Protecting company data and brand by avoiding network hacks

Data center

Guest post by Simon Parker, courtesy of Minerva Security

Both small and large corporations are tasked with securing their networks and computer systems, particularly from intruders who want to hack into them to gain access to sensitive and confidential information. For this reason, putting the appropriate safety measures in place is critical to these organizations, specifically in an environment where any company is subject to these fraudulent acts. In fact, based on information that was provided by researchers in the United Kingdom, approximately 50% of their business’ systems are currently at risk because they do not have the efficient computer security procedures established. Though some people may think that large corporations like Sony and eBay are completely secure and smaller business are those higher at risk, this is far from the truth since the corporation size does not matter if the best security solutions are not being used to lock out the potential for hackers.

With that being said, if the heads of these companies want to make sure that they have the best possible safety procedures established in their organizations, they should follow the recommendations listed below.

Identify key areas where hackers can cause the most damage

When a business owner and their representatives are designing a plan for their organisations, they can minimize risks by developing a custom plan that fits their specific organisation. One of the best ways to design and implement this kind of plan is to start by identifying key areas that hackers usually cause the most severe damage. For instance, many organisations store the footage that they record from their business CCTV system onto hard drives, and these hard drives are linked to their internal computer networks. Because this is common knowledge among intruders, it is an area of high risk that must be protected. To avoid these issues and tighten up any gaps that exist, the information security team should take the following precautions.

Use the appropriate physical security

When a business owner and their representatives want to secure the data that’s stored on their hard drives, it is important that they install physical alarms in these areas so that they can receive alerts if an intruder tries to access the physical property. Also, when a workstation is not being used for a period of time, the disk drives should be removed and stored in a more secure place. Taking these active measures can reduce the possibility of an intruder entering the property and walking away with sensitive data without anyone noticing.

Install and update reliable antivirus software

Because hackers are very resourceful when they want to disrupt a company’s business, they will do virtually anything to get to the company data and corrupt it. To prevent these acts from taking down whole networks and computer systems in any organization, it is important that the networks are equipped with the most updated and reliable antivirus software applications.

Monitor networks daily

In addition to protecting the areas that house the physical data and installing anti-virus software applications on networks and computer systems, it is also important for business owners and their representatives to ensure that they have a solid plan in place for monitoring their network systems. Since some of the problems that these hackers cause may not be discovered until a lot of damage has been done, it is important that the organisation stays on guard by monitoring them daily. In many cases, those companies that implement plans that monitor these systems on a regular basis are not only preventing potential problems from occurring but will also help the organisation to recover quickly in the event that the hackers are successful. In fact, being proactive will minimise the damage, while also saving the company significant amounts of money as well as their reputation.

Utilise network logging and security testing

Sometimes when a hacker tries to break into a company’s system they are not always successful. Based on the reason and the purposes for targeting a specific company, they may try to gain access over and over again until they actually do it. To prevent these hackers from being successful with their efforts, the technical staff can stop these actions in their tracks when they are monitoring it. Fortunately, this part of the process does not have to be done manually, especially since there are network logging and security testing programs that can assist with facilitating this process.

Pay special attention to passwords

Even though people are always told to keep their passwords secure by not sharing them, this isn’t the only vulnerability that enables intruders to gain access to user credentials. Because these passwords are kept in a centralised database, they can be accessed by hackers if they are able to get into a company’s system. Unfortunately, as of recent, this has been in the news as one of the latest trends, and is being done to many companies today. To avoid these problems, it is important for the technical staff to pay close attention to the company’s passwords so that they can remain secure. For instance, if someone in the organisation suspects that there is a password leak, they can use alerts from Google as a way to prevent these problems happening.

Use encryption techniques and firewalls

Another way to make it difficult for hackers to get a company’s sensitive data is using different measures to block them. Two of the most common include using encryption techniques so that the hacker cannot interpret the data even if they steal or intercept it in transmission. Also, the network security system should contain firewalls that block people from outside of the organisation from using or gaining access to internal networks and computer systems.

Conclusion

Protecting a company’s sensitive data is critical to the success of any organisation today. When a network has been compromised by hackers it can cause severe damage to a company’s operations and their reputation. To avoid these issues and concerns, there are a number of things that can be done including identifying physical security risks in the operation and establishing procedures that will protect the company’s data by installing antivirus software, monitoring for hacks on a daily basis, paying attention to password leaks and other things that can save the company money and protect their brand.

Minerva Security, a security and fire safety company based in Essex, shares over 70 years of experience in the commercial security and fire safety industry.

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