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Don’t Let These 3 Easy Oversights Compromise Your Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_lockblu400There is a common misperception that strong anti-virus software is all you need to cover the security of your network. While anti-virus software is an important component to network security, there’s more to it if you want a secure network. You need to also take into account the human factor, which can disable even the strongest software solution.

Having a strong anti-virus software without training your employees on the basics of network security, is like buying the safest car on the market, complete with airbags, a rear-view camera, and anti-lock brakes, turning the new car over to an untrained teenager, and then telling them to run an errand for you that requires a drive on the freeway during rush hour. It doesn’t make sense because there are many opportunities for failure to occur.

Before you hand the keys of a new car over to a klutzy teen, you will first want to send them to traffic school and have them log in a few hours of driving under your supervision. In the same way, before you create network login credentials for a new hire, it’s important to first assess their knowledge of network security. You can do this by finding a way to monitor their usage in order to be sure they know what they’re doing, and then training them in the basics of security to prevent them from bringing down your network with a fatal error.

Here are three basic network security practices you will want to train your new employees in.

Bad Downloads
When a new employee gets settled in, it’s inevitable that they will run into a workflow roadblock and believe they know a better software solution. You may not have this preferred software installed on their workstation, which means they will have to go online and download it themselves. Unless parameters have been clearly communicated, the new employee may download the software without asking first.

Untested and unapproved downloads are a huge security risk. One reason is because they may have been developed by a third-party company that loaded the software with malware and spyware. These viruses can work behind the scenes to glean your sensitive information. If the employee is determined to use their favorite software, then all they would have to do is click “override” when your fancy anti-virus solution gives warning. Your network would then be at the mercy of the hackers posing as legitimate software developers. This is why it’s important to have a “no unauthorized downloading” policy in place.

Easy Wireless Access
It may be the case that your wireless network was hastily set up and the suggested security measures were seen as too complicated. Maybe you opted to make your wireless security easy for everybody by having one company-wide password that’s easy to remember. Your password may even be something as simple as “guest”.

The problem with being relaxed about your remote access is that it’s now easy for a hacker to log onto your network. This could especially true if it’s been a long time since you last changed your wireless password, and the risk would be even worse if you have hired and fired several employees while keeping your one simple wireless password in place. Keep in mind that it wouldn’t take much for an employee to misplace their written down password, and then have it end up in the hands of someone that would see the newfound note as the key to your virtual safe.

Falling for E-mail Scams
There are many different e-mail scams out there, some are easy to spot like, “You have won $1,000,000, click here!” Other scams are more deceptive, looking like an official message from a trusted financial institution, or even addressing the recipient by name. If your employees are not trained in knowing all the different scams, then you are risking it. Just because your employees are bright when it comes to doing their job, doesn’t guarantee their intelligence will automatically translate into knowing what constitutes a scam.

Like downloading unapproved software, you would be surprised how many companies have had their data compromised because an employee clicked “override” when downloading a bad e-mail attachment. Something as little as incorporating a 30-minute presentation about what to look for in a scam will go a long way in protecting your network.

While it’s important to have a solid antivirus solution, it won’t do you any good if you have a bunch of security novices clicking every pop-up ad and downloading every e-mail attachment. Even our strongest network security solution, a Unified Threat Management tool, which acts as a strong firewall, content filter, and more, can be disabled at the hands of a security dummy.

Train your employees, if you need assistance, then call PACE Technical Services at 905.763.7896. We can help you in both the training of your workforce along with the hardware and software side of security. Give us a call to learn about all the different security measures you can enact to protect your business.

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