All right: Let’s assume your organization has taken note of WannaCry and other EternalBlue malware attacks and has finally decided that it’s time for a big security update to meet the threats of the modern digital world. That’s great news! Many companies don’t even make it that far. But now that your business understands the need for a security overhaul, it’s time to create a plan. And that’s where we have a few ideas to help out.
Clean House Beforehand
Let’s get an unpleasant subject out of the way first: If you are overhauling IT security because of a data attack, and some heads may roll. It’s a common reaction, especially for IT leaders that may not have adequately performed their duties. Even more, shakeups may occur if the entire IT department needs to be reorganized. It’s not fun, but it happens. However, we want to emphasize how important it is to make any personnel changes before you start on your overhaul. It’s common business wisdom: Get the right people in the right places, and then start your big project. So if someone needs to be fired, let them be fired quickly and find a replacement before beginning any major changes. Everyone needs to be on board for this.
Get an Outside Audit
When a company needs new data security practices, an external viewpoint can prove invaluable. Remember, a data security auditor has experience helping many different kinds of companies find what they need to change, and that experience can prove invaluable in creating the right kind of overhaul plan. More advanced audits can use white hat attacks and other services to find specific vulnerabilities if necessary, and follow-up consultations can prove equally valuable. You don’t have to go it along – and a third party may be exactly what you need to get away from myopic internal perspectives.
Plan Ongoing Education
Employees are one of the worst vulnerabilities in any organization. Time and again, studies have shown that employees are careless with company data, and even when trained, still go against guidelines when it comes to basic tasks like using password protection or reporting the loss of stolen devices. It sounds cynical, but from a security perspective, you simply can’t trust them. The solution is an ongoing education effort that involves not only orientation training but constant re-training and reminders that explore the latest best practices and remind employees of just what is at stake.
Place Automated Detection Early On
Automated detection is an ideal way of keeping track of security for larger in-house projects. These systems basically track all data actions and look for unusual patterns that are associated with data attacks. They then report these findings to a human, who can go in for a closer look. It’s a great first line defense for monitoring any potential attacks, and highly efficient compared to past solutions.
Adopt the Right Service Security
The cloud has brought many new tools for data security, and – particularly important for smaller companies – allows you to shuffle off some security requirements to vendors and other external parties. It’s an opportunity…but don’t let it become an excuse. Take every vendor your organization uses and explore their security and encryption practices. Demand to know them if you have to. If they don’t meet current best practices then yes, it is time to find a new vendor for that service.
Create a Top-Down Strategy for Mobile Data Control
Because of a couple issues we already mentioned, such as difficulty trusting employees when they aren’t under direct supervision, mobile data is particularly vulnerable at this point in digital security. There are a few things you can do about that. Some organizations avoid putting data on mobile devices at all and use virtualization instead. Others use a more traditional method of creating security guidelines on an app by app basis. Others focus on properly protecting their Wi-Fi networks and only allow company data to be used on the business network. Often, a little of each strategy is necessary. Don’t be afraid to start back at the beginning and completely re-imagine your company’s mobile perspective.
Maintain a Robust Update Schedule
Every security strategy needs updates and patches to stay current. Plan for it, and make sure those plans don’t go ignored! For more questions on what your unique The Greater Toronto Area business needs for proper data security and patching, contact Tektonic. We offer a variety of IT services for companies that are ready to bring their security up to today’s standards: Contact us at (416) 256-9928 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!