network security - The Importance of Network Security for Small Businesses

The Importance of Network Security for Small Businesses

    The Importance of Network Security for Small Businesses

    In today’s modern business environment, new threats to the security of businesses’ networks and data are becoming increasingly prevalent. Professional hackers are constantly developing new methods to infiltrate private servers and networks in order to profit in different manners from stolen data.

    Small businesses are at the greatest risk of being affected by cyberattacks as many small business owners are either unaware of the various methods used to breach company data or do not put any priority or urgency into protecting it. The reality is that 20 percent of small businesses experience some kind of cyberattack, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, with nearly two-thirds of those businesses closing down within months of an attack. As a small business, it is imperative to understand the basics of network security, the potential threats that exist, and the preventative measures that can be taken to ensure the security of your data.

    Network security involves the protection of a company’s network and the data stored on the network. There are several hardware and software solutions available to detect and eliminate cyber threats before they can enter the network and corrupt or hijack sensitive employee or client data. Examples of various hardware and software security solutions include firewalls, anti-virus and anti-malware programs, virtual private networks (VPN) that allow secure remote access to data stored on a local server, and intrusion prevention systems. Many small business owners are deterred by the up-front costs to employ these layers of protection, not realizing that the price they pay as the victim of a cyberattack heavily outweighs the comparatively insignificant cost of the insurance against them.

    It is important to understand the nature of the cyberattacks and the different types that can be used to breach a company’s local area network. Some of the most common threats include malware, spyware, and viruses, terms that are familiar to many but not necessarily taken seriously by all. These software attacks can install themselves through emails or link clicks that a single unwitting employee or business owner may access on one workstation and allow to infiltrate the entire network of a business. Once installed, the malicious programs can then scan the network for sensitive data, including but not limited to credit card information, social security numbers, passwords, and other types of private information, depending on the nature of data being stored by a business. Another increasingly common attack is known as ransomware; a cybercriminal will infiltrate a network using any of the aforementioned attacks and lock the business out of its own data, requiring that they pay a specified sum of money within a certain timeframe in order to regain access to the data, threatening to permanently lock them out or completely corrupt the data if they do not promptly comply.

    There are many benefits to securing a network beyond simply just protecting your data. Employing an effective network security solution can:

    • Allow for worry-free collaboration and remote access from any location, allowing for improved productivity and workflow
    • Improve client/consumer confidence in providing any sensitive information
    • Provide compliance with any required government or industry-specific regulations
    • Mitigate any damages that would be caused by a data breach, including potential costly lawsuits
    • Minimize recovery time in the event of a security breach

    Small business owners must anticipate and plan for the potentiality, perhaps even inevitability, of the many different cyber threats that threaten private networks in today’s digital age. It is important to realize the immense cost to recover from a cyberattack, not only from just the breach of data, but from the damage to consumer/client trust and public image that can be even more detrimental than the data loss itself. Fortunately for small business owners, today’s network security options are more affordable than ever, allowing for no excuse to leave vital data unprotected and the confidence and trust of your clients in jeopardy.

    If you are worried about cyber threats to your small business or would like to err on the side of caution, contact Cadsourcing for more information. You can schedule a call to speak with one of our experienced staff members.