Cybersecurity is one of the most important considerations for any modern business. A data breach can be seriously expensive, racking up an average cost of $8.19 million in the United States. However, data breaches aren’t the only problem that malware and hackers can cause. If malware infects your system and corrupts your files, if an attacker manages to breach physical security and steal valuable data, or if your network is compromised, you could be in serious trouble.
If you want to stay safe, IT support in LA can help you. IT services in Los Angeles can protect every aspect of your business, including your physical premises and your network. So, how exactly can a managed service provider help your company?
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the measures that you can take to protect your company and stay safe. Are you ready to learn more? Then let’s get started!
1. Improving Physical Security
Physical security may not be the first thing that you think of when it comes to IT security, but it’s a vitally important step, and one that IT support in Los Angeles can help you with.
Great physical security is paramount: you can have the best network and computer security in the world, but if you keep your premises’ doors unlocked, you’re already compromised. You need to make your premises as secure as your computers, so let’s take a look at how you can do that.
IP Video Surveillance
One great place to start is by installing IP video surveillance. IP video surveillance involves connecting CCTV cameras to your wifi network. This removes the need for extra cabling and makes storage easy: you can store your surveillance footage on the cloud, safe from any intruders.
It also makes it very easy to search through hours upon hours of footage to find those few crucial frames that you need after a burglary. IP video surveillance also offers a better image quality than traditional CCTV, with video quality ranging from 720p to 4K and beyond.
IP video surveillance also allows you to capitalize on deterrence, as CCTV is one of the best ways to deter thieves and other criminals from breaking into your premises.
IP Access Control
Video surveillance might help you deter attackers, but IP access control can help you prevent bad actors from breaking through your locks. IP access control can utilize tools like keycard readers and even biometric readers, preventing any unauthorized personnel (including your employees) from accessing certain parts of your building.
If anyone attempts to break through your locks, you can be notified by the software immediately. You can also track your employees across the building via access logs, which means you can swiftly identify insider threats and take action.
IP access control also allows for customizable user privileges. If you’ve promoted an employee and they need to access new parts of the building, you can log on to the software and grant them those privileges within minutes.
2. Protecting Against Malware and Hackers
Malware is a serious threat to business, with many new pieces of malware emerging daily. How can you stay safe against this constant tide of new malicious software?
Strong Antivirus Software
The first and most important step is to have a very strong antivirus installed across your entire network. The only issue with this is that most antivirus software needs tweaks before it reaches maximum efficacy. You should err on the side of caution while tweaking these settings, yet you may not understand what this involves due to their complex nature.
This is where managed IT services come in handy.
If you enlist the help of a managed security provider, they will be able to configure your software for you and manage what is done with any detected pieces of malware. This allows you to sit back and relax, knowing that your security is as tight as can be.
This kind of protection is known as endpoint security protection. You’ll still have client software installed on your machines, but your services provider will handle all the configuration and management.
Malware isn’t the only thing that you need to worry about. You also need to make sure that hackers aren’t able to break into your business: believe us, they will be trying to.
To protect against intruders, you need to have a firewall in place. You also need to make sure that you configure it correctly so that you allow your own traffic through while blocking any malicious access.
Our next-generation firewall can help you do this. It features real-time deep memory inspection that can help to block any intrusion attempts as they occur. We can also encrypt your data on the go so that it’s safe from any prying eyes.
A strong firewall and malware suite will protect your business from autonomous threats like malware as well as hackers.
3. Strong Network Security
You should think of your network as an extension of your business premises. You wouldn’t leave your premises unlocked: you shouldn’t have an unsecured network either.
The first step to good network security is ensuring that your network has a strong password. Leaving the default password in place is a severe security risk, as anyone with access to your router will then be able to access the network. You should use a very strong wifi password that your IT service provider can make for you: it’ll need to be a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters.
If you want to be extra secure, you can use ethernet cables to connect your computers to the network. It’s a lot harder to intercept data across a wired network.
Robust Device Security
Another aspect of network security is monitoring the devices that are allowed to access your network. If your business operates on a “bring your own device policy,” you need to make sure that each device is secure.
If one employee has an infected laptop and they bring it to work, the malware could spread across the network like wildfire. You’ll also want to make sure that the device is running the latest version of its OS, as older versions will have unpatched vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit.
You should never allow an employee to introduce new devices to the network without having IT experts check it over first.
Network Security Outside the Workplace
A great network security policy doesn’t end outside of the workplace. If your employees like to work from home or public wifi like you’d find at a cafe, you can help them bolster their security by offering them access to a VPN.
A VPN will create an encrypted tunnel between your employee’s device and your business network. This protects the data while its in transit.
This is a very important tool in your security arsenal, as it protects your employees from man-in-the-middle attacks, where a hacker intercepts data as it travels between the device and the network’s router.
If you don’t use a VPN, your confidential data will be easy to access and steal. Make sure that your employees always use a VPN when they’re working remotely.
4. Update Management
We touched upon the importance of updates on employee devices, but you need to make sure that your business’ computers are up to date too. Whichever operating system you use, you need to keep it up to date, as this will ensure that any vulnerabilities are patched as soon as possible.
This is a step that many business owners skip. As recently as 2019, a third of businesses still had active Windows XP deployments, an OS that is no longer receiving updates.
However, it’s not only your OS that needs to stay up to date. You also need to make sure that every other piece of software on your machine stays up to date. This includes everything from CRM software to office software.
Managing all of these updates can be very difficult. Over time, you may end up needing more and more updates to get back up to date. Avoiding this snowball is crucial.
A managed IT services provider will be able to help you keep your machines up to date, which will help you avoid many different security risks. They will also be able to schedule the updates to take place outside of normal business hours, which means that they won’t disrupt employee productivity.
5. A Stronger Password Policy
Many people use weak passwords across all of their accounts, with some of the most common passwords being “abc123,” “111111,” and “password.” Even if you personally use a strong password, just one employee using a weak password like this on work machines is putting your business at risk.
You need to have a strong password policy in place across your business. You should make sure thatl your employees use passwords that are a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. An IT services company will be able to help you put this policy together, but there’s something else that they can help you with too: two-factor authentication (2FA).
Using 2FA across your business is vital. A 2FA system adds another layer of security to your business. Here’s how it works:
- Your employee will log on as normal
- If the login is from a new system, the 2FA system will activate
- The system will text or email a code to the employee
- The employee will enter the code
- The 2FA system will authorize the login
There are other ways that an employee can verify their identity, too, including biometric data such as using a fingerprint. However the employee verifies their identity, 2FA can prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing your network.
6. Dark Web Scanning
Hackers don’t typically frequent normal websites. Instead, they ply their trade on the dark web, the area of the internet that search engines don’t index, and that can only be accessed through software like TOR or I2P.
This means that knowing whether your data has leaked or not can be difficult. Dark web scanning is absolutely vital.
If you partner with a great IT service provider like Be Structured, we will scan the latest dark web data dumps for any information that concerns your company. If any passwords or confidential data has leaked, you can take action immediately and keep your company safe.
We’ll be able to pinpoint what data has leaked, allowing us to come up with a custom plan that will negate the leak.
7. Disaster Continuity and Backup Management
Disaster continuity is a very important thing to consider. If a disaster, natural or man-made, strikes your company, how will you be able to minimize downtime and ensure that your data stays secure?
Let’s look at one common example: ransomware. You come into work one morning and find that your entire network has been infected with ransomware and your files are now encrypted. If you want to access them again, you need to pay a ransom.
This isn’t your only option. If you’ve put a disaster continuity plan in place and made sure to backup all of your data regularly, you can simply wipe your systems and restore them from backups, negating the ransomware’s threat.
A managed IT services company will be able to manage your backups for you and also put together a disaster plan that will help your company get back to work as quickly as possible in the event of a disaster.
You Need IT Support in LA
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at how IT support in LA can help you maintain good information security. Here at Be Structured, we want your business to stay as secure as possible.
If you partner with us, you’ll be able to choose an all-inclusive security package or pick and choose different elements that you’d like us to manage. No matter what size your business is or what state your security is in, we will be able to bring it up to speed.
For more information or to request a quote, contact us today!