The lack of adequate protection and defences on an IT network would make a business vulnerable to hacking and the implications can be damaging, often the damage is dependent on what mood the hacker is in and what devastation they would like to cause.
Effects from a hacking can disrupt business operations, causing downtime, corrupt data, affect brand perception and reputation. Being a victim of cybercrime can also mean the business breaches the data protection act or experience compliance breaches.
With technology moving so quickly within the IT market, there are a number of methods and products to choose from – the key is to choose what is right for your network.
You need to consider:-
- What type of IT infrastructure does the business have? Virtual or Physical?
- What are your data requirements?
- What would you consider to be your critical data or programs?
- What security is currently implemented on your network?
Rule of thumb is a full assessment of the current security situation and the condition of the infrastructure is necessary, in order to help determine what is the right solution for your business. After the assessment, you can then decide on which method or security brand would be most suitable.
3 methods of protection:-
Is software to help defend you against viruses and other malware threats including Trojans, worms and sometimes spyware; however, the level of protection provided by the anti-virus is dependent on the one you choose. Well-known brands include Sophos, Symantec and Kaspersky.
A firewall helps to prevent unauthorized access to a computer or a network, there are two types ‘network firewall’ and ‘client firewall’.
A network firewall is installed on the boundary between two networks, normally located between the internet and a company network – it can be either a device or software running on a computer that acts as a gateway to the company network. Whereas, a client firewall is when software is installed and runs on an end users computer, protecting only that particular computer. Well-known network firewall brands include SonicWall and Watchguard.
This secures your data by encrypting your desktops, laptops, emails, USB’s files and other devices; it prevents unauthorized access where the information can only be accessed by entering an encryption key or password.
For an IT network it is advisable to have at least Firewalls and Anti-Virus software installed. For businesses that uses mobile devices and have a mobile workforce who carry business data around, encryption is recommended. For example, 2-factor authentication can be implemented on business mobile phones, to ensure if the phone was lost or stolen it will help prevent others using it because it is a secure method that seeks to decrease the probability that the user is presenting false evidence of its identity. Well-known 2-factor authentication brands include Cryptocard and Vasco.
Other ways of encryption includes installing a type of software on a device where data is automatically encrypted, email encryption and manual encryption where the user chooses what data requires encoding.
So, regardless of the size of the organisation security is necessary for protection as data is a key asset and is also valuable in the wrong hands.
When it comes to cybercrime business should not think it ‘will never happen to me’, ‘My data isn’t worth the hassle’ but, the truth is, cybercrime criminals do not discriminate, if you have business data you can potentially be a target.
For more information on how to protect your business data please feel free to contact us.