6 Cheap Ways to Improve IT Security
Everyone wants the best security for their business, but nobody wants to bankrupt their business to get it. Luckily, you do not need to spend thousands on the most expensive software, and a legion of IT professionals to bolster your IT security. There are many cheap (or even free) ways to improve IT security, and just following these 6 pieces of advice is sure to help you keep attackers at bay.
1. Don’t Wait!
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is waiting too long to address an IT security weakness. All of our suggestions are easy to integrate and cost basically nothing, yet they will immediately add value to your IT security infrastructure.
You don’t want to wait until a car crash happens to realize that you should have been wearing a seat belt all along. Putting in extra security steps now can save you much more pain and money down the road.
2. Use a VPN Connection
A VPN is a virtual private network. This network is able to connect a private connection to a public one, which can be useful for your business. A VPN can securely attach you to an IP address different than your own. This is helpful in hiding your location, and more importantly your network’s location, from hackers. It makes it much harder to gain access to a system when everyone is using secure networks.
VPNs are especially important for businesses with a mobile workforce. As many as 84% of businesses have people working from home, and will continue to due to the impact of Covid-19. If someone is using an insecure network to connect with their work then they might be a weak link that can help a hacker get access. Integrating a VPN protocol for everyone, especially workers who are at home, can really tighten up an IT network.
3. Close Firewall Ports
Firewalls are in place to filter traffic that goes in, and out of your network. This is useful for making sure that mobile workers can connect with their work correctly, and for filtering out potentially harmful emails and spam. They are a trusted form of IT security, but there are flaws that should be addressed.
Closing firewall ports is a cheap and easy way to add security. Closing up unessential ports makes it more difficult for attackers to find ways to sneak into your system. Ports are like doorways in a semipermeable membrane. You only want to open the doors that let in the good things and make sure any extra doors don’t let in something dangerous by accident.
4. Password Management
This is fundamental, but it is still worth talking about. If you do not have a strong password, then you are making every other security tip less important. It all starts with the lock that keeps the attackers out, and that’s the password.
Password management starts with having a good password to manage. That means having a password that is at least 15 characters long, with varying numbers and letters, be something unique, and don’t use the same password more than once.
A good way to come up with strong passwords that are hard to attack is to use a password generator. These are able to create passwords that are much harder to beat than a human’s.
Then, the best thing to do is to use a password manager application to store your passwords for you. This helps so you can create more difficult passwords that are more unique, and you will not have to remember everything because it’s all protected under an encrypted service.
If you manage your passwords correctly then your entire IT security system gets stronger.
5. Always Use 2FA
2FA, or two-factor authentication, is one of the newer processes that has become invaluable. Installing 2FA might be the easiest and most efficient way to help improve your IT security.
Adding a second level of authentication before allowing access to a system makes it much harder for someone to break in. Now, a simple brute force entry attack will not work. They will have to do a more sophisticated attack in order to get past this next level of authentication. This makes it much harder to get access, and adding this service costs almost nothing.
6. Use an MSP
Having an MSP on your side can help in many ways. For one, a good MSP will help you integrate the processes that we have described above while addressing other weaknesses more specific to a particular business. They will also be on your side if something does end up happening.
Always remember that having the best security in the world is not guaranteed to protect you 100%. That is why you want to have a team to help if something does go wrong. It’s about protection, prevention, and reaction if you want to support IT security to the best of your ability.
Give us a call to learn more about how we can help manage IT and add security to your business.