This article is written by Winsor Consulting.
No one can completely avoid risk when it comes to their network security. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to minimize your organization’s vulnerability! We will discuss 10 effective ways to reduce your organization’s network security risk.
If you’re responsible for your organization’s network security, you can’t afford to take risks. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to reduce your risk and keep your network safe. Here are our top ten tips:
#1 Use strong passwords and require them to be changed regularly.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce your network security risk is to implement strong password policies. All too often, weak and easily guessed passwords are the root cause of data breaches. Make sure that your employees are using strong passwords by implementing the following password policies:
- Passwords should be a minimum of eight characters in length
- Passwords should contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
- Passwords should not be reused across multiple accounts
- Employees should change their passwords every 90 days
#2 Patch Management is Key
Make sure you’re patching your systems regularly and keeping up with the latest security updates. Vulnerability management is an important piece of keeping your systems updated.
Vulnerability management is the process of identifying, classifying, and mitigating vulnerabilities in your system. This is an important part of reducing your network security risk because it helps you to identify and fix potential problems before they can be exploited by attackers.
There are many different vulnerability management tools available, so you’ll need to choose the best option for your needs.
#3 Encrypt your data, both at rest and in transit.
Another way to reduce your organization’s risk is by encrypting sensitive data. This will make it much more difficult for attackers to access your data if they do manage to breach your network.
There are many different ways to encrypt data, so you’ll need to choose the best method for your needs.
Data encryption protects your data in the event of a breach by making it unreadable to unauthorized users. There are two main types of data encryption:
- Data at rest encryption protects data that is stored on devices such as laptops, servers, and smartphones.
- Data in transit encryption protects data as it is being transmitted over the internet or other networks.
Both types of data encryption are important for protecting your organization’s data.
#4 Configure your firewall properly and limit access to only those who need it.
Firewalls are one of the most important tools for reducing network security risk. A firewall can help to block malicious traffic and protect your network from attacks.
There are many different types of firewalls available, so you’ll need to choose the best option for your organization. One popular option is a next-generation firewall (NGFW). NGFWs use a combination of hardware and software to provide advanced security features.
#5 Use a VPN for remote access.
VPNs are used to create a secure connection between two networks. VPNs can be used to connect employees to your corporate network, so they can access files and applications remotely. VPNs can also be used to connect you to public Wi-Fi networks, so you can browse the internet safely.
There are many different types of VPNs available, so you’ll need to choose the best option for your organization. One popular option is a VPN client. VPN clients allow you to connect to a VPN server, so you can access your corporate network remotely.
#6 Consider a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Solution.
A SIEM provides two main capabilities to an Incident Response team:
- Reporting and forensics about security incidents
- Alerts based on analytics that matches a certain rule set, indicating a security issue
A SIEM is a data aggregator, search, and reporting system at its core. SIEM collects enormous amounts of data from your complete networked environment, consolidates, and makes that data human accessible. With the data classified and laid out at your fingertips, you can study data security breaches with as much detail as needed.
However, experts say enterprise demand for greater security measures has driven more of the SIEM market in recent years. This is why Managed SIEM has gained popularity. Many IT departments are unable to spend the time necessary to draw the data out of a SIEM that will allow them to properly detect cyber threats.
#7 Educate your employees about security best practices.
One of the best ways to reduce your organization’s network security risk is to educate your employees about security best practices. By educating your employees, you can help them to understand the importance of security and how they can help to protect your organization’s data. Additionally, employee education can help to identify potential security risks before they become a problem.
According to a recent survey, 79% of survey participants admitted to having engaged in at least one risky activity within the previous year. The activities included sharing their login credentials with coworkers, using personal devices at work without authorization, using the same password for multiple accounts, and even permitting their company devices to be used by family members.
#8 Conduct regular security audits.
Regular security audits are an important part of reducing your organization’s network security risk. Security audits help you to identify potential security risks and take steps to mitigate them. Additionally, security audits can help you to track the effectiveness of your security measures over time.
Our Cyber Risk Assessment is a required step when determining the needs or success of your security program. Following NIST guidelines our risk experts perform interviews, documentation analysis, and walkthrough of physical areas to determine the state of the security program of the client.
#9 Have a plan in place for when things go wrong.
An incident response plan is critical for reducing your organization’s network security risk. incident response plans help you to respond quickly and effectively to security incidents. Additionally, incident response plans can help you to prevent future incidents by identifying and addressing potential security risks.
#10 Stay up to date on the latest security threats and trends.
Another way to reduce your organization’s network security risk is to be aware of the latest cyber threats and trends. Keep an eye out for new methods that hackers are using to gain access to networks, and make sure that you have the appropriate defenses in place.
In addition to being aware of new threats, you should also have a plan in place for how to deal with them if they do occur. This may include having an incident response team on standby, as well as backup systems and data in case of a breach.
Many of our clients are overwhelmed by attempting to keep up with all the latest security threats. We have a team of security analysts working around the clock and are constantly updated on any cybercrime trends. Learn more about our managed services here.
#11 (BONUS) Contact IMEC to reduce your organization’s network security risk.
Another way to reduce your organization’s network security risk is to partner with the best-fitting Managed Services Provider. Without the proper MSP, you could be spending a lot of extra money trying to manage and control your technological needs. It is inevitable that businesses will have you use technology somehow in today’s age, and trying to tackle all the issues alone can be tedious and time-consuming.
By following these tips, you can help to reduce your organization’s network security risk. However, it’s important to remember that no system is 100% secure. There is always a risk of being targeted by a cyberattack. The best way to protect your organization is to be prepared and have a plan in place for how to deal with an attack if one does occur.
Let's talk about your security needs and see how we can help - schedule a free consultation through IMEC.