In this day and age, security is critical to keeping and maintaining a high availability infrastructure. Malware and spyware are constant threats to slow down and crash a critical piece of hardware or software. In order to keep 24/7 uptime, companies need to be on constant look out for those attacks while maintaining the most sophisticated defense system.
To maintain business continuity and high availability infrastructure, companies generally undergo a thorough risk assessment process. They usually bring in an outside consultant to create benign software that tests the vulnerabilities of a system (called a Vulnerability and Penetration Test). If the software is able to infiltrate the server or network, they company can immediately knowhow and when the attack was successful. That trial attack is then used to patch the holes and make the system more secure.
Secondly, the third-party consultant creates a compliance assessment. Whether that is for HIPAA violations for health care firms or privacy and security violations for financial and consumer facing firms that hold sensitive personal data. Those violations must be cleared up as a matter of law before a government entity audits your firm.
Professional security firms can also install additional protections into a network such as multi-level encryption. This technology requires different passwords and authentication to enter different parts of the network. So some memory is available to almost all employees but most are not able to access core functions or the most sensitive information in a network.
Companies are also installing advanced malware, spamware and spyware protections in their networks to prevent hacking and stolen information. Additionally, these protections eliminate the software that tends to slow networks down and cause aggravation for everybody. Having a high availability infrastructure is not just about keeping intruders out, it is also about keeping the most streamlined and highly functioning system possible.
Another key provision is to have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. That includes a detailed process and action plan when a man made or natural disaster occurs. The key component of the plan is the automated and pre-planning for the event. Most importantly, data should be saved automatically every few minutes and stored in redundant locations around the country. If one location is effected with earthquake, fire, blizzard or flood, the other location will hopefully still be safe. For example, many Silicon Valley companies hold their back-up servers in Oregon, Nevada and Arizona where earthquakes are less likely. Similarly, New York and Chicago financial firms hold servers in the South in the case of blizzard.
In the era of server virtualization, the network audits and solutions have to be aware of the different operating systems, the different hypervisors linking machines and the different applications that are attached to the network. Each of these has vulnerabilities that has to be explored.
However, the ultimate vulnerability is your people. If they do not regularly change passwords or are constantly falling for phishing attacks, it is very difficult to keep a clear network. Constant training, reminders and surveillance for all employees is a key step in keeping a system operating smoothly and free of attacks.
Still the IT department needs to have staff monitoring the system, network and servers 24/7. In the absence of that, there must be a 24/7 helpdesk from the vendors of the hardware and software. Third-party consultants can also provide valuable monitoring services for companies.
Abtech is a leading IT service and solutions provider. Their security services help businesses to save tremendous time and money while maintaining their infrastructure. For more information, please contact us. A friendly consultant will walk you through the most crucial services to keep your specific network available at all times.