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Three “Must Do’s” To Securing Your Networks

 

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Many organizations get bogged down in the litany of requirements related to protecting their data networks. The overwhelming feeling many executives face drives them to the point of inaction.

Ignorance will not adequately defend sensitive corporate and customer information. Moreover, businesses will create unnecessary risk by simply hoping for the best. If nothing else, companies should at least employ these three “must do’s” that will build the foundation for protecting their networks.

Outline roles and responsibilities

Identify specific individuals by roles, job duties and the equipment they manage. This also helps manage how data will flow through the network. Go a step further by empowering your team to take ownership of particular aspects of the network and incentivize their efforts to keep it operating in a highly efficient and protected environment.

No matter if the organization consists of five or 500 people, developing and maintaining a network security plan that spells out roles and responsibilities should take priority.

Evaluate how your network currently PROTECTS and ENABLES

Regardless of industry — finance, healthcare, energy, construction, fitness, fast food or any other market — identifying what and how your network currently protects and enables your operations will provide the framework for improving your infrastructure for today as well as in the future.

The art of this initiative lies in the ability to perform two seemingly conflicting tasks. Your data network needs to ensure that hackers are thwarted in their efforts, while, at the same time, enabling staff to accomplish mission-critical tasks in the most effective and efficient way. Anything less puts a drain on productivity and profits. Understanding how your network performs both these tasks will help identify current and future cybersecurity needs.

Data and network protection seek to balance several divergent, yet business critical, objectives simultaneously. Determining how the different technologies and processes within your system are working to this end will allow your organization to promote operational efficiency and ensure business continuance in the event of a disaster. At the same time, evaluating your network’s current efforts along these lines will help minimize both operational and capital expenditures in addition to proactively identifying and remedying security issues before they become catastrophic.

View cybersecurity differently

Most organizations label cybersecurity expenses as overhead. Reality shows us otherwise, though. Placing appropriate emphasis on establishing effective protocols and investing in employee training on safe practices will reduce liability risk while, at the same time, increasing productivity. This perspective considers cyber security initiatives as business drivers; not something to simply check off on a list.

Given that data is the cornerstone of your business, your company cannot afford to ignore security. Without proper plans and understanding as to what your networks do in both protecting and enabling your operations, both you and your customers take on greater risk. Creating a solid plan that aligns with your organization and ensuring protections are integrated into your IT infrastructure is key. Do that if nothing else to get started on creating the fundamental foundation to a workable, secure network platform.

About the Author: Efrem Gonzales is the Founder and CEO of Tec-Refresh, a nationwide provider of IT infrastructure, cyber security, data and networking solutions and support services. He can be reached at efrem.gonzales@tec-refresh.com.