Protect Your Business’ IT Infrastructure: 7 Best Practices
Learn about the 7 IT infrastructure security best practices to Protect Your Business’ Essential IT Infrastructure
What are the best practices for protecting the Essential IT Infrastructure of your company?
Let us first understand what is meant by Network Security. Network security consists of the policies and processes practiced by a business or an organization to monitor, detect and prevent unauthorized access, misuse, modification, and/or restriction of a computer network and network-accessible resources. When the computer network or IT Infrastructure of an organization is compromised, it can severely affect business continuity.
So, how secure is your network? How about your laptop, desktop and/or your smartphone?
Securing your network and all the individual gadgets that connect to it is one of the most important things you can do for the security of your business. Any compromise in endpoint security can take down a company’s network and bring everything else to a standstill in the process – needless to say that it can translate into lost work, missed deadlines, unhappy customers, lost revenue, and a whole bunch of other unsavory things.
In certain cases, businesses never recover from network security breaches. A quick Google search reveals hundreds of sad stories. That’s why we’re going to present you with some smart tips for securing your network and personal devices so you can reduce your risk, protect your business, and keep on keeping on.
Okay, let’s get right to it.
- Enforce smart password policies. Notice that we’re saying smart, not strict. Strict isn’t always smart because people typically respond to strictness by taking shortcuts. For example, if you insist that your employees change their passwords every 30 days, they are more likely to pick simpler and more incremental ones, defeating the purpose and increasing your vulnerability to threats. Password policies must strike a balance between the ideal and the practical.
- Install a firewall. Having a network firewall sounds like a no brainer, right? Perhaps not to everyone, because a lot of companies don’t have a dedicated firewall at the network level, relying instead on the built in Windows Firewall on their machines. While it’s better than nothing, it’s not even close to good enough. Hardware firewalls will give you significantly more protection from outside threats.
- Always be checking for updates. Software updates often contain important security patches to help protect you from emergent threats. The first thing to update are your antivirus tools. Keeping your hands on virus software currently is the best way to help protect vulnerable machines from malicious software and files. The same goes for a lot of applications you have installed on your machine. When dealing with the Windows platform, it’s absolutely crucial to keep everything as current as you possibly can.
- Use content filtering. There are certain phrases, keywords, and URLs that can and should be filtered based on their history of causing problems. No one wants to be a big brother, and we’d all prefer to trust our people to do the right thing. But the truth is that content filtering is a very effective way to limit your exposure to malware, not to mention loss.
- Develop smart telecommuting policies. Notice to get the word smart instead of strict. Trying to limit telecommuting or putting burdensome security processes around it is the recipe for greater network vulnerability, not less. Again, you need to find that place on the Venn diagram where what’s ideal overlaps with what’s likely to be followed. Educating your workforce about the risks and vulnerabilities will have a greater impact than simply erecting tough restrictions.
- Get smart about Phishing. Phishing, is a type of scam aimed at obtaining a user’s personal or confidential information, and typically involves some sort of fraudulent email or social media message designed to lure a user to a spoofed website. Many businesses are complacent when it comes to fishing. A mock phishing campaign was once conducted to test the preparedness of 81 companies and employees of 34 of those companies. It was shocking that 43% clicked on the suspicious link. Make sure to raise awareness at your business.
- Browse smarter. Your browser, the application you use to view pages on the web is a common point of weakness exploited by malware. So, it’s very important to use:
- The right browser
- Avoid loading it with add-ons developed by unknown third parties, because these add-ons often contain even more vulnerabilities, and in some cases are actively harmful than some.
Few people agree on the safest browser to use, but most agree that using any outdated browser is asking for trouble – whether it’s an old version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Apple’s Safari.
In closing, securing your business network and personal devices can feel like a constant battle. But trust us. With the right hardware and software tools and strategies, your network can be a much safer place for productivity. Give a few of these options a look and see if they offer the missing pieces needed to further secure your environment.