Hackers are always attempting new ways to steal or corrupt sensitive data. If you don’t take the opportunity to protect your systems, you could face a major data loss incident or security discrepancy. Here are five ways you can protect your business’s infrastructure from hackers waiting to steal your data.
Protect Important Security Credentials
Hackers often target the credentials of major figures within your organization, such as corporate executives or IT administrators. These usernames and credentials, which can then be used to target sensitive information, must be protected at all costs. Use encryption to protect these credentials, and make them as long and complex as possible. If these credentials are stored somewhere, make sure they’re located in an encrypted password manager, not a shared plain text file.
Restrict Admin Access
You should be able to restrict certain parts of your network on a per-user basis. This means keeping average employees from spying on information they don’t need to be privy to. This could include financial or personally identifiable information. Restrict this type of information to only the departments that need access to it, like accounting or human resources. The fewer people who can access it, the less chance there is that it will be compromised. Your team should have access only to information required to do their jobs, and nothing more.
Improve Password Security with Best Practices
If you’re using a password manager, take advantage of password best practices without forgetting your passwords. These best practices help you to optimize the security of your accounts. You'll want to use different complex passwords for every single account. These complex passwords should include both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Make them as difficult to guess as possible. Don’t worry--your password manager will do all of the remembering for you, which is why it’s such a valuable investment.
Eliminate Shadow IT
Hackers will infiltrate your systems by using forgotten-about software solutions that may lurk on your organization’s workstations. This happens when an employee unknowingly downloads a solution that hasn’t been cleared by IT. This often happens if they want a program, like Microsoft Word, but it hasn’t been officially issued to them.
Shadow IT provides hackers opportunity to attack systems, as fake software licenses or malicious programs might be included with any “freeware” your team finds and downloads. Emphasize to your team the process that must be adhered to for any new software solutions, and that they need to go through the proper channels (like through IT) before implementing an unapproved solution.
Train Your Staff on IT Best Practices
If you understand the basics of IT security, it can only get you so far without your entire staff being versed in it as well. You'll want to make IT security a part of company culture. This can be accomplished through extensive training and consistent reminders of how best to avoid threats. Teach them what to do if they suspect that they’ve been hacked, and help them avoid dangerous threats, including malicious links, spam phishing attacks, and unsolicited email attachments.
To learn more about how best to secure your infrastructure, reach out to SMART Services at 586 258-0650.
For a lengthier treatment on this topic, please view our webinar on Ransomware and Other New Threats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AptcmCWKKuI
Let Smart Services position your agency for tomorrow’s technological challenges. For 25 years, Smart Services has helped agencies across the U.S. face a changing environment by providing innovative technology solutions that allow agencies to focus on growing their business. MyAGENCYcloud, our complete cloud solution, covers all your technology needs in the cloud or at your agency. In today’s competitive environment, it’s time to make your agency technology a strategic asset, instead of a liability. Let us show you how. To learn more, please call our expert agency technology advisor at 586-258-0650.