IT Systems Security – What’s Your Plan?
Don’t put off protecting your business another day.
The recent Equifax breach was just the latest high-profile reminder that computer systems security should be at the top of our priority list. But while security is top of mind, it is also easy to put off. It is time to make sure that you have a policy and plan in place so that you are taking action to protect your organization against potentially devastating incidents, breaches or accidents that may come your way.
Wondering where to start? Follow these three simple steps and you’ll be on your way.
Begin by doing a quick security audit. Answering the following five questions will put you on the right path:
- Does my business have a security policy?
- What systems are most important to my business?
- What customer, financial or other sensitive data do I need to protect?
- Are my compliance requirements being met?
- What are my main security challenges and risks?
2.) Appoint Ownership
Make sure someone in the business has ownership of this key responsibility, and keep it on the front burner. Systems security must become a consistent topic of discussion with both management and the staff. By keeping awareness up across the board, security becomes front and center. This is important because it will help you to stay ahead of security issues and stop them in their tracks, rather than scrambling to pick up the pieces after a damaging incident.
3.) Evaluate and Implement
Now you are ready to consider technology solutions that will meet your specific security needs. Because there is no one-size-protects-all software tool, you might find that your business requires a multilayered approach. While systems security technology is always changing and the options can be overwhelming, start by making sure you have the basic areas covered:
- Modern router and firewall technology: considered the first line of defense in network security, firewalls monitor network traffic and block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules
- Encryption technology: critical software used to protect data, email, the network and wireless traffic
- Anti-spam software: relied on to control spam which can also contain malicious code
- Anti-virus/anti-malware software: needed to catch viruses
- Anti-phishing awareness training: review the topic of phishing in regular meetings with staff and management
- Install the monthly security software updates as published by the major software manufacturers
Managing IT security will pay dividends in the end and can be as simple as following these best practices as outlined above. You can sleep well knowing your business has the right policies, procedures, and technologies in place and up to date.