Improve Your IT Security With These 7 Fundamental Methods
IT security is something that is always in the back of people's minds when they think about spending money. They know it's important, but to them, it seems like a vague, intangible thing that they cannot see the benefit of. When you are trying to increase security in your company, however, there are concrete areas that you should look into improving upon.
Below are 7 ways to improve your IT security:
1. Testing your security
The best way for companies to remain secure is to develop a testing program that ensures their systems and networks have been properly secured. Of particular importance is remote testing. The only way to do this effectively is by scanning company IT continuously with third-party security scanners, which can be used to detect vulnerabilities before they are exploited. In addition to out-of-the-box compliance testing reviews, companies need to develop a more rigorous testing regime that can be followed in times of rapid business expansion.
This should include real-time network monitoring and reviews of security policies. The best way to do this is by working with experienced security consultants who will know exactly what needs to be tested and how it should be done.
2. Protect the data itself, not just the perimeter
If a company has no data security policies and does not ensure that its staff is following best practices, the network perimeter is something of a red herring. The protection of the data itself should be treated as more important than trying to keep attackers out of the network. This is because the vast majority of successful security incidents happen after an attacker has gained a foothold inside a company's perimeter.
In fact, it is estimated that 85% of all security breaches involve some kind of insider threat. In addition, companies should ensure that all devices and software are as secure as possible before they are connected to business networks.
3. Pay attention to insider threats
What this refers to is actions by company employees who are authorized to access data but abuse their position for personal gain. This could be done through the sale of information or even sending spam emails to customers using their work email accounts. Choose information security solutions that help you mitigate insider threat risk.
The best way to protect against these kinds of problems is to have well-defined security policies that include training on what constitutes inappropriate use of an organization's data. In addition to this, companies need to monitor their staff for signs of unusual behaviour that could indicate an insider threat. Employees always constitute your biggest threat.
Learn how to use MFA to provide digital identity authentication of your staff.
4. Always patch everything
Many security breaches are not the result of problems with a company's systems or networks, but happen because employees choose to connect questionable devices and software into business networks without talking to IT first.
No matter what kind of device or software is being used, it should always be updated with the latest security patches to reduce the likelihood of vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit. In addition, companies should ensure that all devices and software are as secure as possible before they are connected to business networks.
5. Encrypt all devices
This is absolutely vital because it is very easy for sensitive information to be lost if devices are stolen. If this data is not encrypted, it can easily be retrieved by attackers who have the technology and skills necessary to crack encryption keys. In terms of best practice, all devices should always use minimum encryption standards before they connect to company networks. This means that important data will still remain secure even if a device is stolen. Additionally, email should be another encryption priority.
6. Be wary of BYOD policies
Bring your own device is a popular trend that encourages employees to select the hardware they want to use for work then have it connected into company networks. This can be very convenient for companies because it means that workers are more productive, but the problem is that they often choose devices that are not secure enough. This leaves the company's data vulnerable to attack, which is why organizations need to be very cautious before enabling BYOD policies.
7. Delete redundant data
One of the most common causes of data leakage is old files that are no longer required. This is because the roads between employees' desktops and networks are not always well-maintained, which makes it easy for sensitive information to be misplaced or stolen. One way to improve this situation is by developing policies that define how long company data should be kept before it is deleted. In addition to this, companies should utilize file-level encryption software that can protect files even if they are misplaced or stolen.
This will help organizations to make the most of their storage solutions by removing old data but also ensuring that important information remains highly secure at all times.
There are some simple, low-cost measures that organizations can take to make their IT systems more secure. These include patching everything, making sure all devices are encrypted, limiting the risks posed by BYOD policies, and regularly testing security procedures.
These actions should not only help companies to meet compliance standards, but also reduce the chances of unauthorized access to sensitive company data. In addition, they can also reduce security risks because it is much easier to detect system vulnerabilities before attackers exploit them.
These actions help organizations make the most of their IT networks by minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity and making sure that all devices remain as secure as possible at all times. Hiring a cloud security engineer can assist with the process of designing the proper cloud security policy for your organization, and a cloud consultant can assist with the process of implementing the proper backup mechanism or service, as well as general IT technical support issues.
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