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by Joe Sawyer, Business Development Manager, of Systems Engineering. Portland-based Systems Engineering is a leading IT strategy and managed services provider serving clients nationwide.

Although data breaches are common enough to show up in news headlines on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, they’re not something any of us want our businesses to experience. In fact, organizations are regularly putting practices and securities in place to try and prevent network compromises from occurring. However, it’s not only employees who make mistakes that compromise network security.

cyber securityListed below are five risks and their matching solutions to keep networks healthy and cybercriminals at bay.

  1. WORKSTATION PATCHING—This is a simple exercise and yet, it is often the last item on the “to do” checklist.

Risk: New security vulnerabilities are appearing every day and without routine patching, networks are open to vulnerabilities.  The majority of these compromises can be avoided by patching.  On occasion, shortcuts are taken with patching, therefore creating openings for cyber thieves to break in.

Solution: Invest more time to ensure these patches are done each week, or look to a third party to help.

  1. PASSWORD POLICY—Creating a stringent password policy enhances computer network security.

Risk: Hackers are doing everything they can to get into your online accounts and steal sensitive data such as banking statements, credit card statements, and healthcare records.

Solution: Set a password policy for your workstation to change every 45-90 days to minimize the risk and to stop attackers from getting into your account. Use complicated passwords and ensure the same password isn’t used across various administrative accounts. This way, if cybercriminals obtain one password, they won’t be able to get into all of your accounts.

Password policies are easy to establish and make it more difficult for cybercriminals to catch on to a company’s poor habits.

  1. NETWORK MONITORING AND ALERTS—While it’s imperative to login and monitor when your server storage space is reaching full or critical capacity, have you decided what to do when it’s time to take action? Or, worse yet, what happens if you forget to check?

Risk: By not regularly checking your storage server capacity, you can cause your network to crash, resulting in downtime and loss of productivity.

Solution: Develop a road map and policy around server storage capacity, including the actions that need to be taken when you are close to running out of space. Utilize a solution that allows for a proactive approach to monitoring the health of your network and that alerts you to any issues before they cost you downtime. 

  1. FILE AVAILABILITY AND RECOVERY—What is your data availability strategy?

Risk: Loss of data can happen due to a simple human error, system failure, or malware or ransomware attack.  This can cause valuable downtime for an organization resulting in loss of revenue and even the loss of current or prospective clients.

Solution: Test your current backup strategy to see if it works and is reliable.  If you don’t have a backup strategy, ensure that your senior leadership teams and IT teams are discussing a proactive approach.

  1. OUTSOURCE WHEN IT MAKES SENSE—The challenge of growing revenue while responsibly managing cost forces difficult choices, and IT budgets are no exception.

Risk: Trying to do it all yourself: network reliability, storage, backup, and security are all key aspects to productivity in the workplace. However, not everyone in the organization has the skillset to cover all IT gaps. Small to midsized businesses likely have limited resources, which is why it’s important to understand where outside knowledge can and will benefit the organization.

Solution: There are many different models available to ensure you make good strategic use of your IT dollars and get the most out of IT.  The key to getting it right is to understand where it’s crucial for your internal staff to make contributions, and when working with a partner makes sense for your business.

Learn More

To learn more about cyber security risks and solutions for your business, contact Systems Engineering by email at info@syseng.com or call them 888.624.6737.