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In this day and age, internet and network security should be a prime concern for any business with an online presence. By ensuring that data is secure, a company is thereby keeping not only itself, but also its customers and their personal information safe. Here are some tips for data storage best practices as well as keeping business websites and networks secure from hackers and data thieves.
The internet has become increasingly consumer oriented, where the needs of clients dictate the movements of a business. While this can be great for profits, it can make it more difficult to coordinate proper security, since companies have to deal with using several different applications, and even products brought in by employees can be potential sources of malware. Internal threats to network security usually come from internet security concerns, such as employees visiting social networking sites, and employee-owned devices like laptops and iPads that can connect to the company’s network.
Since employees often have to do work using the corporate network while on business trips, or even from home, simply banning the visiting of certain websites or bringing in private electronic devices is no longer an effective strategy for network and data protection. Of course, employees do not knowingly introduce malware into a company network most of the time, but by using personal devices in less secure networks, such as cafes, they may inadvertently pick up a virus that can spread to the company network later on, and social networking sites are notorious for having applications that can introduce spyware to a computer.
Guidelines for Data Protection
The best solution is to set up some simple guidelines for employees to protect data and networks. First, gateways should be installed on company networks to filter out known malicious scripts, P2P applications (including torrents), and other harmful traffic. If employees bring in their own personal electronic devices, they should have to encrypt any corporate data that they store on them. These devices should also be able to be remotely wiped, in the event that the devices themselves are stolen. Additionally, VPN and related communications between employee-owned devices and company networks should be encrypted.
Periodically, check-ups should be run on any computers connecting to the corporate network to make sure that they are up to date on virus scans, security updates, and firewalls. Virtual desktop applications could even be installed on employee laptops used to connect to the corporate network to ensure that business related activity can take place isolated from the normal laptop operating systems. Finally, content and protocol filtering should be set in place to monitor and control the types of data that can be exchanged between employee mobile devices and the company network.