Web of Deceit: How to Keep Your Business Safe From Cyber Attacks

Attacks on your company over the network can be a source of anxiety and fear. Most companies don’t employ the kind of IT staff that can respond quickly and effectively to these kinds of threats, and if an attack is handled improperly, it can end up costing a company both business and reputation. The risks involved should be at the top of every company’s priority list.

Understand the Technology

The basics of a “cyber attack” are really not all that hard to understand. The web operates on several common protocols and both the hardware and software are fairly standardized by now, so there isn’t a very wide variety in the kinds of attacks a company can expect.

The key to getting this part right is to not only seek out expert advice but to audit that advice with second and third sources to make sure you have a full understanding of the subject from multiple viewpoints. This will take a little longer, but the results will be worth it.

Software vs. Hardware

Both your software and your physical network structure are important when considering your vulnerability to a network attack. The strategies involved in shielding your company from this vulnerability are rather simple, but require a consistent commitment to keeping up with all the possible threats. For example, if you have crucial customer data on your network, you will want to isolate the machine that stores that information from direct exposure to the network. This makes it more difficult for an attacker to get access to it.

Keeping your software up to date is a matter of keeping your systems patched and following the manufacturer or software provider’s instructions for a fully optimized system.

Firewalls

A hardware firewall is best. Software is good, but should be combined with a hardware strategy of some kind, like isolating your crucial data servers from the network. The reason a hardware firewall is better is because it is a dedicated device with firmware programming that is very difficult to tamper with from a remote client. These devices are rather inexpensive compared to what they protect, and can be configured to make your network all but invisible to everyone except authorized users.

Avoiding Hype

The average person’s understanding of computer security usually consists of a collection of misunderstandings about the definitions of words like “Trojan” “virus” and “bug.” Don’t fall into this trap. Know the terminology and how to describe your network’s needs and you’ll find it goes a long way towards solving problems before they become bigger problems. If you consider yourself tech-illiterate, there are several steps you can take to get the info you need. Consider hiring a cybersecurity expert who has taken courses on cybercrime from criminal justice programs online to help you analyze the threats your business faces. This can be the first step towards setting up a secure, reliable defense system against cyberattacks.

Network attacks don’t have to be disasters for your company. With a little preparation and education, yours can be one of the companies that withstands problems others cannot.

Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on technology and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing.

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