Safeguarding your network with robust IT security
In this technology-driven world, there isn’t an aspect of our lives that hasn’t been infiltrated – from business to social media profiles, shopping and everything else in between. Today, with a monumental increase in work-at-home initiatives to boot, IT security concerns have never been more relevant.
As more companies move toward a largely remote workforce, a robust IT network with seamless security for the protection of data and communications is and should be a priority. With hackers getting smarter and many employees using their hardware for both business and personal use, protecting the network has never been more important.
Protecting the data and the business
Regardless of the size of the business, IT security and data protection are elements that cannot be overlooked. In fact, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should be just as mindful of network security as a large corporation would be. Ever since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, businesses of all sizes are obliged to ensure high levels of compliance and safeguard any personal data they collect, store or send. This can include client, customer and employee information.
Any breach of network security in terms of data access can lead to significant fines under GDPR and can create a severe and negative impact on the reputation of the business.
Devising an IT security plan
To develop a robust IT security plan, your IT infrastructure must first be able to support it. With an almost overwhelming range of options available and a consistently evolving market for technology, platforms and services, this complex stage can prove challenging.
J&L understand and decode the jargon to help you decide on the right IT structure for your business. Here are some of the options you need to consider:
- Implement a scalable system that can grow and adapt to your network needs
- Choose an option with good customer support and a local, technical helpline
- Select a provider that uses plain language and a non-technical approach
- Ensure configuration of personal devices across the network
Your IT security plan should also incorporate four main policies:
- Network security policy
- Communications policy
- Inappropriate use policy
As a business owner, you are ultimately responsible for the strength of the security of your IT systems and network. Spend some time consulting with IT security and systems professionals to find out more about you can safeguard your network and protect your reputation.
The four policies will become central to your IT security plan and must be minutely documented to remain compliant. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Network security policy
Within the network security policy will be the details of acceptable use and the limitations. It should also include:
- Logins and passwords use
- Password security requirements
- Strength and update frequency
- Network access
- Configuration of personal devices
- Consider Mobile Device Management (MDM)
The communications policy is heavily entrenched in compliance and several elements should be carefully specified:
- Business email use
- Use of internet connectivity
- Data transfer monitoring
- Secure access to client data for those that need it only
- Data sharing both within and outside the network
In addition, there should be specific guidelines about personal use of company internet:
- Social media messaging
- Instant messaging
- A clear policy for communications monitoring
- Restrictions on the distribution of business information
- How data is collected and stored
- The length of time it is stored for
- Who has access?
This important aspect of IT security can be implemented seamlessly at the start of your IT infrastructure review and is critical when building new systems that will collect, store, use or even access any personal data, whether client or employee.
Inappropriate use policy
In addition to producing a well-defined plan for IT security, the conditions should also be clearly set out for inappropriate use. This should include the thresholds and the consequences of breaching company protocols such as:
- Introducing viruses
- Hacking systems
- Use of company data
- Access restricted personal data
- Personal internet use and acceptable content
- Illegal downloading or streaming
Ensure that your employees are fully aware of their obligations in terms of network and IT security and provide training opportunities if necessary.
How J&L can help you with robust IT security
J&L work closely with our clients at all levels to provide a clear and jargon-free approach to your IT security. We understand the challenges SMEs are facing with travel and work restrictions and are here to help.
If you’ve been concerned about your network, whether you’re dealing with a disparate workforce and need additional infrastructure integrity or you simply need some advice about IT support, talk to us. We offer full technical support from a knowledgeable team working on the ground with our clients and are here as people as well as experts.
Find out more about our IT security and systems and give us a call on 01293 127128. Let us identify your challenges and create a secure, compliant space for your business.