February 12, 2024

How to balance network security with employee access

The average cost of a cyber security breach is around R49 million in South Africa and experts predict that cyber crime will cost the globe R197 trillion per year by 2025. Network security is vital for any business but there needs to be a perfect balance between security and access.

Employee access to network resources is critical for productivity and collaboration. However, these employees need to be authorised and authenticated to access the business network. Finding the correct balance between tight security measures and providing staff enough access to prevent harming productivity is a challenge.

Businesses struggle to stay up-to-date with the continuously shifting attack vectors as the threat landscape is continuously evolving. Malware, ransomware and phishing attacks are just a handful of the threats that businesses confront on a regular basis.

Successful cyber attacks can have serious implications, including financial loss, stolen data, a tarnished brand and legal ramifications. Employee access restrictions, on the other hand, can result in work process delays, lowered productivity and frustrated staff.

Strategies to balance employee access with network security

There are several ways to strike the right balance between network security and employee access. Start by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a combination of what a person knows (such as a password) and who they are (such as a fingerprint or ID number).

Encourage staff to use strong passwords and to update them on a regular basis to minimise password deterioration. Providing password management tools can help employees protect their credentials and keep track of them when they are updated.

Access control rules should also govern the granting of network access rights, privileges and permissions in any enterprise. The notion of 'least privilege' allows employees to access only the resources they require to accomplish their duties efficiently. Role-based access control (RBAC) assigns access to employees based on their responsibilities and identifies employees who require specialised access to system resources and sensitive information.

Next, employees must get regular cyber security awareness training. They should be able to understand cyber security best practices, such as recognising phishing attempts and identifying dangerous URLs. Employees should also understand the need of keeping software up to date, downloading software only from reputable sources and encrypting important data.

Lastly, monitoring and detection policies should be clarified and enforced. Companies must employ network monitoring tools and intrusion detection systems to monitor for unusual activities. This will allow for the proactive detection and correction of any security vulnerabilities before they compromise the network. Real-time notifications and proactive threat hunting can also assist in preventing network intrusions before network resources are compromised.

Working with an expert security partner

SEACOM is a South African network and ICT services provider that offers a variety of networking and security solutions. We employ expert engineers to provide customised solutions that are suited to the individual demands of each company. Our team is on hand for consultations and support, ensuring that South African businesses keep their networks secure and viable at all times.

Maintaining a balance between network security and employee access is crucial in a continuously changing digital landscape. Implementing strong authentication techniques, enforcing access control policies, educating staff and monitoring and identifying anomalies can all help to achieve this balance.

SEACOM can help your company find the proper balance by offering customised network security solutions. For more information about our various services or to get a quote, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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