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| Security is a broad topic in the IT world. It covers everything from physical or site security (knowing who has access to your server, for example), to identity theft, to script kiddies probing your Internet connection
24x7. Factor in dodgy software, social networking, and rogue adware and the excitement really builds. |
Here are the guidelines you need — some quite obvious, others less so. Please take a few minutes to learn from others so you won't learn the hard way yourself.
By Stephen Worden / Illuminova Technical Services, (c) 2010
In the IT world, security is not a "one size fits all" commodity. Every installation, every company, every Internet connection has different purposes, different risks, and different budgets. It is my job to balance those three elements.
The job of Security cannot be passed off entirely to technology, either. You have to play along. You don't play with matches in a barn, and you don't open email attachments from people you don't know. While the technology does an excellent job you can still get fooled.
First of all understand this: there are twisted, sick people out there that want to steal from you, others who want to break your business because, in their opinion, you were stupid enough to let them. The good news is that, with reasonable care, their efforts can be nullified.
Security for Small Businesses
Broadly speaking there are three areas you need to secure — your Internet connection, your data, and your equipment.
Firewalls are often combined with cable modems, DSL modems, VPN routers, and wireless access points. The Linksys units work fine for small businesses. So does IPCop — a Linux-based firewall. The appliances are the simplest and best choice unless you have an extraordinary need. If you don't have a firewall promise me you will call your IT guy TODAY and get one installed. If you want us to get this done, give us a call at (302) 737-1000.
You also need to protect your data. You do that with layers of backups. Online, offline, local, remote... You can learn more about backups here. You can learn about keeping a hot-copy of your data available online here. At a minimum you need to store your data on reliable equipment (meaning a RAID array on a brand-name server), keep one local copy in a repository (for when you delete or lose something), and one offsite copy on a remote backup server or an external, removable hard drive.
Protecting Your Equipment
I've seen uninterruptible power supplies, cable modems, computers, and telephone systems that were hit by lightning. This kind of an outage can be very expensive. You've lost equipment, your business is suffering downtime, and you've got to pay for the IT guy to come in and fix it all back up.
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