Security Strategies: The Power of Layering

It’s that time of year – the winter chill is hanging on, but spring is trying to break through. With all the changing temps, the season of layering is upon us! Just as layering is an effective technique to prepare for anything the weather throws your way, it is also the cornerstone to an effective security strategy.
 
As a small business owner, your time is tight and you are constantly being pulled in different directions. If you must prioritize your efforts, what are the most important layers to have in place in your organization?
 
Malware & Virus Protection
Viruses – pieces of code that copy themselves to damager your equipment – and malware – attacking software such as spyware and ransomware – are common threats for organizations large and small. It is critical to have the appropriate software in place to monitor and protect your network from both.
 
Firewall
A firewall is a security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules. Firewalls have been a first line of defense for over 25 years and can come in the form of hardware, software, or both. If you are continually connected to the Internet, then you simply cannot afford to be without a firewall.
 
DNS Internet Security
Everything that connects to the Internet – laptop, smartphone, tablet, DVR, game console, TV – can be a security risk for your company, a portal for hackers to access your data. Tools like OpenDNS or Cisco’s Umbrella use Domain Name Servers (DNS) – the Internet’s equivalent of a phone book – to stop threats before they even reach your network.
 
Environmental Protection
People are not the only threat to your equipment and data. Natural disasters can be just as dangerous if you are not prepared. Ensuring that you are using “clean” electricity and an uninterruptable power supply will protect your organization from computer memory loss, program corruption, and data loss in the case of a black or brownout. Equally important is ensuring you are backing up your data sufficiently and effectively.
 
Training/Human Firewall
While there is more technology available than you could possible imagine to provide each layer of security for your organization’s equipment and data, perhaps the most powerful layer of them all is your users.
 
You can create your very own human firewall through training and education. If your employees realize that your data is always at risk and act with this in mind at all times, you immediately set your organization ahead. What are the primary cyber security risks to be aware of? How do your employees know if they’re being attacked and how should they respond? Teaching them to be aware and ask the right questions is one of the best investments you can make in your organization’s security.
 
Want some extra insight? There are several additional tools that will make your organization that much more secure: check out the “Cyber Security Tools We Love.” Or give us a call – our experts are standing by and are ready to help craft the ideal security strategy to fit your specific needs!