Football player touchdown.

Drafting Your Network Security Solutions Team

When building a winning football team, it’s always ideal to start with evaluating the players you have. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your players during scrimmages and practices. What are their strengths? Their weaknesses?

Of course, most players can’t be good at everything. You’re going to have athletes who are fast and can throw well, while others are a great at catching and punting. Some may not be skilled at rushing downfield but can block an opponent like nobody’s business. And some combinations and plays just don’t work out the way you intended.

To finalize your roster for better results, you need a strategy to strengthen your team with the best players you can find. You want players that will maximize opportunities to win every game and minimize the chances of losing yardage, injuring players, and disappointing your fans.

Knowing your team’s vulnerabilities helps you identify what kind of selections will improve game-time performance and set you up for more wins than losses. Taking these into account, you can confidently create plays and strategies that will help your team have a championship record every season. You have to be prepared.

Creating a secure network is similar. You need to know what your vulnerabilities are and how they can affect your network security and your daily operations. Then, and only then, can you create a strategy and make the right choices to keep your data safe.  

Here’s how it works.

Identify Risks

First, you need to identify your network’s potential risks and why (or how) it may be in danger of being hacked. Start by performing a vulnerability scan. This type of analysis will identify, define, and prioritize the weaknesses across your business infrastructure, network, servers, computers, and devices. Once the scan is done, you receive a report that details the vulnerabilities found and the recommended urgency and priority of addressing them.

Not all vulnerability scans are equal. Some are more in-depth, and some kinds focus on different areas of network security. There are also both free and paid versions, with the latter offering a more robust scan. Whichever you opt for, be sure the test examines the internal operation of your network as well as all public-facing elements.

Exploit Weaknesses

Secondly, you need to exploit these vulnerabilities to understand the liability presented by the risks you identified. It’s helpful to know how much damage these potential problems could cause to your business. Being aware of these risks will let you know what you need in order to build an impenetrable network. When “a direct cyberattack can cost businesses as much as $40,000 per hour,” it’s best to, as some say, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

It’s extremely helpful to know how a cyber criminal could hack into your network. How do you do this? You perform a penetration test. This kind of tests simulates a malicious attack on your network, ultimately determining whether your current cybersecurity defenses are functioning properly and which areas you need to bolster. Pen testers, also called “white hat hackers,” use security loopholes and weaknesses to challenge your defenses, hack into your business network and gain access to sensitive information.

Working with a managed service provider that specializes in penetration testing is the best way to complete this network exploitation process. They’ll be able to provide you with thorough results after testing your network’s vulnerabilities from a variety of different angles.

Enact Network Security Solutions

A resounding “50% of SMBs reported suffering at least one cyberattack in the last year.” With odds like that, it’s best to prepare. Once you know your network’s vulnerabilities, it’s critical that you fix them.

  • If you have missing security patches, update your operating system and any other software your business uses. And, get in the habit of regularly doing so.
  • If you have weak or default passwords, change them. Look into using a password management tool and activate intruder lockout after too many failed login attempts.
  • If your security policies are lacking, outline stricter ones and hold training to make sure your employees know what they are and how to handle questions.

These are just a few examples of more common vulnerabilities. Once you determine yours, work to implement solutions that bolster your network security.

Creating Your Winning Security Strategy

It may take time to determine and adopt appropriate solutions to create a rock-solid network security strategy, but it’s certainly worth it to select a winning combination. If you need assistance in the beginning, enlist the help of an IT expert. The peace of mind that comes with a secure network is especially gratifying. It allows you to stop worrying about the safety of your sensitive data and focus more time on growing your business. And that’s a win-win. Go, team!