Cybersecurity is anything but straightforward, especially if you are trying to secure a business network chock-full of valuable data. SMBs are the top targets for cyber attacks. This means it is vitally important that all business leaders understand basic concepts like network security. If you have undergone numerous leadership workshops without learning about network security, you need to expand your knowledge on the matter immediately. When there is so much misinformation floating around the web, it can be difficult to understand what’s true and what’s false. To help clear the air, here are a few of the most pernicious network security myths on the market, and what you should believe instead.
A Business Doesn’t Need Advanced Networking Features
Even if your business is new and small — like, working-out-of-your-garage-style new and small — your business deserves a powerful, high-quality network. Advanced networking features like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), analytics and more allow your business to compete on the same level with larger, more sophisticated enterprises, which is critical especially when you are new and small. The giants in your industry aren’t going to step aside because you are young and trying to cut costs.
However, perhaps more importantly, advanced features like these will grow with your business. That means you will have time to take advantage of advanced features. You can also avoid the waste of time, money and energy that is constantly replacing network equipment every few years. Even if you don’t immediately use all the features that come with a robust network package, you will save money in the long term by acclimating to the system you will use for the foreseeable future.
Endpoint Security Negates the Need for Network Security
A popular way for cyber criminals to get access to your business network is through endpoints, or the devices that connect to your network, such as computers, smartphones, IoT tech, servers, routers and more. This is because your staff, i.e. flawed human beings, use these devices. While your employees do not intend to make serious security mistakes that leave you vulnerable, they often do. More so, employees make office security mistakes while conducting every day tasks. For instance, a worker might click a suspicious link in an email or on a website. The link could lead to the installation of malware, which in turn gives cyber criminals access to your network. Alternatively, a human might divulge network login credentials in a phishing scam, providing even more direct access for attackers.
This is why you need endpoint security — but endpoint security shouldn’t be the beginning and end of your business’s cybersecurity strategy. While many threats come from endpoints, not all of them do. In fact, some of the most common business cyber attacks are launched against networks, like DDoS attacks, which flood your network with traffic and cause disruptions. Thus, you need strong network security tools at your disposal, to keep your network safe from all angles.
Robust Router Security Covers Access Points and Switches
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard that you need to reconfigure your router to prevent just any average-joe hacker from getting onto your network. Indeed, there are long lists of default router logins all over the web, meaning it isn’t hard to get onto your network if you haven’t changed the factory settings. While you may have contacted your network service, you cannot guarantee your protection against cybercrime. Unfortunately, your router isn’t the only device on your network that requires treatment. If you aren’t especially tech savvy, you might be surprised to learn about these network components:
- Hubs connect devices on a network. Hubs cannot identify the source or destination of information, so it communicates to all connected devices equally.
- Switches are like hubs, but they send information only to intended devices. Switches are more common in business network architectures.
- Access points are how wireless devices connect to a wired network. They physically connect to hubs or switches to provide wireless access.
Very few network tools are secure when you purchase them, meaning you need to take extra steps to configure them for safety and prevent malicious users from waltzing onto your network.
Getting Online Is More Important Than Staying Safe
You and your employees need to work, and they need a network to do so. However, if you believe that any functioning network is the right network for your business, you are wrong. Not all Wi-Fi is created equal, and not all network services are identical, either; you need to put in some effort to research the right solutions for you — or else hire someone who will. If you aren’t spending money on giving your business the best equipment possible, what could you possibly be spending your money on?
Cybersecurity is anything but simple, especially when it comes to a diverse environment like a business network. However, if you commit to rooting out false beliefs and wrong information, you will better equip your business with the tools it needs to succeed.