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IT business security

Shifting the IT Team From Reactive to Proactive

All too often, your IT team finds themselves running from one problem to the next. As long as everything is going smoothly, they don't have much to do. When things start to fall apart, however, your IT team starts pulling their hair out! Sound familiar? By shifting your IT team from reactive to proactive, you can help your business day flow more smoothly even when problems arise.

Tighten Down Your Security

Poor network security can cause serious problems for your business: compromised customer information, excessive downtime, and even the loss of company secrets. By tightening down your security, you can help decrease the odds that a data breach will happen to you. The difference between reactive and proactive security is simple: reactive security simply reacts to a potential threat, dealing with the fallout after it becomes known. Proactive security, on the other hand, identifies potential threats and makes sure that your business is protected against them. This might include:

  • An on-site evaluation that will tell you the weak points in your physical defenses and whether or not a potential intruder will have an easy time accessing your computers, server rooms, and other sensitive areas
  • An evaluation of your external security, including your website
  • An evaluation of internal security and how well your network keeps out threats

By staying up-to-date with your IT security and adhering to the recommendations made by the team doing your evaluations, you help protect your customers and your business. It can save you money, increase the time your business spends up and running, and protect your website and network from malware: a winning combination that will help keep your business safe from outside threats.

Increase Your Regular Maintenance

In your business, do you use equipment until it fails, or do you assume a reasonable life of your hardware and replace it before it has the opportunity to cause problems? If you've been waiting on problems to occur, you're being reactive. Proactive replacement might seem more expensive up front, but in the long run, it can save you money. For example:

  • Replacing computers, from desktops to laptops, before they self-destruct ensures that vital employees won't end up with unexpected downtime while waiting for a replacement.
  • Maintaining your software means that you're always using the latest tools, which will keep your security tighter.
  • Taking care of routine maintenance on your servers and computers will ensure that everything stays up and running when you need it most.

Encourage your IT team to create a schedule for this maintenance, from machines that are due to be replaced to software that's recently been updated. While you don't always have to have the latest and greatest technology on the market, that proactive maintenance will often go a long way toward making your business day run more smoothly.

Anticipate Problems

Ideally, you want an IT team that's aware of potential problems before they arise. Is there a known fault in a particular piece of software your company uses every day, from a security issue that has just been released online to a known issue that causes the software to crash at random? Does a piece of hardware used by your company have a reputation for self-destructing precisely at the five-year mark? By keeping your IT team up to date on the latest happenings in the field, you can provide your entire business with the tools it needs to keep running smoothly.

Proactive maintenance of all the critical facets of your company's technology, including hardware, software, and security, protects your company from many of the potential failings associated with technology. Technology is only effective when it works. Shifting your IT team to a proactive stance will give you the confidence that all of your vital technology will keep working for you.

Is Cloud Computing Right For Your Business?

In today's era of technology, having your data available on multiple servers and devices is important. Not only is it great for security purposes, but it's also an exercise in self-discipline. After all, your sensitive data is one of the most important aspects in the workplace. By keeping your info stored on the Internet, you're taking things seriously in the business. Speaking of which, what is cloud computing? Generally speaking, it means storing and accessing data over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. Hence, as long as there's a device with Internet connection, you can easily access your data. With that said, even though many businesses have invested in the cloud, that doesn't mean every company needs to use it. Is cloud computing a right fit for your business? Here are a few questions you should ask.

#1. Is Your Information Secure?

Before investing in the cloud, you should consider whether your data is already secure or not. While it's true that cloud computing is one of the best methods for keeping your data secure, remember that most businesses invest in it in the first place, because their files aren't secure enough. Believe it or not, there are several other security methods if you feel the cloud isn't right for your business. Not only could you keep your data backed up through multiple servers, but have you considered using a USB flash drive as well? While some businesses don't use it due to the small size, it's efficient for keeping your files stored and secure. Not to mention that you can upload your files on to any computer in the workplace.

#2. Can Anyone In The Workplace Access Your Files?

Before investing in the cloud, you should also consider whether others can easily access your files or not. For example, are your files already locked behind a server with a secure password? If the answer is no, then cloud computing would be your best option. If the answer is yes, then your files are definitely more secure than you think. Overall, limiting access of your files from others is important, especially in the workplace. After all, many times, it's those in the workplace who might be looking to access your data. Lastly, remember that just because cloud computing is one of the best options for storing and securing your data, doesn't mean it's the only one.

#3. Are You Usually in the Office?

One reason many businesses invest in cloud computing, is because it gives them easier access to their data. Remember, because you can access your files from any device with Internet connection, this is a huge convenience for business owners who are always out of the office. For example, let's say there was a business owner who was always traveling. Obviously, they would need a way to access their files at all times, and the cloud greatly compensates for this. However, if you're a business owner who's always in the office, you wouldn't need constant access to your files.

Overall, these are some important questions when considering cloud computing. Check to see if your information is already secure enough, whether others can easily access your files, and if you're usually at your office computer.

For more information about how to decide whether the cloud is right for your business or not, feel free to contact us today at AbtechTechnologies. Our business offers a range of security products and services that will provide protection of your sensitive information and will augment business continuity by assessing compliance and overall security of your network. We look forward to hearing from you, and assisting you in the best way possible.

Top 5 Security Products and Services for IT Businesses

Security is always an important concept to consider for IT businesses. They are dealing with large volumes of sensitive information that is targeted by hackers and other malicious actors both inside and outside of the firm. Depending on the business, the value of this data could be millions of dollars or more. Spending to protect it is imperative as insurance against this loss. There are 5 products that are most important.

Vulnerability Assessment

All IT businesses need to be aware of the potential threats to their network. Without the initial understanding of the obvious and not so obvious threats, you will not know how to defend yourself. A vulnerability assessment determines all of the threats both outside and inside the network. At that point, a risk assessment report is created to highlight all of the potential issues and how they may be resolved. Companies use an end-to-end, point to point vulnerability assessment to get at their root risks.

In fact, certain organizations are required to conduct a vulnerability assessment. That includes publicly listed companies and also those medical companies that must comply with HIPAA requirements.

Penetration Testing

A Pen Test usually follows a vulnerability assessment. It includes a harmless payload that mimics a virus to attempt to infiltrate and disrupt a network. The payload acts in the same way a virus does to exploit vulnerabilities but does not actually cause any harm. This tests may identify problems that were not apparent in the risk assessment. This takes a little more time than the risk assessment but produces valuable insight from a real live test.

Malware Training

No matter how much software and equipment you purchase, there is always the more prosaic ways to infiltrate a network. By tricking an employee into voluntary downloading a malicious virus, a hacker can cause enormous damage. This was the case in the hacking of Sean Podesta (Hillary Clinton's chief advisor) and possibly also of Sony Pictures.

To avoid falling victim to these programs, employees should undergo extensive training sessions to learn about phishing, web links, public wifi and other potential vulnerabilities. Companies must establish strong programs to create a culture of safety.

Back-up Data

Managed cloud services providers must protect data from being wiped by malicious attackers. While excellent firewalls and anti-virus software does some of the work, keeping segregated data centers is another crucial tool. Cloud data has the advantage that it can be held in multiple locations, not simply in the hardware of the employees on site. For that reason, skilled cloud service providers can keep data in different locations so that even if the hacker is successful in infiltrating one storage center, they will need a new set of approvals to access the other one. Even better, if the first server is attacked, the other ones may automatically shut down to prevent further disaster.

Anti-Virus Software

Of course, the old stand-by is having anti-virus software installed on every computer, in the network and in the data center. Large companies such as McAffee, Kaspersky and Norton have successfully attracted large and small clients around the world. They keep a running tab on malicious software and quickly work to prevent them from damaging the hosts.

Corporate policy at virtually every large company in America instructs employees to keep their anti-virus software up to date. In fact, IT departments usually install and update these programs on the computers themselves. Without it, companies would be much more vulnerable.

Abtech Technologies provides a range of products and services to help IT businesses protect themselves. The company has helped large and small companies all the way to Fortune 500 firms to upgrade their defenses and protect themselves from hackers. For more information, please contact us.