Network Security Across the Enterprise – Stop Gap Measures to Help You Protect Your Network

Network Security Across the Enterprise – Stop Gap Measures to Help You Protect Your Network

Today's business networks consist of numerous remote access connections from employees and outsourcing firms. Too often, the inherent security risks arising from these connections outside the network are overlooked. Continued improvements have been made that can enhance security in today's network infrastructure; taking particular focus on the users accessing the network externally and monitoring access end-points are critical for businesses to protect their digital assets.

Installing the correct software for the specific needs of your IT infrastructure is essential to having the best security protection possible. Many companies install "off the shelf" security software and assume they are protected. Unfortunately, that is not the case due to the nature of today's network threats. Threads are diverse in nature, including the usual spam, spyware, viruses, trojans, worms, and the occasional possibility that a hacker has targeted your servers.

The proper security solution for your organization will neutralize all of these threats to your network. Too often, with only a software package installed, network administrators spend a lot of their time at the perimeter of the network defending its integrity by manually fending off attacks and then manually patching the security breach.

Paying network administrators to defend the integrity of your network is an expensive proposition – much more so than installing the proper security solution that your network requires. Network administrators have many other responsibilities that need their attention. Part of their job is to make your business operate more efficiently – they can not focus on this if they have to manually defend the network infrastructure all the time.

Another threat that must be considered is the threat occurring from within the perimeter, in other words, an employee. Sensitive proprietary information is most often stolen by someone on the payroll. A proper network security solution must guard against these kinds of attacks also. Network administrators certainly have their role in this area by creating security policies and strictly enforcing them.

A smart strategy to give your network the protection it needs against the various security threats is a layered security approach. Layered security is a customized approach to your network's specific requirements utilizing both hardware and software solutions. Once the hardware and software is working simultaneously to protect your company, both are able to instantaneously update their capabilities to handle the latest in security threats.

Security software can be configured to update multiple times a day if the need be; hardware updates typically consist of firmware upgrades and an update wizard much like that present within the software application.

All-in-one Security Suites A multi-pronged strategy should be implemented to combat the multiple sources of security threats in today's corporate networks. Too often, the sources of these threats are overlapping with Trojans arriving in spam or spyware hidden within a software installation. Combating these threats requires the use of firewalls, anti-spyware, malware and anti-spam protection.

Recently, the trend in the software industry has been combined to previously separate security applications into an all-encompassing security suite. Security applications standard on corporate networks are integrating into security suites that focus on a common goal. These security suites contain antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, and firewall protection all packaged together in one application. Searching out the best stand-alone applications in each security risk category is still an option, but no longer a necessity.

The all-in-one security suite will save a company money in reduced software purchasing costs and time with the ease of integrated management of the various threat sources.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) A TPM is a standard developed by the Trusted Computing Group defining hardware specifications that generate encryption keys. TPM chips not only guard against intrusion attempts and software attacks but also physical theft of the device containing the chip. TPM chips work as a compliment to user authentication to enhance the authentication process.

Authentication describes all processes involved in determining whether a user granted access to the corporate network is, in fact, who that user claims to be. Authentication is most often gifted through use of a password, but other techniques invve biometrics that uniquely identify a user by identifying a unique trait no other person has such a fingerprint or characteristics of the eye cornea.

Today, TPM chips are often integrated into standard desktop and laptop motherboards. Intel began integrating TPM chips into its motherboards in 2003, as did other motherboard manufactures. Whether or not a motherboard has this chip will be contained within the specifications of that motherboard.

These chips encrypt data on the local level, providing enhanced security at a remote location such as the WiFi hotspot full of innocent looking computer-users who may be bored hackers with malicious intent. Microsoft's Ultimate and Enterprise versions of the Vista Operating System utilize this technology within the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature.

While Vista does provide support for TPM technology, the chips are not dependent upon any platform to function.

TPM has the same functionality on Linux as it does within the Windows operating system. There are even specifications from Trusted Computing Group for mobile devices such as PDAs and cell phones.

To use TPM enhanced security, network users only need to download the security policy to their desktop machine and run a setup wizard that will create a set of encryption keys for that computer. Following these simple steps significantly improves security for the remote computer user.

Admission Based on User Identity Establishing a user's identity depends upon successfully passing the authentication processes. As previously mentioned user authentication can involve much more than a user name and password. Beside the emerging biometrics technology for user authentication, smart cards and security tokens are another method that enhances the user name / password authentication process.

The use of smart cards or security tokens adds a hardware layer requirement to the authentication process. This creates a two-tier security requirement, one a secret password and the other a hardware requirement that the secure system must recognize before granting access.

Tokens and smart cards operate in essentially the same fashion but have a different appearance. Tokens take on the appearance of a flash drive and connection through a USB port while smart cards require special hardware, a smart card reader, that connects to the desktop or laptop computer. Smart cards often take on the appearance of an identification badge and may contain a photo of the employee.

However authentication is verified, once this happens a user should be granted access through a secure virtual network (VLAN) connection. A VLAN establishes connections to the remote user as if that person was a part of the internal network and allows for all VLAN users to be grouped together within distinct security policies.

Remote users connecting through a VLAN should only have access to essential network resources and how those resources can be copied or modified should be carefully monitored.

Specifications established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have resolved in what is known as the secure VLAN (S-VLAN) architecture. Also commonly referred to as tag-based VLAN, the standard is known as 802.1q. It enhances VLAN security by adding an extra tag within media access control (MAC) addresses that identify network adapter hardware within a network. This method will prevent unidentified MAC addresses from accessing the network.

Network Segmentation This concept, working hand-in-hand with VLAN connections, determines what resources a user can access remotely using policy enforcement points (PEPs) to enforce the security policy through the network segments. Furthermore, the VLAN, or S-VLAN, can be treated as a separate segment with its own PEP requirements.

PEP works with a user's authentication to enforce the network security policy. All users connecting to the network must be guaranteed by the PEP that they meet the security policy requirements contained within the PEP. The PEP determines what network resources a user can access, and how these resources can be modified.

The PEP for VLAN connections should be enhanced from what the same user can do with the resources internally. This can be accomplished through network segmentation simply being defining the VLAN connections as a separate segment and enforcing a uniform security policy across that segment. Defining a policy in this manner can also define what internal network segments the client can access from a remote location.

Keeping VLAN connections as a separate segment also isolates security breaches to that segment if one were to occur. This keeps the security break from spreading through the corporate network. Enhancing network security even further, a VLAN segment could be handled by it's own virtualized environment, thus isolating all remote connections within the corporate network.

Centralized Security Policy Management Technology hardware and software targeting the different facets of security threats create multiple software platforms that all must be separately managed. If done incorrectly, this can create a daunting task for network administration and can increase staffing costs due to the increased time requirements to manage the technologies (whether they be hardware and / or software).

Integrated security software suites centralize the security policy by combining all security threats attacks into one application, thus requiring only one management console for administration purposes.

Depending on the type of business you're in a security policy should be used corporate-wide that is all-encompassing for the entire network. Administrators and management can define the security policy separately, but one overriding definition of the policy needs to be maintained so that it is uniform across the corporate network. This ensures there are no other security procedures working against the centralized policy and limiting what the policy was defined to implement.

Not only does a centralized security policy become easier to manage, but it also reduces strain on network resources. Multiple security policies defined by different applications focusing on one security threat can aggregately hog much more bandwidth than a centralized security policy contained within an all-encompassing security suite. With all the threats coming from the Web, ease of management and application is essential to maintaining any corporate security policy.

Frequently asked Questions:

1. I trust my employees. Why should I enhance network security?

Even the most trusted employees can pose a risk of a network security breach. It is important that employees follow established company security standards. Enhancing security will guard against lapsing employees and the occasional disgruntled employee seeking to cause damage to the network.

2. Do these innovations really create a secure environment for remote access?

Yes they do. These enhancements not only greatly enhance a secure VLAN connection but they also use widely accepted standards that are often integrated into common hardware and software. It's there, your company only needs to start using the technology.

3. My company is happy with using separate software, that way way application can focus on a separate security threat. Why should I consider an all-in-one security suite?

Many of the popular software applications commonly used by businesses have expanded their focus to identify all security threats. This includes solutions from both software and hardware appliance technology manufacturers. Many of these firms saw the need to consolidate security early on and purchased smaller software firms to gain that knowledge their firm was lacking. A security suite at the application level, will make management much easier and your IT staff will thank you for it.

4. Do I need to add a hardware requirement to the authentication process?

Requiring the use of security tokens or smart cards should be considered for employees accessing the company network from a remote site. Particularly if that employee needs access to sensitive company information while on the road, a simple flash drive secure token requires a thief from accessing that sensitive data on a stolen laptop.

5. With all this concern about WiFi hotspots should employees be required not to use these locations to connect to the company network?

WiFi hotspots have sprung up nationwide and present the easiest method for your remote employees to access the Internet. Unfortunately, hotspots can also be full of bored, unemployed hackers who have nothing better to do than find a way to intercept a busy employee's transmissions at the next table. That's not to say employees on the road should avoid hotspots. That would severely limit them from accessing the network at all. With technologies like S-VLAN and secure authentication in place, a business can implement technologies to reduce threats both now and in the future.

Implementing the latest network security technologies is a high priority for IT Management. In today's network environment with many users accessing your digital assets remotely, it's critical to get your network security correct during the planning phase of the integration process.

Obviously, it should be noted that most large companies have multiple operating systems running (Windows, Mac O / S, etc) and that for many of these companies all-in-one security suites face certain challenges in a mixed operating system environment.

That is why I stress that you consider having layered security (both hardware and software) and do not simply rely on software applications to protect your digital assets. As technology changes so do the opportunities for security breaches.

As these security threats become more sophisticated, hardware and software developers will continue to innovate and it's essential businesses keep up with, and implement these technologies.

Source by Michael G Perry

Pets and Environment

Pets and Environment

Do you have pets in your home? Do you have children in your home? Did you ever watch your pets interact with the family. Did you ever notice your children acting the same way under the same circumstances? Keep Reading.

What is so amazing about studying your pets is the fact that children and even adults act the same way under certain circumstances. When you take your pet; for instance, your dog, out of your family home and put it into a virtual strange home, even though your dog is a little familiar with the home owners, many different types of scenarios can happen.

When a dog that is loved by its owner is taken outside its circle of security it can become confused, wrinkened, and want to run for a small safe place to hide. Even getting your dog to eat or go for those necessary walks can be a real hassle.

Now think of taking your child, who is love and secure in their home, bedroom and with you their parent. You want to give this child a special treat to go stay with their aunt, cousin, grandparents but the child is not that familiar with these people. Also, these people have never invited your child to stay in their home for a day or longer. The child can become frightened, confused, and want to crawl into a safe spot away from everyone.

Getting the child to come out of its shell and interact like a normal child can take days weeks and even months. The reason is this. They are out of their comfort zone. They are out of their safety zone. Away from their parents and home. This is where they fill safe, loved and content to live their everyday life. There life is not interrupted.

Now you wonder why when you decided to take a trip and took your dog or child with you they acted so strange. When you finally returned home they were so happy to be in their home and room that they became the loving pet and child you remember.

If you really want to study the behavior of your children and why they act and feel so different about some things you can not understand why this is, study your pets.

Thank you for reading this article. Please feel free to read any of my other numerous articles on various subjects.

Linda Meckler Copyright 2009

Source by Linda Meckler

Security Robots on Patrol

No one would ever call me a "techie." I still have challenges operating my Smartphone and sometimes out of butter frustration I feel like smashing it into a wall. But I realize that technology does-not-stand-still and I understand the value of embracing technology. In the security business, not all new high-tech "inventions" have proven themselves, but embracing technology is essential as it can often improve workflows, increase efficiency, and help leakage finite resources.

In today's fast-paced world there seems to be some newfangled security gadget or software coming out almost daily. I have been around long enough to become accredited to scanners that read vehicle license plates. Facial recognition that can identify a known criminal or "trespassed" individual as soon as they enter a promise like a shopping center is common. And, rapid readers, magnetic card readers, and smart cards with embedded microprocessors are standard in many physical security settings.

Security Officers are a Costly Necessity

One of the largest security costs to business is human security officers (guards). No one knows for sure, but it has been estimated that there are at least 2-million security guards providing guard functions in the USA. Even though the average security guard in the USA makes a salary of less than $ 12.00 per hour (some much less), when a business adds up the total hours and all associated costs, the total cost of security officers can easily be one of the largest security expenditures.

Sophisticated surveillance cameras are common place in promise security but there is still a need for "human eyes" and many businesses do not have any real alternative to footing the bill for security guards. But recently some companies have created Security Robots! Could traditional security officers be replaced by robots making human security officers a thing of the past?

Security Robots are Already Here!

A number of different security robots have been developed and some are more sophisticated and capable than others. One of the latest is the manufactured by a California company and looks like a 300 pound, 5-foot tall sleek phallic shaped garbage can. It reportedly travels autonomously up to 3 miles per hour. This robot is a melding of technology – robotics, sensors, automously predictive analytics, thermal imaging, and maybe a few more technological "things" that the manufacturer has yet to publicly disclose.

Reportedly, this robot has the ability to scan 300 vehicle license plates per minute in a parking lot or structure. This is useful in detecting vehicles that are of concern to persons working at a promise like disgruntled employees, stalkers, or persons who have restraining orders prohibiting them from being at a promise or near certain employees. By identifying a prohibited vehicle on the promise, the Robot gives security actionable intelligence. A human security officer can receive instantaneous information from the Robot on a smart phone and respond to the scene and take appropriate action. The ability to know about a situation in real time gives a human security officer the ability to respond swiftly and hopefully resolve a problem before it escalates into violence.

Privacy Concerns

Some citizens have expressed privacy concerns over "Big Brother" robot watching their every move. But the reality is that they are already being watched by human security personnel, undercover store detectives, maintenance personnel, and high-tech surveillance cameras. And, anytime you enter a private facility, the facility has almost carte blanche authority to watch over your every move.

Security Robots to Augment Human Security

Will human security officers lose their jobs with the advent of Security Robots ? The job of a security officer is sometimes routine and boring and human officers need to take breaks to keep physically and mentally alert. A Security Robot has no such needs. It just keeps going & going & going.

It is way too soon to know how security Robots will affect overall physical security strategies and practices as the technology is still emerging. Currently, security robots are not designed or intended for intervention. Their role is to be a commanding or "authoritative" presence and act as a "look-out" and hopefully serve as a deterrent to nefarious activity.

Security Robots as a Force Multiplier

A human security officer can only be in one place at a time. The security robot is a "force multiplier" in that a security security officer can instantly access all of the information collected by the Robot via a smartphone. When the use of Security Robots become more common place, their use will likely reduce the number of human security officers needed in many security venues. But, it will not replace all human security officers. The 'smart eyes, ears, and nose' of a security robot can see, hear, and smell, but the robot can not take any actions based on these sensors other than emit an alarm. It takes a human security officer to respond to the scene and determine the appropriate course of action.

Security Robots will likely change the role of a traditional uniformed security officer from what is often a "watchman" or security "monitor" to an incident first response. When this happens, the emergency response responsibilities of a security officer will require more training and this increased liability and training will likely result in an increased recognition of the value of a human security officer. In time, this increased responsibility and professionalism should result in increased wages for human security "first responders."

Source by George W Babnick

Cyber Security

The increased growth and adoption of web 2.0 technologies, the platforms that enable the publishing of user generated contents has led to the creation of another dimension in which human existence called the cyberspace. In the cyberspace, people interact just as they do in the physical space. They socialize, conduct businesses, study, share and store materials, and even entrust highly valued assets (in terms of information) for easy access, availability, and safe keeping.

Cyber security is essential to govern the conducts and manners of interacting with the computer systems and other user in the cyber security. Without a sense of security, various activities like e-commerce, care-free socializing, business networking and the like would not be possible and hence set a hurdle in this mobile and information era.

Cyber security vs Computer/Information/Network security:-

Though these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are indeed different. Computer security, network security and information security all target solely on the safeguarding of computer systems components and the data/information created, stored or transmitted on or through the systems. Cyber security goes a step further to take care of the possibility where a user can be a victim of a cybercrime. There are crimes such as Intellectual property rights violations in which the system components are not victims, they are mere media used to facilitate the crime and the rights owner is the victim.

Cyber security from the legal angle:-

Different countries have different laws enforcing cyber security. Taking the United Republic of Tanzania as an example, The Cybercrimes Act 2015 governs the conducts and liability of parties in the cyberspace. For all the examples given above and many more, the law clearly guides what is to be done. It also provides legal guides on how users are to interact in the cyberspace, utilize devices and systems, as well as responsibility of all involved parties in any interaction in the cyberspace.

Cyber and the Healthcare Industry:-

The Healthcare industry has featured in the top 5 industries attacked by cyber criminals for a number of years now. The WannaCry ransomware attack earlier this year that affected many health trusts across England and Scotland brought the health impact of the cyber threat to the forefront of media and political debate in the run up to the 2017 General Election. So why would anyone want to attack healthcare and what are the threats?

Source by Manish Kumar

Door Security Systems

Door Security Systems

The number of cases related to unauthorized entry has increased over the years, which has prompted many companies to design and manufacture automated door security systems. Door security systems are designed to protect houses, shops, offices and other buildings from forced entry and minimized the opportunities of robbery.

Door security systems can be installed on different types of doors such as metal, wood, plastic, glass and fiberglass. They are available in different specifications to suit the security requirements of different types of buildings. Household security systems may consist of a password enabled electronic locking device, whereas high-end door security systems are often combined with intruder alarms and security cameras to provide enhanced security.

Door security systems used in large organizations and government agencies such as FBI and CIA have advanced identification systems that are manufactured according to the security needs of the organization. These may include biometric solutions, such as fingerprint identification systems that contain digital fingerprint records of authorized personnel and do not open the door, unless the user's fingerprint matches with the stored digital print. The latest door security systems record the iris patterns of authorized users, and use alerts to alert the control room in case an unauthorized person tries to open the door.

Laser technology is also used in some door security systems, in which an invisible beam of laser surrounds the door. If an intruder or any other thing gets in the way of these beams, the circuit is interrupted and an alarm is activated to alert security. Door security systems also use motion sensors to detect movement in front and around a door.

Door security systems have enabled households and organizations to protect life and property at reasonable costs. Manufacturers are deploying a large portion of their revenues in research and development for developing new door security systems, as trespassers often find a way to bypass commonly used security systems.

Source by Steve Valentino

Private Security Agencies

Private Security Agencies

Earlier Security Setup

Security is always one of major needs for people. During ancient time there were several small states, mostly independent or sometimes under an empire. They had army to protect their citizens from external hazards as well as external invaders. The need for internal security was less important as today due to very less or negligible crime rate.

Current Crime Scenario – Need for Private Security Agency

Currently crime rate has increased dramatically. Every day, several new instances of crime, theft or terrorism are visible to public. We can see the rate increasing even rapidly than ever. People do not feel themselves secure due to this increasing crime rate. Police and Army is there to protect them from internal as well as external risks, but police personnel is either not enough to control current internal crime rate or not as much interested as they should be. Therefore, people needed some sort of private security personnel. The need gave birth to the idea of private security agencies. These agencies provide security at various levels as well as of various kinds.

Services Provided By Security Agency

Private Security agencies provide security of all kind. They provides personal security in form of private bodyguards, corporate security in terms of providing complete security to a corporation or large firm by employing private security guards to their several business installations. These security agencies also provide events specific security for special or occasional private events like marriages or other social gatherings.

In fact, private security agencies work parallel to government security personnel with their help and support whenever needed. They work in collaboration with Government Security Agency to control law and order too at some occasions.

Security personnel at these private agencies are trained specially for their specific works. They get proper industry training before being employed at their actual place of work. These security guards ensure security of their employers or their assets.

Source by Reyan Smith

Traveling With Pets In Your Class C RV

Traveling With Pets In Your Class C RV

There are many more Class C RV and travel trailer owners who are traveling with their pets. These Class C RV owners are saving money that they would typically spend putting their animals in boarding or paying someone to pet sit. You should know that Class C RV owners can enjoy their vacation plans with their four-legged friends. Across the nation, pets are becoming more welcome.

Class C RV owners are pleased that they can worry less about leaving their four legged friends at home. The tips listed below are a great guide for you if you are thinking about taking your pets with you on the road in your Class C RV or travel trailer.

Class C RV tips on pet travel:

1. Before you haul off with your pets, make sure your pet is acclimated to riding in the motor home or something that is moving. Younger animals may be easier to get adjusted to life in an RV, since older pets are more set in their ways.

2. When the pet (s) are in the recreational vehicle, make sure that they are secured. This helps prevent accidents from the driver not paying proper attention to the road. Keeping a pet secured also helps protect the pet in case there are any sudden jerks or stops. You can find special harnesses for animals that attach to the seat belt of the motor home.

3. It is also important that when you travel with your animals that they are properly tagged with a collar. Make sure that your contact information is current and correct. You could also take a current photo of the pets with you on your cell phone. You can keep this in your recreational vehicle in case you need an emergency reference.

4. You can also microchip your pet for low cost at your vet, which will provide additional security and pet safety. A microchip will be tagged typically inside the ear of the animal. They allow the vet to pinpoint the location of your animal via technology.

5. Track your vacation map and think about contacting the motor home camp grounds where you will be stopping at along your route. You will want to confirm that pets are allowed and are welcome on site. You will find that many camp grounds accommodate pets, but some still do not. You would not want to show up and be turned away. Some high-end, luxury RV campgrounds offer exclusive dog parks for the enjoyment of their customers as an added amenity.

Source by Julie Jacobs

Security Camera Systems – 5 Valuable Tips to Selecting Security Cameras

When selecting the best security camera system possible for your home or business it is important to select the right cameras that fit the unique needs of your situation. There are countless options and products features available.

Many packaged systems come with general purpose security cameras. Most vendors will allow you to replace the general purpose cameras with more advanced specialized cameras if you need them. For example, you may have a situation where three entrances into your building need to be monitored with just average quality cameras and you want to cover the parking lot with a camera that can read a license plate from 50 yards away. You can get 3 of the cameras that come with the system then replace the fourth with a camera that has high powered zoom capabilities.

By walking through this security camera selection guide you will be able to identify the special features that your situation requires and determine which cameras best fit your needs. Ultimately this will allow you to most efficiently spend your money while getting the best surveillance coverage.

1) Will you need color or black and white cameras? Most packaged systems come with color cameras which are better than black and white cameras at identifying valuable details of a suspect such as clothing or hair color. Typically black and white cameras are less expensive and perform better at low light than color cameras. Color cameras actually switch over to black and white in low light environments.

2) What type of night vision capability is needed? A typical packaged color security camera will have a night vision range of between 15 and 50 feet. High powered night vision cameras can have a range of 150 feet. The main factor of determining the night vision range is the number of infrared LED’s on the camera. Most general purpose security cameras come with 15 to 30 LED’s. Remember even color cameras record in black and white in low light situations.

3) What is the lowest acceptable image quality from each location where cameras are installed? You may have different image quality requirements from each location. One camera may be installed at the front door only to buzz people in when they arrive for appointments. Another camera may be used to capture license plates of cars driving through a large parking lot. These cameras have much different image quality requirements. Generally speaking the number of TV Lines (TVL) per inch is an indicator of the image quality that is produced by the camera. General purpose packaged security cameras commonly have 400 – 420 TVLs. Cameras that have 480 – 520 TVLs will give a much better image quality. Also, CCD cameras generally produce a better image than CMOS cameras.

4) Wired vs. wireless? Understand the disadvantages of using wireless security cameras before deciding to purchase them. A lot of people fail to realize wireless security cameras still need power via a power cable. Wireless cameras use wireless technology to transmit a signal to a receiver which is connected to a DVR or monitor, but most of them use a power cable to plug into a near by outlet. There are battery operated wireless security cameras, but the batteries need to be replaced quite often.

The image quality of wireless security cameras is often inadequate because of interference. The farther away a wireless camera is from the receiver and the more obstructions the signal must travel through the more the image quality is going to suffer. That being said, there are many, many applications where wireless security cameras are ideal. Many of the wired systems available have cabling that supplies both power and video (aka siamese cabling). This means all the power requirements can be managed from the same location as the DVR or monitor.

5) What elements are the security cameras going to be exposed to? Most general purpose security cameras that come in packaged systems can be used outdoors (as well as indoors) under normal conditions. If the cameras are going to be exposed to extreme conditions such as hail or very high winds or there is a high likelihood of vandalism you may want to upgrade to cameras with heavier and stronger housings and mounting brackets.

Source by F. William Davis

The Cyber-Security Training Tips Your Business Has Been Looking For

The Cyber-Security Training Tips Your Business Has Been Looking For

Strictly Enforce a Multi-Tiered IT Security Plan for ALL Staff

As new threats arise, it is imperative to keep policies up to date to protect your business. Your employee handbook needs to include a multi-tiered IT security plan made up of policies for which all staff, including executives, management and even the IT department are held accountable.

  • Acceptable Use Policy – Specifically indicate what is permitted versus what is prohibited to protect the corporate systems from unnecessary exposure to risk. Include resources such as internal and external e-mail use, social media, web browsing (including acceptable browsers and websites), computer systems, and downloads (whether from an online source or flash drive). This policy should be acknowledged by every employee with a signature to signify they understand the expectations set forth in the policy.
  • Confidential Data Policy – Identifies examples of data your business considers confidential and how the information should be handled. This information is often the type of files which should be regularly backed up and are the target for many cybercriminal activities.
  • E-mail Policy – E-mail can be a convenient method for conveying information however the written record of communication also is a source of liability should it enter the wrong hands. Having an e-mail policy creates a consistent guidelines for all sent and received e-mails and integrations which may be used to access the company network.

  • BYOD/Telecommuting Policy – The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy covers mobile devices as well as network access used to connect to company data remotely. While virtualization can be a great idea for many businesses, it is crucial for staff to understand the risks smart phones and unsecured WiFi present.

  • Wireless Network and Guest Access Policy – Any access to the network not made directly by your IT team should follow strict guidelines to control known risks. When guests visit your business, you may want to constrict their access to outbound internet use only for example and add other security measures to anyone accessing the company’s network wirelessly.
  • Incident Response Policy – Formalize the process the employee would follow in the case of a cyber-incident. Consider scenarios such as a lost or stolen laptop, a malware attack or the employee falling for a phishing scheme and providing confidential details to an unapproved recipient. The faster your IT team is notified of such events, the quicker their response time can be to protect the security of your confidential assets.

  • Network Security Policy – Protecting the integrity of the corporate network is an essential portion of the IT security plan. Have a policy in place specifying technical guidelines to secure the network infrastructure including procedures to install, service, maintain and replace all on-site equipment. Additionally, this policy may include processes around password creation and storage, security testing, cloud backups, and networked hardware.

  • Exiting Staff Procedures – Create rules to revoke access to all websites, contacts, e-mail, secure building entrances and other corporate connection points immediately upon resignation or termination of an employee despite whether or not you believe they old any malicious intent towards the company.

“More than half of organizations Attribute a security incident or data breach to a malicious or negligent employee.” Source: http://www.darkreading.com/vulnerabilities—threats/employee-negligence-the-cause-of-many-data-breaches-/d/d-id/1325656

Training is NOT a One Time Thing; Keep the Conversation Going

Employee cyber security awareness training dramatically reduces the risk of falling prey to a phishing e-mail, picking up a form of malware or ransomware that locks up access to your critical files, leak information via a data breach and a growing number of malicious cyber threats that are unleashed each day.

Untrained employees are the greatest threat to your data protection plan. Training once will not be enough to change the risky habits they have picked up over the years. Regular conversations need to take place to ensure cooperation to actively look for the warning signs of suspicious links and e-mails as well as how to handle newly developing situations as they happen. Constant updates about the latest threats and enforcement of your IT security plan creates individual responsibility and confidence in how to handle incidents to limit exposure to an attack.

“Every business faces a number of cybersecurity challenges, no matter the size or industry. All businesses need to proactively protect their employees, customers and intellectual property.” Source: https://staysafeonline.org/business-safe-online/resources/creating-a-culture-of-cybersecurity-in-your-business-infographic

Training Should Be Both Useful Personal AND Professional to Stick

Create regular opportunities to share topical news about data breaches and explore different cyberattack methods during a lunch and learn. Sometimes the best way to increase compliance is to hit close to home by making training personal. Chances are your employees are just as uninformed about their personal IT security and common scams as they are about the security risks they pose to your business.

Expand on this idea by extending an invitation to educate their entire families about how to protect themselves from cybercrime during an after-hours event. Consider covering topics such that may appeal to a range of age groups such as how to control the privacy and security settings on social media, online gaming, etc and how to recognize the danger signs of someone phishing for personal information or money both via e-mail and phone calls. Seniors and young children are especially vulnerable to such exploitation.

Don’t Make a Hard Situation Harder; Remember you WANT red flags reported

Making ongoing security training a priority will greatly reduce repeat errors and prevent many avoidable attacks, however mistakes happen. It can be very embarrassing and a shock to ones pride to acknowledge their error and report involvement in a potential security breach. Your first instinct may be to curse and yell, but this would be a serious mistake. Keeping calm and collected is the key to the trust needed for employees to come to you right away, while they are feeling their most vulnerable.

For this reason, treat every report with appreciation and immediate attentiveness. Whether the alert turns out to be a false alarm or an actual crisis, avoid berating the employee for their mistake no matter how red your face may become.

When situation is under control, take an opportunity to thank them for reporting the situation so that it can be handled appropriately. Remember it takes a lot of courage to step up when you know you were to blame. Help the employee understand what to look out for next time is it was something that could have been prevented such as a user error.

Cyber Training Recap

  • Implement a Multi-Tiered IT Security Plan Strictly Enforced for ALL Staff
  • Training is NOT a One Time Thing;
  • Keep the Conversation Going
  • Training Should Be Both Useful Personal AND Professional to Stick
  • Don’t Make a Hard Situation Harder; Remember you WANT red flags reported

Source by Kathy Powell

Private Security – Measuring Their Worth And Fidelity

Private Security – Measuring Their Worth And Fidelity

There are a lot of ways in which business may revamp or overhaul the security protocols. One method is by asking the services of some private security services. Private security once, was something which was reserved only for larger companies or one's who fabulously rich. Both of what many are not. Today, however, all private securities have a different meaning than what it had in the past.

Some private security firms for many homes and businesses are simply a service which monitors and responds to all the details of the problems rather than some live guards who may actually monitor and also secure the on site property. Many private security firms will have employees in some centralized location which monitor alarm systems, video cameras and both of these from a central location and also respond to all emergencies and also potential problems depending upon the protocols which includes the service agreement which drawn up and all the specifications and needs of the business and / or home owner in any situation.

All these private security concerns many time monitor many homes and also alarm systems at the same time so the amount of care and supervision is not that much as it might be with security staff on-site but the money involved, since you are essentially sharing some service with many other businesses and home is very much reduced over what would be the payment for some private on-site security. There are many differences in both of these types of security which must be told.

On-site private security service keeps our property safe. They make it sure that everything should be nice and should be tightly locked and safe from trespassers and invaders. They would monitor people entering and leaving the properties and sometimes might even carry arms during their duty in order to give an extra protection layer. If you hire some on-site security service you've the ultimate talk so in who's employed and must be fully known about any criminal activities in past (as you'd probably do a full background check) they might have. You'll pay more for these types of services but depending on your needs or business or family, which might often be a price which is worth paying, if you feel that your business or family might be at some risk for any unknown reason.

Some specific private security firms which service multiple house and business security may hire workers who are ready to work for even low wages and often possess questionable pasts. Unfortunately you'll never get the final say over who may respond to your phone calls or looks up your house. All these concerns have very limited people who are stretched fairly thin adding to very high turnover prices. You should be willing to accept the guy they would send or risk remitting the price of having the police to respond to some false alarms. For many people this might be a risk which is not worth doing while others may perfectly will take the risk for the security.

Carefully see the differences given above while making the final decision as whether or not to take a private firm would be the best ever decision for the requirements of your business or home. Regardless of the selection you make, possessing someone who watches over our home business when you're not around for doing it's worthless luxury which has become very much affordable for the normal household or some small business while it comes to be secure.

Source by Abhishek Agarwal