Tips for Effective Network Security Management in 2021

As 2020 comes to a close, some issues that have stolen the spotlight this year will remain equally relevant in 2021. Most companies have gone through a number of challenging situations in the past few months, as the pandemic has put even some of the strongest and best-established companies to the test. In the midst of all the redundancies, lost projects, postponed collaborations, and the economic decline on a global scale, businesses haven’t had the chance to come up for air and consider their 2021 plans, wondering if they’ll even be there to greet it. 

Now that you know that you will certainly be present in 2021, you cannot lose sight of what matters so much, and that is cybersecurity. Precisely because of the pandemic and the perils we have all been through, no business can afford a security scandal or a data breach to expose sensitive client information. 

Prevention and boosting overall resilience will be a major topic of the upcoming months, and it will define 2021 as the year when companies do their best to increase their stability, wisely learning from the experiences from 2020. We will outline a few ideas regarding cybersecurity, and in particular, your network security management to keep your business protected at all times.

Security patches for your software

Together with fast-paced tech innovation, hackers, too, tend to implement more refined strategies to penetrate your security defenses and access your most sensitive information. It’s vital not to underestimate any hacker’s abilities and tools to jeopardize your data and your business reputation, which is why keeping your systems and all of your software up to date is vital for your network security.

The latest program and app versions have security patches that eliminate security gaps and issues from their previous versions. They also implement the latest prevention measures to keep your network stronger, hence the need to regularly update all of your software, especially your security software that prevents malware attacks. 

Upgrade security with hardware

Hand in hand with your software security, regular updates, as well as smart password protection, your network can benefit from taking your preventative measures up a notch. In recent years, more businesses have started using a firewall appliance together with their software solutions, so as to elevate their network security. 

Firewalls are a great addition to your security strategy because they offer real-time protection for your network, ensure traffic monitoring and control, and provide improved visibility of all of your security protocols. As 2021 will require innovative security solutions, firewalls both in their traditional, software form and as hardware will become essential. 

Employee workshops

Just like with BYOD policies, which we’ll get shortly, your employees and their decisions will have the greatest impact on your overall cybersecurity, your network security included. Since not everyone is skilled to recognize social engineering schemes or adapt their password to the latest security trends, ongoing security workshops are essential. 

When it’s time to introduce a new team member to your organization, make sure they have access to your security policy, and that they are fully prepared and trained to handle confidential information with great care. How you educate your teams will allow you to keep your network even safer in 2021. 

Conduct network audits

If there’s one takeaway we should remember from running a business in 2020, it’s the need for ongoing advancement. Knowing that you should remember that your 2021 network security cannot rely on existing strategies alone, but that you also cannot pick and choose new strategies on a whim. Your security upgrades need to be data-based and thoroughly researched.

The best possible way to enhance network security is to conduct network audits that will allow your security teams to spot potential threats before a breach even occurs. They will also become better at recognizing optimization opportunities, to further improve network security over time. 

Multifactor authentication

Network security in 2021 should be all about innovation. In simple terms, you need to go that extra mile in ensuring better network security with the help of multifactor authentication. Make it extra hard for hackers by utilizing biometric devices for fingerprints, image recognition, and voice commands, and you’ll take your security to the next level. 

Pairing complex and strong passwords with multifactor authentication will make it virtually impossible for anyone who doesn’t belong to your organization to breach your protective measures. 

Define your BYOD policy

The bring your own device (BYOD) trends are somewhat of a norm among modern-day companies, so employees will often use their office network to connect their personal phones and access their personal social media profiles and email accounts. There are so many variables to consider when it comes to your BYOD policy: devices can get stolen, employees might not even use malware protection on those devices, and they could download apps with security risks. 

A comprehensive policy that will help your teams manage their devices at work and when using your network will prevent most, if not all of the unwanted intrusions. 

Build a strong password culture

Even the finest software protection can only go so far when it comes to thwarting malicious breach attempts. Why? Because if you tend to “protect” your business network with a weak password, an experienced and sensible hacker will be able to guess that password fairly quickly and within very few attempts. You would be surprised just how many companies still rely on reused passwords and simplistic combinations such as “12345”. If a hacker guesses the password – your software doesn’t stand a chance. 

That is why creating strong and secure passwords to protect everything from your network all the way to each and every account is essential. Deterring unwanted network access often boils down to such simple solutions, so conduct regular checks if all of your passwords can really be considered strong. 

Protecting your network means effectively investing in all other aspects of your business cybersecurity. However, as you’ve noticed from several of the tips listed here, also actively contributing to other aspects of your cybersecurity policy means that your network will be all the safer for it. Work towards a stronger, more secure business network that will be impervious to malicious attacks, but that will also ensure a safe environment for employee collaboration.