network security playbook

Who has access to your network security playbook?

If you’re a fan of football, chances are you’ve heard of SpyGate.

In 2007, the New England Patriots videotaped defensive plays from the New York Jets sideline, violating NFL rules. The costly attempt to gain a competitive edge illuminated a problem which had long been ignored in the league: Coaches and staff often operate in gray areas in order to sneak a peek at their opponent’s playbook.

As a business owner, you have to be acutely aware of who has access to your “playbook” or company data. Without proper permissions and network security in place, you’re vulnerable to insider and outsider attacks that could cost your business.

The ins and outs of Network Security

Let’s look at outsider attacks first. You won’t have Bill Belichick standing outside your office attempting to crack your Wi-Fi password, but there are malicious individuals looking for vulnerable networks to exploit. And sadly, cyber crime prosecution isn’t as simple as rule violations in the NFL. Victims of cyber attacks may never see justice.

In 2015, 75.6% of businesses had encountered at least one successful cyber attack within the past 12 months, and 62% were expected to fall victim again in 2016, according to CyberEdge Group.

Insider threats are perhaps even more unfortunate. You should never have to question the motives or actions of your own team members. But, statistically speaking, there’s a fair chance your employees put your company at risk. Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report notes that 30% of the time employees open phishing emails, exposing their companies to possible network security issues.

While many internal threats are really just the results of accident or negligence, it’s important to remain aware of which employees have access to your sensitive data and how they are using it.

Protecting yourself from inside threats is a serious concern. But, there are easy ways to boost your network security. Consider putting these essential tips into play immediately.

Train your employees

Employees need to be kept aware of current network security trends. According to technology publication Recode, training and education are essential.

“Cultivating a culture of trust is likely to be the single most valuable management step in safeguarding an organization’s information assets. After new employees have been satisfactorily screened, continue the trust-building process through onboarding by equipping them with the knowledge and skills required of trusted insiders. Expectations of trustworthy behavior — and the consequences of noncompliance — should be made explicit from the outset. Over time, trust should remain an important factor in periodic performance reviews, including the provision of mechanisms for anonymously reporting suspicious workplace behavior.”

Limit access to sensitive data

Not all employees need access to sensitive business data. By understanding your employee’s roles and limiting permissions to essential information, you protect yourself from accidental or malicious misuse of data that could compromise your network security.

As roles in your company change and new employees come onboard, it’s important to update security policies to maintain control of your information.

Affinity can help

Maintaining control of your company playbook is important for network security and business continuity. If you’re ready to learn how Affinity IT Group can help you protect your business, give us a call.