Networks the Keystone Way: Security

Hello again! This is the last installment of our "Keystone Small Business Network Strategy” series. If you missed the first two on Data Backup and Business-Class Hardware, take a peek.

Today’s focus is on #3 Security.

Target, Sony, Anthem, Home Depot, US Department of Office and Personnel Management. It seems there is a new data breach every week. And those are the ones that are public. Unfortunately, the problem is bigger than you probably realize. Fortunately there are a number of steps you can take to protect your mission-critical data from falling into the wrong hands.

Physical Security

It may sound obvious, but you should limit physical access to your network, especially your server. It's not unheard for entire networks to vanish. There's also the chance that a disgruntled employee might dump a pot of coffee on your server on the way out the door. Let's just say that the more you can keep your server out of the clutches of the general public, the happier your network will be.

Hardware Security

Operating without a firewall? That's a bad plan. If you're not blocking the right incoming traffic on your network, you're leaving the back door open. Without a hardware firewall, there is almost no way to manage this. Get one, get it configured, and understand that it's a requirement.

Software Security

There are so many issues here that there isn't enough time to list them all. Spyware, SPAM, viruses...each a rabbit hole filled with pain and suffering. If you're doing network security right, there is a solution for each of those issues that can be provided by your IT professional. They're not expensive (versus the resulting problems) and they work. Downloading 'free' software and praying is not a plan. Pay for the software and do it right.

Training

Do you think people perform non-work related activities on their computers at work? Uh, yeah. We all do. That fantasy football team isn't going to manage itself! Problem is, dawdling on the computer at work goes beyond lost productivity. Something as simple as an employee clicking on a link in an email could wreck your entire network. Heard of Cryptoviruses? It's bad news. Worse news is, there is a certain element of risk that will never completely go away because people do stupid things. Again, like death and taxes, stupid cannot be out-run...but at the very least, you need to train people how to avoid the simple mistakes.

Beyond that, you can also limit the access employees have to software and websites outside your network. Software can be employed to keep them out of the wrong places so you at least have a fighting chance to stop the dumb.

Executive Summary

Yes, business networks managed properly do require investment. No, you cannot ignore it. Yes, it will make you more productive (and profitable) if you hire the right team of IT consultants (Keystone) and follow their advice. The alternative isn't pretty!

Go back to: Data Backup or Business-Class Hardware