As our businesses grow we are increasingly relying on collecting customer data and storing it for future use. Even if you aren’t planning on it, more data is collected today at the register than ever before. Storing more data can cause more problems such as making us look tastier to hackers across the globe.
Data breaches are more commonplace and harder to spot than we think. According to IBM’s 2015 Global Study, the total increase in data breaches across the companies participating in a survey has risen to around 23% and that’s just the companies that chose to participate!
Our data is extremely important to us and we unwillingly give it away on a day to day basis. Growing companies sometimes get away from the fact that software will sometimes require complete refactoring when technology gets old. The cost of updating and redesigning software can be expensive but with the cost of the average data breach reaching almost $4 million, it’s worth keeping in touch with the people who keep your software and gateways running.
What businesses can do to secure their network
Complexity is the enemy of security. Having a well laid out tried and tested plan is your best defense against any possible attacks against your network. Here are a few precautions you can take:
In with the new, out with the old.
Removing legacy software and machines is always a great place for businesses to start with securing their network. It’s always a great idea to have professionals use tools to identify any signs of tampering or malware inside of older machines.
Segment your network.
Many routers and switches sold today have advanced features like VLAN and firewalling. VLAN’s make it easy to virtually separate LAN devices. Making this technology work for you has never been easier. When it comes to segmenting your network, it’s important to have a well-thought plan so you can ensure that you have thought of all use cases for your network.
An easy way to get started is to group systems by importance and put them on their own network. This ensures that devices on network A cannot cross talk with network B. Using this method of control helps prevent a hacker per say from accessing one system, then be able to access all the others on the network. Start with grouping your payment terminals and POS systems, then group your management computers and phones. If you have a guest network, it’s always ideal to ensure this network is always separate from your main internal network.
Hire the pros.
Want to stay on top of your business, terminals, POS and IT? It’s not as easy as we would like. When your business begins to grow you’ll need a dedicated team to handle all the low level tech for you. When it comes to hiring great IT professionals you should always do research about what software and hardware you’re currently set up with. This will help guide questions when doing an interview with a potential candidate. Some great questions to start with:
- What experience do you have handling data recovery and backup?
- What kind of software do you work with most?
- Can you perform a security audit of our current network?
- Will you be able to handle helpdesk calls to other providers?
If the candidate looks great, then lucky you! No more need to stay up all night and worry about maintaining your own network by flipping random switches and seeing what works.