Earlier this year, Nintendo reported that over 160,000 accounts registered with them got hacked into, leaking people's credit card information and making illegal purchases.
Tragic, sure, but how does that apply to you?
Well, if a company as powerful and ubiquitous as Nintendo can get hacked, your business is easy pickings for malicious hackers and cyber-thieves out to run you into the ground. So what can you do to counter these hackers?
Well, you've come to the right place. We're here to tell you about the importance of network security in the business world!
But enough preamble, right? Let's jump right into it!
What Exactly Does Network Security Do for You?
Before we start in on the benefits and importance of network security, its important to know how it works, right? Well, network security is composed of the steps you take to ensure that your company devices and digital infrastructure are free from Internet-based attacks.
This security tends to get brought about by certain software, device, an in-person IT team, private network. It could also be some combination of the four (though this is by no means a comprehensive list of your options).
For example, one of the major functions of good network security is to monitor what sites on the web your company goes to and block any sites it sees as a threat.
It accomplishes this by either accessing a pre-made list of blocked website addresses or does a real-time assessment of the website's "danger levels".
Another function of good network safety is to provide software that isolates harmful malware like Trojan horses or spyware and destroys them.
Combined with special infrastructure that will take your data, break it down, encrypt it, and stitch it back together to send, you've got a solid defense against any hackers trying to compromise your data.
And if you think you don't need this security because your business doesn't have a massive online presence, think again.
Hackers will prioritize attacks on smaller businesses over big corporate juggernauts because they know smaller businesses have a greater chance of skimping out on proper data security.
What Is the Importance of Network Security?
The main reason that proper network security is so important is that almost everything is digital nowadays.
Any info you store on your clients to help them with transactions or make contacting them easier?
Hackers can steal that info and use it to spoof that client's identity or worse.
Do you run any financial transactions not handled by cash or check?
Well, without proper data security, your money can get stolen out from underneath you with ease.
Even your ideas and intellectual property aren't safe if you store them online. Thieves will steal your ideas and destroy any evidence they existed, or worse, sell them off as their ideas.
Another reason for the importance of network security is the automation of hacking.
Gone are the days where hackers had to sit down and input every possible combination themselves.
Instead, they can have a program run the password combos for them. This renders base passwords without any extra level of security (like two-factor authentication) at extra risk.
Besides, cyber-attacks are growing in popularity.
Both ransomware and spoofing (fake emails, etc.) attacks more than doubled in 2018, and data shows that there's not much of a chance the attack rates will drop back down anytime soon.
So if you lack strong network security, you've become easier prey to an ever-growing pool of predators.
The Importance of Network Security Part 2
An important component of having a strong level of network security is the VPN (or virtual private network).
This means that you can set your devices to access the Internet from a unique IP address.
As a result, hackers can't track your activity on the Internet and thus have a harder time breaking into your system.
Need more reasons why a strong level of network security is important?
Then consider the damage your company will face on a public level if you get hacked.
Getting hacked will lead to customers losing faith in your ability to protect them, and trying to hide that info from them will only make it worse when the truth comes out.
On top of that, some hackers will even edit your data or impersonate your company to make you look foolish or in bad taste.
This will leave a stain on your business's legacy even after the whole thing gets resolved.
So What Can I Do?
Before you run panicking for the hills to live as a nomad in the woods, there are some things you can implement immediately to help boost your odds of staying hacker-free.
First off, make sure you are keeping a firm eye on who can access sensitive files. The fewer people you give access, the less likely you're letting in a network that's compromised (this is even more important as people work from home in the era of COVID-19).
Next, make sure to switch up your passwords.
Rotating them every month or two will make it harder for hackers to find a pattern and break into your data. Make sure to keep your passwords long and with a variety of letters/numbers/symbols to boot.
As a bonus step, try to make sure all mobile devices that can access your network have a uniform set of security measures.
That way, they don't become gateways for hackers.
One of the most critical steps you can take is reaching out to someone to help buff up your cyber-defenses.
They can offer you top-tier IT guys dedicated to keeping your network clean and provide continual updates to your security systems to ensure you don't fall behind.
I Ain't Afraid of No Hackers
Now that you know the importance of network security, you're ready to hacker-proof your business to make sure you stay ahead of any cyber-attacks!
And if you're thinking of adding some major security to your company, give us a shout and see how we can help!
Now, if you'll excuse us, we need to go bust some viruses.