60% of cyber attacks in 2016 were aimed at small businesses. Securing your network and data are imperative in today's threat landscape.

Below is a list of the most common mistakes that can jeopardize your network.  

If you think network security is simply a matter of changing passwords and updating antivirus software. Think again.

• Weak Passwords You know you need to have a stronger password, yet “password”, continues to show up in the worst password lists year after year.  For maximum security, your password should contain numbers and letters, both upper and   lowercase combined and be a minimum of 8-10 characters. Check to confirm  passwords on hardware such as routers and firewalls have been changed from the factory default.

• Lack of Education Most viruses and spyware are invited by the user; close to 90% of network compromises begin at the endpoint. Educate end users often, including information about current threats and how to recognize social engineering such   as as phishing, business email compromise and vishing.

• Lack of Maintenance In the rush to meet demands and deadlines software security can be overlooked. No software is perfect, which means security loopholes will be exploited by hackers the minute they are discovered. It is critical to keep   software and applications updated and patched.

• Plug and Surf. Computers are NOT designed “ready to go” out of the box. Before a phone line, ethernet cable or wireless access is anywhere near a new computer, certain security needs to be installed and/or configured. Ideally, this should include   removing any bloatware or unneeded programs, operating system updates, software updates, virus protection, spyware scanners and background programs to prevent malicious software from ever being installed.

• Do It Yourself Setting up a network and applying proper security measures from the edge of your network to your end users can be tricky to say the least.  Small business owners should also ask for advice or even hire help. It's worth the extra cost.   when you consider the tangible and intangible costs of a data breach, downtime and data loss.

Let the talented team at Pivotal IT help you keep your network safe and data secure!