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How to Prepare for a Network Security Evaluation

Alongside your company's daily operations are procedures and protocols to keep your infrastructure running smoothly. Taking a macro look at your organization can help identify redundancies and inefficiencies. It's also an opportunity to audit your security to ensure you're keeping your–and your clients'–data safe. One of the best ways to understand if your network security is operating the way it should is scheduling a network security evaluation with an IT business services company. Taking time to prepare your company for an outsourced network security evaluation ensures you'll get the most from the process.

How to tell if you need a network security evaluation

Many businesses don't go further than installing anti-virus software on their office technology. But no matter the size of your organization, software isn't enough. You may believe that you won't become a target for hackers because you're a small business without millions of users' data within your network.

However, hackers often target smaller businesses because they lack the advanced security systems of larger organizations. Once they access your network, they can steal employee data or hold your system hostage for ransom.

No matter the size of your company or the kind of security your network has, you should schedule regular security evaluations from experts. They will ensure there aren't shortcomings in your hardware or software that make you vulnerable.

What is a security evaluation?

When an IT company performs a network security evaluation, the process is usually split into two parts. Combined, they give businesses a complete picture of their network's security flaws and a plan for mitigating future risks.

Part one is a security review, where consultants work cooperatively with their clients to discuss their current security measures and processes. They identify potential security threats and discuss ways to minimize and respond to hacking.

During the second part of the evaluation, the consultants will test your network to seek out and eliminate additional weaknesses. The key to successful network security evaluations is performing them on a schedule. As risks continue to evolve, so must your defenses and responses.

How to prepare for a network security evaluation

One of the best ways to get ready for a third-party network security evaluation is to have your internal IT department conduct one first. The external business service provider can investigate and confirm your internal security findings. Then, as part of the evaluation, they'll help you overcome your shortcomings to prevent attacks in the future.

Training is a significant portion of network security. When preparing for a network security evaluation, conduct preliminary training with your staff. A significant percentage of breaches are due to human error. Avoid your organization falling victim to easily avoidable phishing schemes by giving your team basic training regarding common hacking strategies. That way, your network security evaluation can go deeper to provide you with even more advanced feedback.

Network security should be part of your regular staff training. It's crucial to keep your team aware of new threats and how to avoid them.

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