What are information security best practices? Best practices are steps and guidelines that are accepted as being correct in most circumstances and found to be most effective. They are often used as a reference point for administrators while setting up anything from a new network infrastructure to a new workstation. As with many other industries, information security has its own guidelines when it comes to setting up a secure environment for users.
If information security experts had it their way, they would just lock everything down and not let anyone in or out of the network. Unfortunately, users need to be able to access information and databases which are stored on and off the network they are operating in. This means there needs to be a set of security guidelines that must be followed to keep a network and servers safe and at the same time not interfere with business operations.
One thing businesses can do to limit exposure to possible security threats is to introduce a policy of acceptable use guidelines. This should be a list of acceptable use of company property such as workstations and network resources. It should also include explanations of risks that may be associated with downloading games and other software. It should explain to employees that streaming YouTube videos all day can interfere with network speed and affect other user’s productivity.
Keeping a network secure from both internal and external threats is a 24-hour job. To be successful, there must be security in every aspect of a network. Everything from physical security, such as keeping a server in a locked room to prevent direct access, to wireless network security should always be considered when designing a network. A single breach in security can be catastrophic for any sized company. Remote data backups and encrypting sensitive information can also be considered a part of data security.
Running regular updates on workstations and servers is another best practice that should be followed when it does not interfere with other computer software. Operating system updates often contain security updates that can help secure any native vulnerabilities that exist within a Windows environment. Firmware updates for other devices such as firewalls and printers can also improve security and stability. Generally speaking, it is always a good idea to make sure that the latest updates are being applied on a regular basis.
Security best practices are not always required but are the generally accepted settings and policies that have been shown to be effective in most circumstances. Ultimately, it is the network administrator’s responsibility to do what is necessary to secure the network. Since each network is different, there is often good reason to steer away from best practices for a more precise and individualized security protocol.
For help keeping you network and business secure, call Syndeo Communications at (760) 650-3300. We’re a trusted San Diego IT Support company offering a wide variety of services, including network security, cloud storage, Apple and Mac support, remote desktop, and data recovery.