Security best practices for IT companies

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Security best practices for IT companies

The more business is involved in work using the Internet, the more important it is to support the proper security level. Today we’ll talk about the measures needed to protect an IT company. Many of the tips will be related to the connections, and this is not surprising. The Internet is a great power that allows you to work remotely, conduct long-distance conferences, and collaborate with people worldwide. Still, it also bears many risks, such as unauthorized breaches, hacks, or data exposure.

Set up permission levels.

Critical data and essential parts of your infrastructure should be accessible only to the trusted people who need them. There is no need to give access to the order information to email marketing staff or access to the customers' private data to the web designer. Everyone should have only the information they need. That helps to minimize possible losses after a data breach.

Secure your network with a firewall.

Setting up a firewall is one of the essential steps to protect your company’s network. This software helps block viruses before they get inside the computers, prevent hackers attack and avoid leaking data by setting up filters blocking confidential commercial data and confidential emails.

Use a reliable antivirus.

If malicious software manages to get inside an employee’s computer, the latest defense resort is antivirus software. Contemporary antivirus programs can protect users from many known types of malware, such as viruses, ransomware, spying software, etc.

Update your software.

Firewall and antivirus should be kept up-to-date. It helps prevent possible attacks since the vendors of this software are constantly gathering information about new threats and developing protective measures to keep the users safe. But you should keep all of your programs updated because of numerous reasons. One of them is that the older the software is, the more possible intruders are learning about possible bugs and vulnerabilities, and the higher are chances that you will be attacked. So, installing updates where such issues are fixed helps secure your company data.

Secure your WiFi network.

Access to your computers is much easier if your network is open to the whole world. So, protecting access using WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2) is a must. Also, ensure that a complex passphrase is used. In addition, you may hide your office network, so it isn’t easily detectable.

Use VPN.

Virtual Private Network is helpful if you need to set up a secure connection between your computer and the website you’re using, especially if you’re connected to some public network. So, you may set up your own VPN server in your IT infrastructure or use some trusted providers.

Do not read suspicious emails.

Phishing isn’t a rare situation nowadays. So, you have to be extra careful while working with emails. Double-check the information about the sender. Avoid clicking suspicious links. Do not download attachments unless you’re sure what they contain. 

Encrypt your data.

If you deal with some sensitive data, you may need to install a reliable encryption solution, so even if your data gets stolen, it is difficult (or even impossible) to read it.

Password policy.

Passwords are keys that grant access to your resources. So, using complex ones helps protect your company from hackers. Use both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols to make your passwords unpredictable. Also, consider changing your passwords often (60 to 90 days) and use two-factor authentification wherever possible.

Use password managers.

Complex passwords are difficult to remember. Reliable password managers will help you get all your passwords organized, so you’ll have to use only one PIN or master password. In addition, this software helps you to avoid some cases of phishing. It is easy to get a human tricked by redirecting to a fake URL, which (for example) contains the letter “i” instead of “l”, or “0” instead of “o”. But a password manager easily detects such cases and won’t let entering your login information on a fake website.

Protect your equipment.

Many employees use laptops and mobile devices containing sensitive information to work remotely. So, it would be wise to have them protected. For example, using data encryption and passwords to unlock the device (as mentioned above). In addition, you may enable remote wiping, and the “find my phone” function on mobile devices.

Make backups.

It is applicable everywhere in your IT infrastructure. Making backups of your data will help you avoid significant losses if your hardware is damaged due to failure or force majeure. But you have to make backups as often as possible, verify the integrity of the backups, and keep at least one copy on an offline drive, located somewhere remotely, so it won’t be damaged in the case of fire, flooding, etc. in the location where your servers are hosted.

Talk about security Policies.

People tend to avoid performing duties that seem unnecessary to them, especially if they require additional effort to get done. So it is essential not only to enforce the rules but to explain why it should be done. Also, answering the questions and brainstorming helps in getting better results.

ISO 27001.

Getting your project certified helps you to eliminate most of the security risks and make your business look more reliable to your partners. It is one of the most popular existing security standards, including control sets in information security, human resource security, cryptography, communication security, and much more. So, the bigger your company grows, the more chances it might benefit from having such an expert and implementing an information security management system (ISMS). Different options are available - you can certify your employees, hire an expert, or outsource this work to auditors who will help you get full compliance.

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