In certain cases, companies never recover from network security breaches. A quick Google search reveals hundreds of sad stories. That’s why we’ll introduce you to some smart tips for securing your network and personal devices so you can reduce your risk, protect your business, and move forward.
Learn 7 IT infrastructure security best practices to protect your business-critical IT infrastructure
Well, let’s get to it:
enforce smart password policies
Note that we are saying smart, not strict. Strict isn’t always smart because people usually respond to stiffness by taking shortcuts. For example, if you insist that your employees change their passwords every 30 days, they are more likely to choose simpler, incremental passwords, defeating the purpose and increasing their vulnerability to threats. Password policies must strike a balance between the ideal and the practical.
Having a network firewall sounds like a no-brainer, right? Maybe not for everyone, because many 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 being good enough. Hardware firewalls will give you significantly greater protection against external threats.
Always be looking for
Software updates often contain important security patches to help protect you from emerging threats. The first thing you need to update is your antivirus tools. Keeping your hands on antivirus software currently is the best way to help protect vulnerable machines from malicious software and files. The same goes for many applications that you have installed on your machine. When it comes to the Windows platform, it’s absolutely crucial to keep everything as up-to-date as possible.
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 would all rather rely on our people to do the right thing. But the truth is, content filtering is a very effective way to limit your exposure to malware, not to mention loss.
Develop smart teleworking policies
Notice that you get the word smart instead of strict. Trying to limit telecommuting or putting onerous security processes around it is a recipe for greater network vulnerability, not less. Again, you need to find that place in the Venn diagram where what is ideal overlaps with what is likely to be followed. Educating your workforce about risks and vulnerabilities will have a greater impact than simply erecting strict restrictions.
Be smart about
Phishing is a type of scam aimed at obtaining a user’s personal or sensitive information, and usually involves some type of fraudulent email or social media message designed to lure a user to a spoofed website. Many companies are complacent when it comes to fishing. A simulated phishing campaign was once conducted to test the preparedness of 81 companies and employees of 34 of those companies. It was surprising that 43% clicked on the suspicious link. Make sure you create awareness in your business.
Install a firewall
Your browser, the application you use to view pages on the web is a common point of weakness exploited by malware. Therefore
, it is very important to use:
- The right
- Avoid loading it with plugins developed by unknown third parties, because these add-ons often contain even more vulnerabilities and, in some cases, are actively harmful than others.
Few people agree on the safest browser to use, but most agree that using any outdated browser is looking for trouble, whether it’s an older version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Apple’s Safari.
In closing, protecting your company’s network and personal devices can seem 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. Take a look at some of these options and see if they offer the missing parts needed to further protect your environment.