IT Security: Your First Defense Against Cybercrime.
Target. FedEx. Under Armour. Uber. Facebook. T-Mobile. Marriott. What these major companies have in common isn’t just the Fortune 500 list. Sadly, they all share the bad fortune of having experienced a massive data breach affecting the private information of nearly one billion people.
According to Techworld, the U.S. accounts for the majority of the largest data breaches that have been made public, many of which are staggering in the number of accounts compromised. With so many large-scale breaches making the headlines, and with targeted hacking, viruses, malware, and ransom-ware an ever-constant threat, protecting your company’s digital assets and network devices is an all-important, ongoing challenge. No matter how large or small your company, having a proactive, managed IT security strategy in place should be a top priority.
No matter how large or small your company, having a proactive, managed IT security strategy in place should be a top priority.
What is IT Security?
IT security is a set of cybersecurity strategies that a business implements to prevent unauthorized digital access to company assets such as networks, computers, and data. The overall goal of IT security is to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of privileged information while blocking the access attempts of experienced hackers — all without inconveniencing the user.
Individuals and businesses have become increasingly dependent on utilizing digital information in their daily lives and operations. We communicate, shop, conduct business, share, and store important information on the internet in many different ways: our phones, tablets, computers, the cloud, and more.
Today’s online users have come to expect easy, convenient data and application access and that their passwords, social security numbers, and credit cards are safe and protected. The biggest challenge IT security personnel face is to find the balance between serving the needs of the end user with the importance of protecting confidential and business-critical information.
The Different Types of IT Security
The more links in a network’s chain, the more opportunities for hackers to find ways to break in. IT security is an umbrella term that encompasses different types of security that often overlap to protect against vulnerabilities.
1. Network Security
Network security protects against unauthorized or malicious intrusion of your internal networks. The goal is to prevent hackers from accessing data inside the network and to keep them from negatively impacting a user’s ability to access the network. Network IT security administrators continually implement procedures and protocol to prevent unauthorized access, modification, and exploitation of the network.
2. Application Security
Application security utilizes software and hardware methods to prevent external threats that can happen during the development stage of an application. Some of the security measures IT security specialists will employ are antivirus programs, firewalls, and encryption programs to help ensure that unauthorized access is prevented.
3. Internet Security
Internet security encompasses the protection of information that is sent and received in browsers, the security of data entered through web applications, and the overall authentication and protection of data sent via internet protocol. Internet security measures include implementing firewalls, anti-malware, and antispyware protection.
4. Cloud Security
If your business is relying on a cloud provider, it’s important to know what security protocols are in place and how well they are performing. Cloud IT security specialists create custom data-governance protocol for comprehensive protection. Conducting cloud security assessments and penetration testing are key to helping ensure cloud-service providers are meeting governmental compliance to responsibly protect your valuable data.
5. Endpoint Security
Endpoint security protects the corporate network when accessed via remote devices such as laptops, desktops, or other wireless and mobile devices. Since devices on a network are interconnected, this creates potential entry points for security threats and vulnerabilities. Effective endpoint security such as anti-virus, anti-malware, and device management software block attempts made to access entry points.
IT Security is a Dedicated, Ongoing Process
Every company’s IT security needs are different and require skilled professionals who have the expertise and knowledge base to create custom, tailored plans across all IT security areas — networks, applications, databases, devices, cloud servers, endpoints, and users. These plans are ever-changing and must be monitored, evaluated, updated, upgraded, and tweaked on a continuous and vigilant basis.
Is Your In-House IT Department up to the Task?
IT security requires a dedicated focus and up-to-date knowledge. The busier you or your team members are with your own jobs, the less time and staff you can dedicate to keeping up with the new trends in technology, software updates, and the latest in IT security methodology protocols and strategies. While your IT department can protect against day-to-day risks, your best solution may be to hire a third-party provider to perform an IT security audit and subsequently manage your company’s IT security to keep your data and networks safe.