It should come as no surprise that modern businesses work in a digitized world. However, digitization is more than moving analog data to computers. Most companies store their data on an interconnected network.
Connected networks let employees in any location access the same data with ease. The problem arises when bad actors use the World Wide Web to attack corporate networks. That is the reason why network security is important.
This article will take a closer look at the importance of network security. We will discuss what network security is, why you need it, and how you can implement it.
What is Network Security?
Network security is a cyber security practice that focuses on your computer networks. It is a way to defend your interconnected corporate networks from malware.
A good network security system encompasses every device, application, and file that connects to the internet. This is not limited to work computers. It also includes mobile devices, Wi-Fi routers, and IoT devices like smartwatches.
You may also implement network security policies that cover your employees’ personal device usage. Attackers can use personal devices to gain unauthorized access to your network.
For example, a hacker can infect an employee’s smartphone and then access your company’s network by invading your office’s Wi-Fi connection.
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Why Do We Need Network Security?
Your staff and customers expect you to have a network security plan. Without one, they will be wary of sharing their personal information with you. Security breaches put them at risk of identity theft while costing you thousands and damaging your reputation.
This demand for network security impacts consumer behavior. Nine out of ten surveyed consumers said that a company’s data security impacted their purchasing decisions.
More than half of these consumers said they would switch to a competitor with better security systems.
To that extent, part of the importance of network security is simply good business. Any business owner would benefit from introducing something that consumers demand. However, consumer demand is only one of many reasons why you need network security.
1. Protect Your Intellectual Property
Data breaches put your company at risk of data loss and leaks. Hackers can spread your new ideas, unpublished marketing materials, and confidential financial information.
Public or unauthorized knowledge of this information can hurt your image and give your competitors access to this data for their usage.
2. Control the Spread of Malware
It is not unusual for networks of different organizations to be connected to each other. Many companies give partners and suppliers access to their networks.
However, this means that cyber attacks on one network can affect others. Once your system is breached, a hacker may be able to access other companies that your network connected to recently.
3. Improve Your Network’s Performance
One common type of cyber attack is a DoS attack. This attack floods your network traffic to induce a system crash. As a result, customers experience performance issues and employees lose productivity.
Network security will reduce the risk of DoS attacks and system slowdowns. Strong security makes it more difficult for bad actors to incapacitate your systems by manipulating internet traffic.
4. Proactive Network Security Costs Less Than a Breach
Many business owners worry about the cost of cybersecurity measures. This is understandable considering good security involves additional staff and infrastructure. However, protecting networks from an attack costs much less than mitigating one.
According to the Ponemon Institute, early risk detection saved United States businesses $3.05 million USD each last year. Whether you automate threat detection or perform it manually, network security is key to proactively catching and patching vulnerabilities.
5. Legal Requirements
Every business must follow compliance standards and some industries are heavily regulated. Effective network security protects sensitive data like healthcare and financial records.
Failing to meet their requirements puts you at risk of legal repercussions. So, take the time to understand your requirements and why your agency believes network security is important.
Common Network Security Methods
Now that you understand the importance of network protection, let’s explore some of the ways you can implement it.
One example is relying on a layered approach to network security. This involves multiple levels of protection, which include:
- Perimeter security
- Endpoint security
- Backup and disaster recovery
- Authentication protocols
- Real-time monitoring services
- Security awareness training for your employees
There are also various other methods you can use to secure your network, including:
- Network segmentation protects your business from internal threats and keeps it isolated from the wider internet. You should not allow everyone online to see your network nor should you let every employee access any record.
- Access control is a fairly basic level of network security. It involves username, password, and two-factor/multi-factor (2FA and MFA) authentication.
- Staff training keeps your network security policy strong. Provide standardized training that answers the question “why is network security important to your business?”
- Email security policies will help prevent phishing attacks and can block your employees from forwarding information to unrecognized email addresses.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) mask your IP and encrypt transmitted data. Therefore, hackers will have a harder time finding you and reading your data.
- Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) collects and monitors data from key endpoints throughout your network to identify, respond to, contain, and remove threats while also notifying security staff.
- Zero Trust is a security framework that only allows previously approved applications to run, reducing the threat of a bad actor installing malware or making changes to your device.
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Enhance Your Network Security Measures With TAG
There is a lot to consider while you implement your network security strategy. Why is network security important to you and what will it protect? What different types of network security do you need in your strategy?
Technology Advisory Group offers cybersecurity consulting services to businesses in Rhode Island and across New England. Our information security analysts understand the importance of network security and will assess your network to provide educated guidance.
Because technology changes, we’ll gladly reevaluate your needs anytime. Our team stays updated with the latest network security trends to help you make the most of them.
For more information, contact us today to get started.
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