Rules to Protect IT Infrastructure
How secure is your IT infrastructure? Is it protected against potential threats from both outsiders as well as insiders?
Nowadays there are more cases of data breaches than ever before, and they can have devastating consequences. To avoid them you need to make sure that your IT infrastructure is well-protected, and that starts with following a few simple rules:
- Protect with strong password protocols
The most basic rule to secure your IT infrastructure is to implement strong password protocols. Access to any network, devices, and sensitive data should be password-restricted.
Ideally, every user should have their own unique username and password. They should be encouraged to use strong passwords that feature a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Update and patch software regularly
All your software should be updated and patched regularly to ensure they are protected from the latest security vulnerabilities. It may be convenient to use an auto-update feature if one is available, but even if you do you should manually check for updates from time to time.
Of course, your virus and malware scanners should be updated very frequently so that they can detect the latest threats.
- Limit access to IT infrastructure
Access to your IT infrastructure should be limited by applying the principle of least privilege. In other words, users should only be able to access parts of the infrastructure that are necessary for their tasks – and nothing more than that.
By limiting access in this way, you can reduce the overall exposure and risk of a security breach.
- Train all users in the basics of IT security
Did you know that many data breaches occur due to carelessness or human error? The best way to avoid that is by training all users in the basics of IT security so that they are aware of what they should (and should not) do.
For example, all users should know to avoid unknown email attachments, not click on suspicious links, and so on.
- Regularly check for vulnerabilities
If you want to make sure that your IT infrastructure is not vulnerable you should put it to the test. The security testing scope could include assessing potential vulnerabilities, attempting to exploit them, reviewing security protocols, and testing compliance.
As a rule, you should test the security of your IT infrastructure on a regular basis – at least once a year. If you handle lots of sensitive data you may want to conduct tests more regularly than that.
- Monitor and log user activity
Knowing what users are doing at any given time (and recording a log of it) can help you to avoid security breaches and identify potential risks. It will let you detect anomalous behavior early so that you can act on it before it becomes an issue.
In the event of a data breach, your logs can help you to audit and reconstruct the breach to find out what happened – and make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. It may also be of assistance to recover lost data.
It should be noted that there are many other security measures that you will need to take if you want to make sure that your IT infrastructure is as safe and protected as possible. That said the rules listed above are an excellent outline and can act as a foundation for you to build upon.
All said and done you need to be proactive about the security of your IT infrastructure. It is better to be a little paranoid about it than to end up having to deal with the fallout from a data breach.