Why Network Security Is More Important Than Ever
Companies and government agencies in the United States experienced a record-breaking 1,091 reported data breaches last year, which is a 40 percent increase from 2015, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. This steep increase came despite nationwide increases in cybersecurity spending. And the worst part of it? Data breaches often go undiscovered and unreported, meaning this number could be a fraction of the true number of U.S. data breaches from last year.
For small to mid-sized businesses, you may be wondering: “Why do we need network security?” Many businesses assume they’re too small to catch the eye of a hacker.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Over 40 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses and only a fraction of small businesses employ measures to protect themselves. Don’t make the same mistake — instead, implement a network security system in your business.
The Importance of Network Security
So what is network security and what does it really mean? In essence, network security is an organization’s preventative strategy to protect their IT systems and infrastructure from misuse. This can involve employing inherent security measures like system passwords or designated security measures like software for ID verification.
Unfortunately, most network security systems are insufficient in the modern age, with misconfigured equipment and unsecured usernames and passwords. Such issues can result in serious consequences for businesses:
- Data Loss: Losing critical business and customer data can cripple your business, especially if the data loss includes financial information.
- Fines and Penalties: Customer data breaches can result in severe fines from the government or even loss of certification for certain compliance standards.
- Loss of Business: Data breaches can be devastating for your customers and will cause them to trust your business less and refuse to return.
- Financial Losses: The above factors combine to create severe financial stresses on your business, reducing your revenue and cutting into your profits. It’s no surprise, then, that many businesses that experience major data breaches close their doors within a year of the breach.
These reasons are why network security plans are so essential for your business and its customers.
The Benefits of Network Security
By increasing network security, your business not only avoids the potential problems listed above, but you also benefit from the following:
- Minimized Breach Risk: This is the primary benefit of implementing a robust network security system. By reducing breach risks, your company avoids costly breaches and the aftermath.
- Improved Productivity: Part of network security is enhancing efficiency and minimizing slowdowns, as these can introduce risks to your network. Improved efficiency also has the benefit of increasing productivity by eliminating wait time.
- Enhanced Compliance: Many companies report to some sort of regulatory entity, with which they must maintain compliance. Many of these entities now have cybersecurity regulations to comply with, which your business can achieve with improved network security.
- Increased Profits: By avoiding breaches, improving productivity and enhancing compliance, your business minimizes costs, enhances money-making functions and improves your standing in the market. Each of these factors plays a big role in improving your business’ profits.
How to Start Securing Your Network
So, what does securing a network look like? In reality, enhancing your system’s network security takes very little time on your business’ part. Enhance your system’s security today by taking a few small steps:
- Update Software: Software vendors regularly release patches on their software to fix vulnerabilities, so updating them can be essential to your data protection.
- Install Anti-Virus Systems: Ensure that your business has an anti-virus and anti-spyware system installed and that you use it regularly to check for suspicious activity. This is essential for stopping breaches before they happen.
- Content Filtering: Protect your employee’s computers from infection by using a good web content filter. This will prevent them from going to malicious websites and risking a breach.
- Backup and Recovery: Implement a backup system for your business so that if a breach does occur, your data isn’t entirely lost. Though you may still lose data in the process, this system can help minimize losses.
These measures and more can help your business prevent security breaches and minimize the effects of data loss. For more robust network security improvements, installing new programs or consulting with a network security specialist may be necessary.
Let CTI Maximize Your Network Security
You don’t have to do this alone. Consolidated Technologies, Inc. can help enhance your business security with network design and implementation techniques to help your company minimize your risks. Our innovative staff of experts has helped over 2,000 companies improve their systems and can do the same for your business.
Start your CTI journey today. Fill out the form below to request more information about a Network or Security Assessment.