Taking Data Security Seriously
If you don’t think that your business is at risk of cyberattack from the Internet, you are running your business on borrowed time. If you want to avoid this scenario, you will have to be prepared to do what you can to keep it safe. This entails following some strict rules and being smart about where and when to deploy security checkpoints. We looked at what an organization needs to do in order to keep the threats that are bandying about from having a marked effect on your business.
Cybersecurity is the management of the security protocols of your organization’s computing endpoints. Since the endpoints are the ones that touch the Internet, keeping these machines clear from threats is extremely important. That is why when you talk about cybersecurity, you have to talk about the ability to sufficiently train your staff with the knowledge they can use to ensure they aren’t the ones giving hackers and other malcontents an avenue to infect your business’ network and central infrastructure with malware, spyware, or any other software that isn’t supposed to be there.
The first thing you’ll have to understand in order to successfully secure your business’ computing environments is that upwards of 94 percent of cyberattacks that affect business computing environments are made possible by the people that work for the company--trained or not--that do the wrong thing. It is astonishing that nearly all cyberattacks that have short-and-long-term effects on an organization's ability to conduct business are completely avoidable. With this knowledge in hand, it’s up to an organization and their IT administrator to put together a strategy to take their organization’s security seriously.
Mandatory Strategy #1: Centralized Security Solutions
For the company looking to secure their network, the first place they should start is to put together the resources that are needed to insulate their data, network, and infrastructure from the harmful elements found on the Internet. Software solutions like monitoring, a firewall, a spam filter, an antivirus, antispyware, an access control system, an intrusion detection system, virtual private networks, and a content filter all present value for keeping your IT secure.
Mandatory Strategy #2: Training
This goes without saying, but if your people are sufficiently trained to be skeptical about where digital correspondence originates, the business’ chances of keeping unwanted code and users off of your network gets expeditiously better. How do you go about this? It’s pretty simple. First you should start with their email training. This is where most of the problems originate, after all.
Here is the strategy you should use:
- Promote awareness of phishing, social engineering, and cybersecurity.
- Continually test your staff to determine which users are susceptible to phishing.
- Re-train deficient employees and frequently test all staff.
These actions may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many organizations will ignore that their employees are the number one reason why they may deal with a major data loss disaster resulting from malware or a network breach.
Mandatory Strategy #3: Mobile
Mobility is more important for businesses today than ever before. As a result, more data is being shared between people using mobile devices. Every phone, every smartwatch, every tablet, is a potential endpoint, and needs to fit under the organization’s network security umbrella.
Mandatory Strategy #4: Testing and Logs
Once you’ve got all the software, solutions, and other strategies in place it is important to test all of your network security platforms. This means testing your network devices, your servers, your DNS, and all other platforms for potential or active vulnerabilities and threats. The first set of tests should be aimed at your internet-facing systems. These include firewalls, web servers, routers, switches, and mobile platforms.
If these come back clean--and they likely won’t--you want to make sure that your software, whether hosted locally or on a self-managed cloud server in a colocation center, are up to date. Developers are always releasing patches and updates that help their products be as secure as possible.
One way that many organizations work to secure their network is with the use of penetration testing. Essentially, penetration testing is a deliberate attack on a specific system (or your entire network) to find any vulnerabilities and security flaws.
The expert IT technicians at First Column IT can help you find the right solutions, practices, and strategies to keep your network and infrastructure running efficiently, while still being secure against outside threats. Call us today to find out what exactly we can do for you at 703-880-6683.