A company’s network is the backbone of its IT infrastructure, depended upon for connection to customers, potential customers, vendors and employees, as well as public and private cloud infrastructure. Not only that, your network’s health is one of your best defenses against cyber threats. However, to stay healthy and in compliance with standards and regulations, you need to be proactive. Read on to find out how to keep your network in good health and compliance.
Marks of a Healthy Network
According to an article on network health, a company’s computer network is ideally flexible, efficient and secure. It links you to services essential for your business-critical applications to remain available and run smoothly. Offsite backup is also dependent upon the condition of your network. Just as important as working well, it needs to be secure, with no intrusions by malware, viruses, or unauthorized users. Your data needs to be protected whether or not your business is subject to industry regulations like HIPAA or PCI-DDS. Provided your network is already in good shape, network compliance will be easier as will avoiding fines for non-compliance.
How to Improve and Maintain the Health of Your Network
Both technological and human resources can work together to keep your network in tip-top shape. Your servers need to have up-to-date operating system patches (ideally automated) and current anti-virus and anti-malware definitions; these definitions need to extend to every device connected to your network. Make sure to monitor your network, looking for possible intrusions, weak spots, and any element possibly out of compliance. Consider an offsite network monitoring application that can work twenty-four hours a day. Another resource is your employees. Educate them regularly in such matters as password policy, recognition of phishing schemes, and maintaining data privacy.
Keeping your network healthy and secure is a huge step forward in establishing and maintaining compliance. According to Forbes, a company that can find and correct security problems via automation–and document these corrections–will not only avoid penalties and fines but operate more efficiently.
Don’t wait until an audit to be in compliance. If you are unsure about your network health and compliance, contact your trusted technology advisor today for an assessment.
Cyber attacks and data breaches are regularly in the news, and often come with a loss or exposure of customers’ data and a loss of reputation to the business. Large, well-known businesses are often in the headlines; small to medium-size businesses, however, are just as much at risk. Knowledge of cybersecurity practices has yet to keep up with new threats. According to CompTIA’s 2018 Trends in Cybersecurity report, “Businesses with fewer than 100 employees are far more likely than their larger counterparts to feel that their IT security is simply adequate or unsatisfactory. Without a deep resource pool to lean on, smaller firms struggle to address new facets of IT security.” To learn more about protecting your data, read on.
The Importance of Data Protection
When a cyberattack occurs, customer data can be either lost or get in the hands of cybercriminals. As a result, customers can lose trust in your company to keep their data safe, data that is generated through online interactions with your company. How do you protect this data, your relationships with your customers, and your company’s bottom line? Your business may also be subject to regulatory compliance, such as following GDRP, HIPAA or PCI-DDS. As ever, it’s important to keep antivirus and anti-malware definitions up to date and to monitor your network. Backing up data in the Cloud is also an option to consider. But just as important is to develop a culture of cybersecurity in your organization.
Develop a Culture of Cybersecurity
Managers and CEOs can set the tone for a culture of cybersecurity by emphasizing the benefits of data protection. Not only does it keep customers safe, it can keep employees safe, too. Educate your employees about every individual being an end-user, both at work and outside of work. Remind them of the importance of protecting their own data on social media, and how it’s easier to prevent a breach than repair the effects of one. The same goes in the workplace. Data protection can help keep the business running and keep employees working effectively without experiencing downtime.
Training employees doesn’t have to be a one-time event, nor does it have to be dull. Inventive executives can create incentives and rewards, such as the confidence that they are protecting the company and themselves or giving a prize to the first person to accurately recognize a phishing attempt.
Assess Your Current State of Security
A good place to start is to assess your current level of data security; an audit of your computing resources will help you know where you stand. Contact your technology advisor today to start on the road to data security.