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  • Writer's pictureNeil Feller

Does my business need network security? #askthexpert

If you’re a small business, the cost of a cyberattack could be huge. According to IBM and the Ponemon Institute’s The Cost of Insider Threats Global Report 2020, small businesses spend an average of $7.68 million per cyber incident, and it takes an average of 77 days to contain the damage.

Despite this, 42% of small businesses with 50 or fewer employees have no cybersecurity defense plan in place whatsoever. One in five small businesses have no endpoint security, and one in three only use free or consumer-grade security for business purposes.

As cybersecurity teams catch up with the working-from-home surge, and as some corporations start to return to office-based working, cyberattackers may shift their focus once again to small and medium businesses. Is your organization prepared?

Having the right network security in place reduces the risk of cyberattacks happening to your business dramatically. Below, we outline what security measures you should take to protect your business.

What is network security?

Network security is the umbrella term given to the strategy, practices, and software that protect your business systems from cyberattacks. These elements work together to minimize the risk of your business data being compromised. If attacked, your daily operations will be affected when your network slows down or grinds to a halt, which could affect your ability to trade, meet compliance regulations, or simply function normally.

A thorough network security strategy should include the following features:

  • Hardware: make sure that your employees’ devices are safe to use and at minimal risk if stolen or lost.

  • Software: implement cybersecurity software to detect, fight, and minimize cyber threats to ensure your software isn’t vulnerable to attack.

  • Security processes: create and maintain reporting plans and escalation procedures in the event of a data breach.

  • Training: provide level-appropriate training for employees so they can keep the organization and themselves safe from cyberattack.

  • Access: maintain controls that ensure sensitive information is only accessible to those with “need to know” clearance.

There are a host of software tools that will help you maintain solid network security. These include antivirus software, network analytics, firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), AI-enabled behavioral monitoring, data encryption, and more.

Remember that these are just one aspect of your network security. You should also proactively ensure that your training, reporting, access, and device security processes prevent the opportunity for attacks in the first place.

What does network security protect against?

There are a range of ways that cybercriminals could gain access to your network and compromise valuable data. This makes small businesses a tempting and easy target for cybercriminals. These are some of the most common cyberattacks:

  • Malware: attackers install malicious software (for example Trojans, viruses, ransomware) onto your network of computers, often by enticing users to click a link or email attachment.

  • Phishing: attackers steal login credentials or other sensitive data via fraudulent communications pretending to be from reputable sources.

  • Man-in-the-middle: attackers steal data by disrupting a two-party transaction (also known as an “eavesdropping” attack).

  • Denial of service: attackers flood systems, servers, or networks with traffic so that they aren’t able to process legitimate requests.

  • Structured Query Language (SQL) injection: attackers insert malicious code into a SQL database that can modify or delete data, shut down your database, or even issue commands to your operating system.

  • Brute force: attackers guess common email/password combos until they get lucky.

Call Digital Office Equipment to see how we can help protect your business from these attacks! 912.489.6964 or

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