Technology

10 important points to effectively protect your IS against (…)

In order to jeopardize the IT security of companies, hackers exploit all recognizable security gaps in networks, sometimes without the CIOs noticing.

The risks that result from computer hacking are considerable and even greater in the teleworking context: loss of sensitive and confidential data, espionage, loss of sales due to a production shutdown or a malfunction of the company’s website. Company, etc. In order to increase the IT security of your company, you must therefore set up an efficient warning system. This is undoubtedly an important step in securing the network.

All companies deal with IT security

To protect the computer system, the Internet connections and the programs and applications used must also be secured. In large companies, public institutions or SMEs, nobody is safe from infection by a computer virus or other malware (malicious programs) that can find its way through employees opening emails.

The main factors that affect your company’s IT security

Data theft and extortion are based on all security breaches, including over-trusting employees or their ignorance of the mechanisms used by cyber criminals.

For companies with a heterogeneous IT park consisting of desktops, smartphones or tablets and laptops: How can a consistent and uniform IT protection of the company be ensured in this case? Added to this are the constantly increasing mobility and teleworking situations of employees, which also represent considerable risk factors for the IT security of companies. And that without counting on the BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) guideline, which further complicates the task of companies with regard to protecting their information systems.

10 steps to protect your IS

With the growing number of cyber attacks and the ingenuity of hackers who can exploit both technical and human errors, it is imperative to strengthen your company’s IT security. To do this, proceed as follows:

Step 1: Create an IT security policy and an IT charter

If the company has several hundred computer system users, a security policy must be created, a reference document in which the goals and measures to ensure the IT security of the company are described. For example, you will find the mention of the applications that are necessary for the continuity of your activity.

Step 2: Make your employees aware of cybersecurity

It is important to make employees aware of good cybersecurity practices: Company IT security will not be achieved without employee involvement. By giving them the right reflexes about data usage and basic knowledge of the procedures used by cyber criminals, we significantly reduce human risk, the weak link in protecting the computer system.

Step 3: keep systems and software up-to-date

To minimize the risk of security breaches in operating systems and software, it must be ensured that they are updated regularly, in the workplace or in employee mobility situations.

Step 4: back up sensitive data

Particular attention must be paid to the protection of sensitive data. They have significant economic value to cyber criminals who often use known security vulnerabilities or even sophisticated social engineering mechanisms to seize them. In addition, the loss of sensitive data can result in the company being subject to heavy administrative penalties for non-compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Step 5: secure internet connections

For hackers, the Internet access of a company and its employees offers just as many opportunities to penetrate the information system. This applies all the more in a teleworking context with several locations and / or employees: How can the company’s IT security be guaranteed?

The implementation of an SSL certificate allows you to switch from the HTTP protocol to the secure HTTPS protocol, which guarantees the authenticity of your website and the confidentiality of the exchange.

Step 6: protect mobile devices and make passwords more complex

The risk of theft or loss of smartphones, tablets and laptops makes the company vulnerable as it is a violation of your IT protection. It is therefore strongly recommended to increase the complexity of passwords and to inform employees about the best practices to be adopted. Finally, we need to be able to remotely wipe the contents of these devices.

Step 7: Back up the data regularly

After a computer hack, all or part of your system will likely need to be restored. It is therefore preferable to ensure that important business data is regularly backed up and kept in a safe place.

Step 8: control access to devices

In order to strengthen the IT security of the company, the installation of programs or applications should be reserved exclusively for the IT department. On mobile devices, separating professional and personal use is a good initiative: in particular, this prevents the work environment from becoming polluted by an increase in malware downloading games.

Step 9: fighting malware

An up-to-date anti-virus program, an efficient firewall and a sophisticated intrusion detection system are of course more than essential to ensure the IT security of your company.

Step 10: secure the cloud

How can IT security be optimized in companies that use the cloud? First you need to secure your access. This is a GDPR compliance rule that cannot be dispensed with. Second, it is recommended to encrypt your data and use multi-factor authentication.

Every company is unique, as is its IT system. As a result, the reliability of your company’s IT security can prove to be complex, especially since cyberthreats are numerous and the proposed solutions to address these issues are many and varied. Therefore, make sure to take the right measures to avoid exposure to IT risks.

Gaëtan PACCOU, CERTIGNA

Also read: “Validity of SSL Certificates: What will Certigna change?”