disrupt an organization’s collective contentment.
It may keep some business owners and IT administrators up at night, while others remain simply unsure of how their network holds up against threats. Never before have businesses of all sizes seen the real potential for data loss, Ransomware and other cyber attacks on virtually every digital platform we interact with daily.
But there’s progress to be made, both on the end user and the enterprise levels, that can alleviate concerns and promote a more proactive, strategic IT mindset.
It’s important first to remember that online security remains very much a matter of our everyday behaviors; not just the implementation of a high-level network security plan. There are best practices your employees can incorporate to help keep you from the “high risk” category of cyber attacks.
Five practical tips your team can utilize today:
1.Be suspicious of unsolicited e-mails asking you to click on a link, download an attachment, or provide account information.
It’s easy for cyber criminals to copy the logo of a reputable company or organization into a phishing email. When responding to a simple request, you may be installing malware. Your safest strategy is to ignore unsolicited requests, no matter how legitimate or enticing they appear.
2. Be careful where and how you connect to the Internet.
Only access the Internet for banking or for other activities that involve personal information using your own laptop or mobile device through a known, trusted, and secure connection. A public computer, such as at a hotel business center or public library, and free Wi-Fi networks are not necessarily secure. It can be relatively easy for cyber criminals to intercept the Internet traffic in these locations.
3. Be cautious and mindful when using social networking sites.
Cyber criminals use social networking sites to gather details about individuals, such as their place or date of birth, a pet’s name, their mother’s maiden name, and other information that can help them figure out passwords — or how to reset them.
4. Don’t share your ‘page’ or your information with anyone you don’t know and trust.
Cyber criminals may pretend to be your ‘friend’ to convince you to send money or divulge personal information.
5. Use the strongest method available to log into financial accounts.
Use the strongest authentication offered, especially for high-risk transactions. Use passwords that are difficult to guess and keep them secret. Create “strong” user IDs and passwords for your computers, mobile devices, and online accounts by using combinations of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols that are hard to guess and then change them regularly. Although using the same password or PIN for several accounts can be tempting, doing so means a criminal who obtains one password or PIN can log in to other accounts.
In the same vein as that early morning, stress-relieving run, a network assessment from a reputable managed services provider is akin to lacing up your shoes and mapping out your route. Before introducing software and hardware tools into your network security plan, it’s important to identify both where you are currently on the map and, ultimately, your destination.
Five questions to ask yourself right now to begin assessing your network stability:
- What hardware and endpoint security solutions do you currently have in place?
- How well are your employees trained in basic cyber security measures? It is humans, after all, that are interacting with email/spam filters/alerts/etc.
- Is your IT team putting out fires every day? Is there time left to think strategically and keep up with ongoing security measures?
- How do you currently evaluate and/or test the effectiveness of your network security program?
- What is your plan for responding to a security breach?
Do you owe yourself, your team and especially your customers an in-depth view of your existing security landscape? A Network Risk Assessment can dispel security concerns and propel your team to the ultimate goal for your organization and its network infrastructure – peace of mind.