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Ways to improve your business network security

Enterprises must stay ahead of the curve in order to be properly safeguarded against an ever-growing array of cyber threats. However, constantly protecting all of your digital assets can be challenging. Your company network is perhaps the most essential of these assets as this is where all online traffic is routed through.

All endpoint devices, routers, servers, data centres and cloud infrastructure are part of a business network. Network security is essential for any modern business as data breaches, malware, phishing attacks and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks all have the potential to bring down entire networks.

In 2021, the average cost of a data breach was US$4.24 million (R63.4 million). As company networks expand and become more vulnerable, the massive shift to remote working has only added to this cost. Ransomware attacks also rose in frequency in 2021, with 37% of companies worldwide reporting being victims of some type of ransomware attack.

Most firms employ endpoint protection and firewalls as their primary cyber security tools, but more sophisticated software to defend the network’s core is required. Here are a few network security principles a company can employ to strengthen its cybersecurity measures. 

The adoption of a zero-trust policy

Network and IT administrators should institute a zero-trust policy in their companies. Nowadays, failure to do so could be seen as negligence. Network managers must address each digital asset individually in a zero-trust architecture to ensure that it operates within the company’s security and compliance parameters.

Instead of assuming that all devices are operating correctly, network and IT managers will need to monitor them constantly. Patches and upgrades for software are released so often these days that security configurations must be updated on a regular basis. 

Three principles for enhancing network security

Once a zero-trust policy is implemented, a company can begin to focus on three network security principles that will improve cyber threat monitoring, defence and mitigation.

1. Device configuration – Device configuration errors are the source of most network security issues. Patching and updating software will not solve these issues if the devices are not properly connected to the network. The first step in network security is to configure devices properly and all of these configurations should be monitored and maintained on a regular basis.

2. Automation of software – Software for threat detection and mitigation must be automated. Employees cannot manually monitor and track the system because of the high number of vulnerabilities that can exist in a large company’s network. Automated security ensures network integrity and protection 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

3. Using multiple cyber security services – To ensure that their networks are completely protected, modern businesses should utilise a variety of security services. The simplest way to do this is to partner with a business that offers a wide range of security programmes and services, beyond firewalls and anti-virus software.

Large enterprises must ensure complete endpoint protection, malware detection and enhanced email security are among their IT security services. Businesses are able to guarantee complete network security and prevent the astronomical expenses of data breaches, cyber attacks and ransomware by utilising one or more of these services.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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