Who to trust with your network security?
Shopping around for a managed IT services provider is tough. You’re looking for a business to manage extremely complex and delicate technology, so they can’t be expected to get into the nitty gritty details of DNS-layer security, intrusion prevention systems, and encryption in their marketing content. Most MSPs are simply reactive when it comes to a data network security breech. You deserve better. Let’s explore how you can make an informed choice when choosing an MSP or IT personnel to trust with your network security.
Understand the threats you’re facing
Before any small- or medium-sized business can work toward preventing cyber-attacks, everyone involved needs to know exactly what they’re fighting against. Whether you’re working with in-house IT staff or an outsourced provider, you should review what types of attack vectors are most common in your industry. Ideally, your team would do this a few times a year. If they aren’t offering to review your network security measures at least a couple times a year, they aren’t concerned with preventing an attack. The cyber criminal strategies are constantly evolving and staying ahead of the curve is critical.
Reevaluate what it is you’re protecting
Now that you have a list of the biggest threats to your organization, you need to take stock of how each one threatens the various cogs of your network. Map out every device that connects to the internet, what services are currently protecting those devices, and what type of data they have access to (regulated, mission-critical, low-importance, etc.). If your network security professional doesn’t understand your network from a mission critical level, they are likely to place the incorrect level or type of security measure on each device. Not only does this make your network security weaker, but can actually create issues in the day to day operations.
Create a baseline of protection
By reviewing current trends in the cyber-security field, alongside an audit of your current technology framework, you can begin to get a clearer picture of how you want to prioritize your preventative measure versus your reactive measures.
Before you can start improving your cyber-security approach, you need to know where the baseline is. Create a handful of real-life scenarios and simulate them on your network. Make your network security professional explain what the attack is simulating and what fail safes are in place to stop it. Review the logs with them. If they can explain it to you, you can trust that they understand the defenses in place. Network security penetration testing from these trustworthy IT professionals will help pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in your current framework.
Finalize a plan
All these pieces will complete the puzzle of what your new strategies need to be. With an experienced network security consultant onboard for the entire process, you can easily parse the results of your simulation into a multi-pronged approach to becoming more proactive:
- Security awareness seminars that coach everyone — from receptionists to CEOs — about password management and mobile device usage.
- “Front-line” defenses like intrusion prevention systems and hardware firewalls that scrutinize everything trying to sneak its way in through the front door or your network.
- Routine checkups for software updates, licenses, and patches to minimize the chance of leaving a backdoor to your network open.
- Web-filtering services that blacklist dangerous and inappropriate sites for anyone on your network.
- Antivirus software that specializes in the threats most common to your industry.
As soon as you focus on preventing downtime events instead of reacting to them, your technology will begin to increase your productivity and efficiency to levels beyond your expectations. Not every IT professional is working for your best interests in mind. Know how to spot weak network security practices and find someone that cares about your business as much as you do. RJ2 can start enhancing your network security today. Give us a call for an evaluation.