Good network security is one of the most important requirements for your home or business, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Network security equipment helps keep your information private, secure, and safe from infiltration. Investing in good network security can also help keep costs lower in the long run. The average cost of a data breach for a small business falls between $36,000 and $50,000, according to Security Magazine. Meanwhile, a ransomware breach can raise the cost significantly. In 2022, ransomware breaches can cost companies upwards of nearly $150,000. Over half of data breach victims elect to pay ransoms demanded of them, as oftentimes hackers have done strategic research into the overall cost-benefit analysis that their ransom demand will bring to a company of the size that they target.
Top 5 methods to save on network security
Luckily, many of the ways in which you can prioritize network security can be done without major upgrades or incurring enormous expenses. Some of the simplest and least expensive hacks to save on network security include:
- Keep software up to date: Always being sure to install the recommended updates in a timely manner is a surefire way to ensure that your gear works as it is supposed to. Failing to keep your gear up to date is a recipe for experiencing network failures and other cybersecurity breaches. You may find yourself worrying you need expensive fixes and replacements that simply keeping your existing gear up to date would address without a problem.
- Purchase refurbished gear: Purchasing and installing refurbished gear can help save you hundreds on network security equipment, without sacrificing quality. Many reputable dealers will offer certified pre-owned gear that has been lovingly maintained or updated. By shopping around for used or refurbished gear, you can save on the initial sticker price without missing out on the network security your home or business requires.
- Limit access to your existing network: One of the best ways to address problems is to catch them before they can begin. By changing your network passwords regularly and keeping them as strong as possible, you can ensure a heightened level of security. Limiting access to your existing network can help root out problems before they begin, or catch them before they have an opportunity to infiltrate too far.
- Install a WPA3 router: One of the simplest and most cost effective options is to be choosy about the parts of your network security system that you upgrade. Selecting certain key elements to address in an outdated system can help make the whole system stronger faster. If you find your home or business is still using a WPA2 router, upgrading to a WPA3 is one of the most recommended steps you can take to increase wireless network security from the ground up. WPA3 routers were released in 2018, and were designed to address many of the built-in system weaknesses and flaws that were inherent to the WPA2 models. If you are unsure what kind of router you have currently, bear in mind that many rented models are WPA2 as opposed to the latest generation. A WPA3 router, while it may be an initial expense and upgrade, can improve your network security at the source while also having the side benefit of likely increasing your wireless connectivity speeds. This one easy upgrade can save you money and headaches down the line.
- Consider cloud-based options: If your hardware network security gear is already up to date, considering cloud-based security and storage options may be the simplest and most inexpensive step available. Oftentimes cloud-based network security has the lowest upfront price tag, or is available in tiered structures where you only purchase what you need. Additionally, since cloud-based network security often utilizes structures and platforms that are already familiar to many users, such as Google, installation costs can be lower as you likely may not have to invest in significant training or even in hiring a pro.
Consider necessary upgrades today
If you are still on the fence about network security upgrades, remember that the average business spends only 6 to 14% of an annual IT budget on cybersecurity according to studies conducted by Deloitte. Since IT generally takes up only around 10% of overall budgeting annually, cybersecurity investments are often just a small drop in the bucket. Even these small and simple upgrades can have enormous rewards. Keeping your data secure, your client lists private, and your personal information safe is worth the cost, especially when it can be done for such low amounts. Consider the necessary upgrades to your system today. In the meantime, be sure to invest in the fullest capacity of network security that your gear can already provide by staying up to date on software updates and password strength.