Your organization relies on technology to fulfill its mission. But technology truly is the next frontier, and there are plenty of criminals in this new Wild West who are trying to steal your sensitive information. No matter your organization’s size, clients, or revenue, we can guarantee that cyber criminals want to steal your data.
. . . are daily challenges to your business, even if you can’t see them. In this guide, you’ll learn what network security is, why it’s important, and what you need to do to secure your network.
What is network security?
Network security refers to the multiple layers of protection around your digital assets. Just as you lock the doors, windows, and gates in your home, network security locks down all of your digitized assets, too.
With network security, you strategically use protective technology to prevent unauthorized use. Through a combination of hardware and software, network security creates a more secure environment so your business is less vulnerable to attackers. Network security is an unending process that constantly looks for vulnerabilities, redesigning your system so it can be resilient in the face of increasing threats.
Why is network security important to organizations and businesses?
No one is immune from cyber threats. In fact, 50% of cyber attacks happen to small- and medium-sized businesses. Sixty-six percent of the 30 million SMBs in the U.S. experienced at least one security incident from 2018 to 2020.
You’re never too small or too large to avoid security threats. Network security is critical to organizations of any size for these five reasons:
As consumers digitize more of their lives, government and industry agencies are cracking down on data breaches. Chances are, your organization must follow minimum security standards to comply with:
- SOC 2
If you experience a breach that violates these guidelines, you could be at risk of legal action, penalties, and expensive fines. Since HIPAA breaches cost $10.1 million per incident, this is an expensive problem that organizations should take seriously.
Protect your sensitive information
Network security is important because it locks down sensitive information like:
- Credit card numbers
- Health records
Network security is the best way to prevent breaches that threaten both personal and organizational privacy. For example, if your organization is working on a prototype product, thieves can steal your work and sell it to the highest bidder.
Protect those you serve
How will your clients or customers feel if you fail to protect their data? Data breaches cost organizations millions of dollars in fines, but they also cost you customers. In fact, 81% of customers say they would stop interacting with a business after a data breach.
Avoid expensive ransoms
Ransomware attacks infiltrate your network and hold your data hostage in exchange for a fee. Unfortunately, the average ransom is increasing: ransom requests went up from an average of $170,000 in 2020 to $812,000 in 2021.
However, with solid network security, you can avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransoms and keep your hard-earned money.
Optimize network performance
Network security is primarily a safety concern, but it also has convenient side effects: speed and performance. A secure network is a modern, updated network that makes it difficult for attackers to penetrate the system.
This not only improves security but also eliminates lags and performance issues. So, when you improve security, speed and performance often come with it, which makes network security a true win-win.
4 ways to secure organizational networks
Threats change almost constantly, which means organizations need to stay on their toes to secure their networks. While best practices will change over time, these four approaches will help you secure your network against most threats.
1. Train your team
Did you know that 95% of all cybersecurity breaches happen because of human error?
Improper use of the internet can open up your organization to all kinds of threats, and that’s why your employees need regular cybersecurity training. While some of it might sound like common sense, everyone in your organization needs to know how to:
- Check URLs before clicking them
- Spot phishing emails
- Report suspicious links or emails to IT
If your team continues to download risky attachments or click malicious links, consider conducting internal tests. Phishing tests will keep your team on their toes and flag which employees need retraining.
Keep in mind that security isn’t a one-time solution. Download Dice’s training curriculum to ensure your team follows security best practices at all times.
2. Monitor your network
What’s normal for your network? The best way to spot unauthorized use is through monitoring your network activity with 24/7 monitoring tools. For example, if there’s a sudden burst of activity at 2 AM on a Tuesday, you can take action to lock down your network because that activity is out of the norm.
While monitoring won’t always catch every anomaly, it can stop attacks and prevent them from doing even more damage.
3. Automate patches and updates
Outdated software is a goldmine for hackers, which is why organizations need to patch and update their software ASAP. Certain network security vendors, like Dice, can automatically push these updates out through your network and remove any vulnerabilities that criminals might try to exploit.
4. Back up your data
Network security will stop most threats, but there’s no guarantee that it will stop everything, especially if you experience an insider attack. That’s why data backups are so important. If the worst happens, you can revert to a backup instead of losing your data forever.
How can Dice help?
Even if you have internal IT resources, network security requires a lot of work. Whether you’re an enterprise or an SMB, it’s helpful to tap the expertise of IT professionals like Dice. For years, Dice has helped organizations across various industries with:
- Managed IT services
- Cybersecurity assessment and remediation
- Endpoint protection
- Penetration tests
- Business continuity
Is your network protected? Learn how Dice can help you check if your network is secure — and what you can do to lock it down.
Network security refers to the multiple layers of protection around your digital assets. Just as you lock down the doors, windows, and gates in your home, network security locks down all of your digitized assets, too.
There are several ways organizations can secure their networks, including:
- Employee training
- Network monitoring
- Patching and updates
Maybe. Threats are always changing, which is why your organization needs to conduct a network risk assessment. That’s the only way to determine which risks threaten your organization.