Ten IT Tips to Protect Your Business

Strong IT practices are essential to the success of any business.  Lacking IT oversight can directly contribute to computer outages, lost data, data thefts, reduced employee productivity and ultimately business losses.  Many organizations struggle with the costs of IT or ignore proper practices until a catastrophic event occurs that threatens the viability of the business.

Break fix service providers, limited in-house resources, lacking tools or manpower to monitor activity do not provide the critical oversight necessary to protect the business.  Extended damages can occur when routine tasks are not managed properly.

Many small to mid sized business owners do not become aware of lacking IT practices until there is a crisis.  While other areas of the business may undergo risk review and mitigation, the information technology area is many times overlooked.  This critical mistake can cost the organization dearly. Lacking attention and oversight of IT  is unwise.  Here are a few tips to help management conduct some oversight of information technology.

1. Set a strategy and framework to guide all activity and ensure  an ongoing dialogue

2. Identify key company data and segment access on a need to know basis

3. Ensure that proper backups are run on a daily basis and that the data is securely stored

4. Ensure that OS updates are reviewed and applied on a regular basis.  Update Antivirus daily.

5. Implement software based firewalls that control application behavior on desktops and servers

6. Implement outbound filtering on network layer firewalls

7. Implement a web based email filtering service and  content filtering service for web browsing

8. Control the use of personal devices for remote access and remote desktop programs like LogMeIn

9. Baseline and monitor the availability, performance and security of your environment ongoing

10. Conduct regular third party reviews of IT practices, business processes, and compensating controls

Most important is to have the proper professionals engaged to manage the infrastructure, protect information assets, provide oversight, and reduce risk within your business. Network Management Solutions provides robust solutions, expertise and resources to complement and support your business objectives.  Please contact us for further information.

 

Failed Security of Smartphones in the Workplace

Smartphones have become prevalent in the workplace both as personal use and business devices. These two functions are distinctly different uses, or should be, and we need to remember that. While I am not advocating that companies establish policies against workers bringing personal use devices into the workplace, many businesses have embraced this, I am strongly suggesting that personal use devices remain just that, personal use devices.

Many companies have stepped across the line and permit personal use devices to become part of the company network. In doing so company information is transmitted and stored on personal devices.  The risks in allowing personal use devices for company business are numerous and potential negative consequences abound  with respect to company communications, intellectual property, regulatory or legal matters, and otherwise.

It is critical that sound information assurance principles are applied to mobile devices and mobile workforce solutions.  It is critical that the organization be able to protect and retrieve its information assets in the case of a lost cell phone, rogue employee, employee termination or otherwise.

While the App Stores for IPhones, Androids, and Blackberrys may seem harmless they pose significant risk to information that is stored and transmitted including sensitive business communications and assets. With personal use devices the owner controls the security, installed application and the permissions to locally stored data including address books, files, email, text messages, and other data.  Additional concerns exist in what application might be vulnerable to hack attacks.

Keep your company data safe, establish the polices understanding what is at risk, and own the device.  For more information contact Network Management Solutions.  Remote managed services, information assurance, systems integration.