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Don’t Let These 3 Easy Oversights Compromise Your Network

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Don’t Let These 3 Easy Oversights Compromise Your Network

Do you have antivirus software to protect your network? Do you think that it’s enough to keep your network secure? If so, it’s important to know this: although antivirus software is a crucial element of network security, there’s more that you need to do to ensure it’s protected. It’s also important to factor in human error, which can lead to dangerous breaches of network security.

You need antivirus software but you also need to train your staff on network security and how to maintain it at all times. Otherwise it’s like buying a car with all the latest safety features and then giving it to a teenager to drive on the freeway. It’s a recipe for disaster. What you’d actually do would be to send the teenager for driving lessons and allow them to acquire some supervised driving experience.

It’s the same with network security. When you hire new staff, make sure they understand how your network security works before you create login credentials for them. You should instruct them in the basics of cybersecurity and you can monitor their usage for a short period to make sure they have the necessary competence. Simple mistakes can cause fatal errors and punch a huge hole in your network security. Here are three things that your new staff need to know about.

1) Dangerous Downloads

A common scenario is that your new staff member will run into a workflow roadblock and will try to get round it by deciding to use alternative software that’s not installed on their workstation. Downloading it themselves is easy enough. The problem is that untested downloads are potentially a serious threat to security. Third party companies may develop software that contains dangerous spyware and other malware that can harvest your confidential data.

You need to make it clear that software should not be downloaded without prior permission. It’s often possible for someone to download their preferred software and just click ‘override’ if your antivirus system tries to block it. One download of bad software can put your network in the hands of hackers and cybercriminals. Make sure you enact a strict and unambiguous ‘no unauthorized downloading’ policy.

Secure Remote Access

A wireless network that wasn’t set up with strong security measures in place is another potential threat to your network. To make things easier for everyone you may have a company-wide password (‘guest’ is a common one). This makes it easy for hackers to logon and do what they want with your network and your resources.

If you don’t change your wireless password regularly then this problem just gets bigger. Over time, most companies have some staff turnover, so ex-employees will still be able to logon. It’s also common for passwords to be recorded by staff so they don’t forget them, only for that piece of paper, or the device they’ve stored it on, to be accessed by others. You don’t want to give hackers the key to the door of your network. Resist passwords that are too simple and change them regularly for better remote access security.

3) Prevent Email Scammers

Creative cybercriminals have come up with thousands of email scams and they’re not going away any time soon. It’s easy to spot some of them, such as the ones that tell you that you’ll win a million dollars just by clicking on a link. Others are more cunning and more likely to trick people. These include carefully crafted emails that look as if they come from a legitimate institution like your bank, and messages that include information about the recipient, which make them seem genuine.

Train your employees in the risks of email scams. Even the smartest employee can be fooled by a clever scam and the cybercriminals put a lot of effort into enticing people to believe that they’re for real. Again, an employee might be tempted to click ‘override’ when your anti-spam system flags up a dangerous download. Even a half-hour training session could make all the difference, so employees are alert to the dangers of email scammers and their tactics.

You can (and should) have a quality antivirus solution in place but it can be bypassed by people who don’t fully appreciate the risks of clicking on pop-up ads and downloading attachments or links in emails. Our Unified Threat Management tool is a powerful network security solution that includes a strong firewall, content filtering and other protections, but even the best measures can be rendered useless by someone who doesn’t fully understand how security works.

One of the best things you can do to protect the integrity of your network is training your employees. Quikteks can help. We can assist in cybersecurity training for your staff, for both hardware and software use. Call Quikteks at (973) 882-4644 for more information on the different cybersecurity measures you can deploy.

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Quikteks is the leading Managed Service Provider (MSP) based in Fairfield, NJ serving small and medium sized businesses in the NJ/NY area. From technical help desk support to network security, Quikteks prevents IT issues, "techaches" and costly downtime, so businesses can accelerate their success.

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