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Is Your Small Business’s VPN Safe?

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The pandemic ushered in a time in history where more people work from home than ever before. Even companies that have asked workers to return to the office now offer hybrid options, where people work remotely a few days a week.

If you find yourself turning to a virtual private network (VPN) to meet your company’s growing needs, you may worry about the security of allowing people off-site to access your network.

Is Your VPN Safe?

A recent survey of security experts uncovered around 39% believe the overall number of attacks will increase and that cybercriminals will be more successful in their attempts. However, the cost of securing a VPN can be prohibitive for small business owners.

Fortunately, you can keep your network safe without spending a fortune. While a smart hacker can get into any network, there are some things you can do to ensure yours stays safe.

1. Look for Vulnerabilities

Before you can secure your VPN, you must know the backdoor openings and places for potential attack. Test your system and see if you’re able to break into it as an amateur. You might be surprised just how vulnerable your site is.

You can also hire third-party firms to try to hack into your site and report back about how you can secure your network from hackers.

2. Secure Your Network From Cyberattacks

Around 82% of business customers saw an increase in cyberattack attempts in recent months. Fortunately, you can do some simple things to secure your VPN. Start by keeping track of your logging and tracking processes. When your system detects a breach, you’ll be better able to track it down and fix it immediately.

Insist remote employees use multifactor authentication and change passwords frequently. You should also institute a policy of changing logins the minute you terminate an employee or they resign. Some hacking attempts come from former disgruntled employees with still active passwords or other backdoors they’ve installed in your system.

3. Train Your Crew

One of the biggest threats to your system comes in the form of lax workers who fail to protect passwords and other vital security information. Train your workers to never click on phishing emails and to guard their logins when in public locations.

You should ensure all machines logging into your network have security software and antivirus protection. Ask staff to run automatic scans every night.

4. Choose the Right Server

The last two years have seen more cyberattacks than ever before. You should choose your hosting company wisely. Make sure they offer SSL, SSH secure Shell access and take regular backups of your site. What will they do if someone launches a DDoS attack on your site, flooding the system with endless requests?

Ask questions about security and pay attention to reviews from other customers. Not all web hosting companies are the same. You want one that takes security as seriously as you do.

5. Update Software

Running a small business requires juggling many different hats. You might find you barely have time to breathe. It’s easy to forget things such as regularly updating software on your servers. However, if you want your VPN to be as safe as possible, set all updates to take place automatically.

Many software updates occur because the program’s creator identified a vulnerability and wants to shore up the system to prevent hackers from getting in. Your antivirus and firewalls work much more effectively when they are updated.

Keep Protections in Place

Securing your VPN is a crucial part of protecting your small business. However, keeping things up-to-date and retaining employees from time to time is also vital. Keeping your VPN safe isn’t a one-time endeavor. You must continually assess where you are as a business and put practices in place to keep information safe.

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework stands as a pinnacle of guidance in the realm of cybersecurity. Developed by NIST, a non-regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce, this framework has garnered widespread [read more]

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About Eleanor Hecks

Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and UI. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pups, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.

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