7 IT Tips to Secure Your Systems

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There is a growing demand by enterprises to secure their systems. IT professionals are being pressured to find more efficient and cost-effective ways of protecting the networks from attack, intrusion, and other infiltration techniques. Technology advancements like cloud computing, virtualization, and mobility generate added complexity, requiring additional security measures to maintain reliable operations.

1) Provide staff with training

Technology has come a long way, and everyone should understand the basics of how networks, computers, and applications work. Organizations must prioritize providing staff with training to better understand the technology they work with on a daily basis. This is extremely important as security threats can gain access more easily if there are no basic technical skills among the people who oversee their network. You should make cyber security courses online available as part of your new staff induction process.

2) Establishing a Strong Password Policy

Administrators should enforce strong passwords for users and periodically review password policies for compliance with regulatory requirements as well as best practices. A strong password would be at least 8 characters long with at least one capital letter, one lowercase letter, one number (0-9), and one special character (@#$%*).

3) Installing the Latest Updates

It’s best practice to install the latest patches and updates as soon as they become available. Keeping your systems up-to-date with the latest security patches reduces the chances of being exploited by hackers or other cybercriminals.

4) Storing Sensitive Data in Secure Locations

Applications should store sensitive data securely. Sensitive information such as credit card numbers and social security numbers should be encrypted with a well-known algorithm. Ideally, the encryption key should be available only to the owner of the data or an administrator.

5) Developing a Security Policy

It is advisable to create a policy to address security issues related to network usage, computer usage, data backup and storage, power supply management, access rights, and privileges. A policy will help prevent security breaches by outlining specific steps that need to be followed by employees. It is best to make these policies available online for everyone to read and refer to, including contractors who work for your company.

6) Maintaining Backups of Critical Data

This is one of the most important steps you can take towards security to minimize data breach risks. It will help you easily recover from theft or destruction by hackers. Instead of relying on the most likely chance that your backups will be stored safely in a physical safe or a data storage, you should consider implementing an online backup (such as Carbonite or Mozy).

7) Preventing Malicious Software from Entering Your Network

Malware, also known as rogue software, can infiltrate the network and cause damage. It is best to configure the operating system and all applications to block all ports unless the application explicitly needs them. This is especially important when antivirus and anti-spyware programs are installed on devices.

The 7 tips covered here are just a few that can help organizations secure their systems. In future articles, I will share more tips on how to implement security measures effectively and efficiently.

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