As COVID-19 cases continue to develop throughout the U.S., more and more businesses have been requiring their employees to work remotely. For some businesses, this transition can be more difficult than others. While business technology as a whole has evolved to a more remote friendly entity, it doesn’t change the fact that business owners have not had the time to prepare their operations for such a sudden change. Your physical offices are inherently equipped to handle issues with both cybersecurity and productivity. This is not necessarily true for remote work setups and when so many of our employees are being forced into this situation, more risks tend to make themselves known. By following these 5 network security tips, you can help to avoid any remote work security issues.
Keeping your business, network, and employees safe during COVID-19
There’s no getting around the fact that we find ourselves in unique and trying times. As business owners, we have the responsibility to not only keep our business up and running effectively, but also to protect the employees that help accomplish this. The precautions of social distancing and requiring employees to work remote may not be ideal, but it is necessary.
While protecting our employees, we have added risks in protecting our network. Security measures can still be taken however, even under these circumstances. It’s important to understand just how these network security tips can help you keep your business out of harm’s way.
Encrypt network data
It can be easy to overlook the necessity of data encryption. Afterall, we do have the protection of the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) right? Relying on that browser padlock symbol to protect our most important business data can be a mistake, however. While the SSL is a necessity and is a great start to protecting your network, taking extra precautions with the data actually flowing through the network is highly recommended.
When facing actual network security threats, having the SSL in place as your only means of protection is the low hanging fruit cyberattackers will be looking for. It’s the same idea as the locked door of a house versus a locked door paired with an alarm system. Threats will be deterred knowing there are extra layers of security for them to navigate through. The basic, standard security measures are a good foundation for network security, but these don’t account for the context of your data and just how important it is for your business. Taking that extra step in encrypting data before it passes through the network is one of the most important network security tips that ensures your protection.
Enable VPN access
While working remotely, your employees will be accessing, creating, and updating data within your network daily. In order for this to happen, they will need to remotely access your business’s files. Setting up a VPN, or virtual private network, is like creating an encrypted highway for your internet traffic. It will allow your employees to access the business network from home without leaving information and files vulnerable and out in the open.
By enabling VPN access, you are creating this funnel of information that no one else can read. Following this tip gives you the ability to set up a virtual safe space for your employees to remain working as a team, even without physically being in the office. The process is not a complicated one and will give you the assurance that employees can access what they need from their homes without compromising sensitive files and information.
Protect and secure external network access
The ultimate cost of security breaches can be devastating for businesses. We need to take the steps to establish a sort of vetting process to filter out potential cyberattacks to our network. Creating layers to your security, again, will deter threats from breaking into your business’s bubble. Controlling the borders of your network by having firewalls in place will help to monitor and deflect any incoming traffic that doesn’t belong.
With firewalls, traffic will be scanned for things like ransomware, viruses, and other network security threats that could otherwise cripple your operation if allowed to pass through. It can be tough to effectively monitor every potential threat that attempts to access your network. This is why it is so important to have these extra layers of security in place.
Avoid unnecessary office visits (remote monitoring)
It’s especially important these days to avoid any unnecessary trips to the office. By setting up remote monitoring services, your IT infrastructure will still be supervised without having to physically be present in the office. Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) will be able to access your systems without you having to physically be present.
With remote monitoring software, your MSP will have a look into all active and inactive devices within your network. If any issues come up, patches and updates can be sent to all connected devices, solving any issues without having to put anyone’s health at risk.
24/7 network monitoring
One of the most pivotal network security tips remains: getting support from your MSP is the most effective way you can protect your network. Through 24/7 network monitoring, your MSP gives you that fail safe during even the more vulnerable times. Threats and attacks that happen overnight or over the weekend can be especially harmful, as you probably won’t catch the issue until the damage is done. With 24/7 network monitoring in place, these issues are going to be identified and solved before you even realize there was a problem to begin with.
Chances are your employees will be working strange hours during these remote times. This means there is more chance of issues coming up when your network is most vulnerable. Giving your business the attention it deserves through 24/7 monitoring services is going to sure up your defenses and give you the confidence you need.
Focus on your business – we’ll handle the rest.
As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate already with managing employees and the day to day business operations. The fact remains, network security is an important aspect to the success of your business. At Valeo Networks, we completely understand the workload you already have in front of you. For this reason, we want you to pass on the network security responsibilities to us so we can allow you to focus on your business. We offer an entire suite of managed IT services and will make sure that every component of your business is protected. Contact us for more network security tips and a free network assessment and IT roadmap today where you can get a detailed overview of just how your business will be protected and optimized.