Technology and Philippine technology partners, vendors and providers are now leaving data storage and data access within the hands of businesses, its employees, its clients and the general public. This improved how information is handled, as well as how companies and businesses operate through the presence of valuable information in each of the business IT systems and databases.
However, the presence and reliance of these businesses on information have created risks, mainly information security threats. There are individuals, whether working on an independent basis, paid by enterprising entrepreneurs or the state dedicated in “breaking into” specific business IT infrastructure. This creates huge information security issues that makes a third-party IT security services a necessity.
Aside from having a third-party, outsider point of view, these companies providing such services can guide and assist a business in creating, maintaining and managing their own specific IT-related rules, protocols, processes and practices with the goal of creating a foolproof or a highly resistant information security systems and infrastructure.
Here are a few basic steps that businesses can take into account in ensuring their system’s protection.
Step 1: Change passwords regularly
Every minute, there are ill-intentioned entities and individuals looking to break into a company’s database. And often, it just takes a single access key for these individuals to acquire credentials and confidential information.
Adopting, implementing and enforcing a practice and standard requiring users to change their passwords regularly can delay, but totally not eliminate the entry of unauthorized users from the system.
Step 2: Use data encryption tools
Security technology tools like the web applications firewalls, OpenPGP, and SSL encrypt data that are transmitted through the website—preventing unauthorized users from getting hold and stealing or corrupting valuable data. Consider these as locks that are accessible only with the right decryption keys.
Digital certificates also enhance the overall security of an IT system, allowing communication between a user and a website, while minimizing the interference of an unauthorized user. These tools are necessary especially when a customer is making transactions on your site.
Step 3: Keep your software updated
From your operating system to all other business software used, it pays to perform periodic updates and patching. In fact, it would be smartest to keep them on “automatic update” mode, since this patch up newly discovered security threats that develop as time goes on—same goes with the anti-virus and anti-malware system.
While these unauthorized users are always on the lookout for new tools techniques and methodologies, the anti-virus and/or anti-malware system needs to be on the lookout as well. However, if network traffic is affected via simultaneous updates on the software and operating systems, it’s best to have them scheduled for non-peak hours, on a staggered basis, or via a patch management solution.
Step 4: Apply physical threat detection systems
Unauthorized users aren’t the only threats to the data’s security, as physical threats can damage the IT system too. By installing a system including access control systems, motion sensors, temperature detectors, and smoke/fire detectors, to name a few, immediate countering can be performed when certain threats arise.
Step 5: Limit users to a need-to-access basis
Provide levels of access to your IT infrastructure according to need of the users. With a strict access policy, the chances of physically tampering servers, files, databases and IT equipment or transferring data to a USB or BYOD device can be restricted. Essentially, it pays to be cautious.
Step 6: Implement a firewall
Firewalls are inexpensive and can slow down virtual attacks considerably. There are two types of firewall namely the hardware firewall and the software firewall.
The hardware firewall is typically pre-installed in the router and blocks intruders from accessing networks. On the other hand, the software firewall monitors the flow of Internet traffic going in and out of the computer and into the network, and collects logs of both incoming and outgoing connections, which requires regular reviewing. Both these types enhance the IT infrastructure’s level of security.
While these six steps may seem simple enough, they can save you tons of money when issues arise from stolen data or system interruption. Be a step ahead of the game and let unauthorized users know that you’re serious about data protection.
Step 7: Orient, Train….Train and Be Aware
It was always said that the weakest link to information security are the employees and the users of the system. One wrong click might corrupt or delete data, introduce a malware into the system or deliberately transfer data to an unauthorized user. Each user should know the risks involved in using an information system component and must be able to mitigate such risks on his/her own, without the need of expensive solutions to minimize and eliminate risks. As such, it is recommended that a user orientation of current information security risks be made at least once a year for information security.