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Four simple ways to increase your IT security

Everything today is being digitised at an ever-increasing rate, so a safe IT environment is a top priority issue for many companies. The more people adopt digital solutions, the greater the risk of suffering an IT attack. To avoid becoming a target, it's important to invest in reliable, highly secure systems that protect the business's data and information.

Secure IT environments involve protection in several stages and at different levels, and can soon get complicated, so to keep things straightforward, here are four simple tips you can use in your company to raise its internal IT security.

1. Use a reliable backup system

Unfortunately, the disappearance of important files or data is something most of us have experienced. Whether its due to theft or a burned-out hard drive, such a loss may be difficult to recover from. Therefore, to avoid losing information, it’s a good idea to use a backup solution to save and keep your data secure. There are different types of backup solutions, but the most common is to use cloud storage or internal servers dedicated solely to this purpose.

At Nordlo, we usually recommend a hybrid solution where you supplement your cloud storage with other storage alternatives. In a nutshell, a hybrid solution involves using a backup method that distributes information to different geographical storage locations. This may mean storing certain parts locally, some parts with a local partner and others in e.g. the public cloud. A hybrid solution also means if something should happen to one backup you have a second solution to fall back on.

2. Carry out recommended updates

Have you noticed that window that pops up in the corner of your screen from time to time and asks you to restart your computer? Many people find it irritating, but in actual fact it's a necessary reminder. Computers, tablets and mobile telephones routinely draw attention to new updates, but despite this, it's sadly not unusual for many people to use devices with old software versions. One reason might be that users lack the time to restart their devices right then, or that they feel unsure if doing so serves any purpose.

Before you carry out a major update its a good idea to check and read up on what it's about, as early update versions may contain bugs. But despite this, it almost always pays to do so when recommended. The update is there to block security vulnerabilities, so it's important to install it quickly on all of the computers in your network. A computer or server that's not been updated is a risk for other computers.

3. Use a primary network for employees and another for guests

In order to raise your IT security, it’s best to split your company's wireless network into a minimum of two segments, and it's especially important to segregate the segment used by your employees from the one used by guests. Guest network users are visitors to your company and could include customers and partners and so forth.

The greatest advantage in segmenting the network is in limiting the attack surface and reducing the risk of spreading e.g. malicious software. Among other things, it will be easier to control who has access to your servers, storage, printers and other internal systems. Avoiding primary network overload is another advantage. For example, if a staff member has a meeting with multiple customers and all are using the same network, there is a risk that performance will slow down, but segmenting the network avoids this risk.

We advise periodic guest network checks to make sure you cannot access systems that should not be accessible from the guest network, and that it is otherwise functioning correctly. Make absolutely certain that the primary network is fully segregated from the guest network in order to minimise the risk of intrusion.

4. Make sure you have IT skills close at hand

In our view, having easy access to someone with IT skills is the most important factor in creating a secure IT environment. The person is probably someone who can provide tips and solutions like those we've listed above. The person with such skills might well be a staff member or an external operator, e.g. a supplier or consultant.

Further reading: 5 important things to consider when choosing an IT supplier 

This is especially important if IT security is a field where you feel you lack broad knowledge yourself. Having a well-read, well-informed person close at hand helps you make sure that your business is updated with the latest security solutions.

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