One hundred years ago the ship, called “unsinkable” had its hull breached by an iceberg and caused the death of over 1500 passengers. You may think your network is “invincible” like the Titanic, however, your network security policies may cause vulnerability putting your IT assets and critical data at risk.
Here are several steps you can take to avoid compromising your network security:
WiFi Access WiFi technology makes it easy for you to network your computers. Your WiFi signal may broadcast beyond the physical security of your office allowing uninvited visitors to access your network and compromise your network security and compliance policies. Make sure your WiFi network connections are password protected and securely encrypted. Also, consider turning off your WiFi during non business hours. By the way, wireless technology (the telegraph) saved the lives of hundreds of passengers on the Titanic.
Thumb Drives and USB Drives Sharing data through thumb drives or USB drives may allow unintended computer viruses and malicious software, also known as malware, transfer from other non secure computers and enter the perimeter of your secure network. For this reason, some network administrators set strict IT policies that prevent thumb drives from being used on any office computer. There are plenty of secure services available for files sharing between computers (e.g. remote backup and remote control software). Ask your IT support professional about your policy for using USB drives and thumb drives and the impact they may have on your network security.
Security Patches Operating System and Application Security patches are designed to keep your network secure. Your network security is as vulnerable as its’ weakest link. As one hole in the hull can take down the largest ship afloat, one computer that is out of compliance may create a hole in your network security.
Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Similar to Security Patches, keeping your Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware definitions up to date will help keep your network secure and in compliance. Some virus programs may use your network to hop from one computer to another. Once an infected machine connects behind your firewall other computers may be exposed. By keeping Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware definitions up to date you can avoid loss of data and loss of employee productivity.
You may think your network is as invincible, just like many thought the Titanic was unsinkable. Contact your IT professional and ask them to perform a Network Audit to make sure there aren’t any icebergs looming in your network security policy.