8 Essential Steps to Strengthen Your Organization’s IT Infrastructure Security

One of the worst experiences a company may have is a cyberattack. Your files get locked due to ransomware, you find private data uploaded on the internet, your customers start getting scam calls, and much more.

Unfortunately, this is a situation that’s occurring much more frequently. As companies move online, attackers have more opportunities than ever to compromise computers.

So, what can you do to improve IT infrastructure security to stop this from happening? Here are eight steps to take to bolster network security.

Start With Authentication

One of the key parts of data security is ensuring only people who are supposed to have access to information have it. Most organizations do this by implementing a password policy.

Start with strong passwords. Create a policy that requires passwords to have at least eight characters, one number, one special character, and one uppercase letter. If necessary, allow team members to manage their passwords using a secure password manager.

Of course, strong passwords aren’t enough. It’s also wise to implement two-factor authentications on accounts that allow it. The two most secure methods to consider that are relatively easy to implement are an authenticator app and hardware authentication.

Create an Update Schedule

One of the common entry points for hackers into computer systems is the software individuals and organizations run. Hackers find exploits in software and use them to gain unauthorized access.

Software companies regularly release patches to address these issues. However, some companies may not regularly update their software because it can cause operational issues if something big changes.

Try to avoid waiting too long between these updates. A good strategy for dealing with this is to create a test environment that mimics employees’ workstations. You can use test environments to look for potential issues before rolling out updates company-wide.

Utilize VPNs Remotely

Many employers now offer remote work capability to employees. It’s a great benefit to workers since they don’t need to spend time in traffic and can work from anywhere in the world.

But issues can arise if those employees must access sensitive information. It makes matters even worse when someone decides to work in a public location on insecure WiFi.

A VPN will protect remote workers from accidentally exposing data. A VPN is a secure connection to a server that encrypts all network traffic.

Anybody monitoring traffic on a network won’t be able to view what an employee does. Make this a requirement for working remotely to add an extra layer of protection.

Encrypt Data Not in Use

A lot of the data your organization stores probably won’t be in use most of the time. It will sit on a server, waiting until someone with authorized access makes a request.

The question is, what happens if someone gains unauthorized access to a server and can see everything? In situations like this, all your data will become compromised.

You can add an extra safeguard by encrypting data on servers. People with authorized access will have software that decrypts the information when needed. Anybody with access to the raw data on the server won’t be able to read anything.

Set Regular Backups

Data theft isn’t your only big concern when in IT systems. You also have to avoid losing information, whether it’s because of equipment failure or accidental deletions.

File backups will help you do this. You can connect your ISCSI storage devices and cloud data to backup solutions to automatically back information up on a schedule.

Ideally, focus on your most important data. If data changes daily, make sure you have a daily backup or something similar. Information that rarely changes or doesn’t matter as much can work with less frequent backups.

Use Authentication Groups

Some organizations take a user being signed into a work computer as all the authentication needed to access data. Information sits on a server for anyone to see who can find the network address.

Although this may not always present issues, it does in the case of a network breach. Someone with access to everything will expose the entire organization in this situation.

Instead, set up user groups and granular permissions for all company data. Nobody should have access to more than they need, meaning you limit exposure during cyber incidents.

Train Employees on Best Security Practices

Employers are, unfortunately, one of the most common causes of security breaches. People use easy passwords, download things they shouldn’t, fall victim to phishing scams, and more.

It’s on your organization to provide training to your employees to help them learn how to stay safe online. There are many online resources available that will help you do this.

You can also hire an expert to come to your office for in-person training. Learning hands-on may be a better fit for some people and help them learn more.

Get Security Audits

Things can change fast in the IT world. Cyberdefense tactics change regularly as hackers adapt their attacks to try new entry points. Even if your IT tools work great today, that may not be the case a few months from now.

An audit from an external IT company is a great way to find these problems. You get an unbiased look at your current setup and may find issues you wouldn’t otherwise spot.

An IT security company can also help you resolve any issues they find. Ultimately, you’ll leave the experience with a more secure work environment.

Optimize Your IT Infrastructure Security

IT security is becoming a topic organizations of all sizes can’t avoid having conversations about today. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo business owner or a business with thousands of people on your team. Without great IT infrastructure security, you risk falling victim to cybercrimes.

Luckily, there are many standard tips you can use to build IT systems securely. Implement the tactics above today to improve your network security.

Once you secure your IT infrastructure, you can focus on building it to suit your organization’s needs. Our blog has more great articles that will help you learn more about business technology. Head back to read the latest ones.

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