Six Key Factors That Impact Network Security
1/7/2014 1:25:03 PM
As technology moves forward in leaps and bounds, security measures often lag behind, creating potentially dangerous exposure to sensitive information and impairment of infrastructure. Andy Stack at SkySuite is a technologist and network specialist, who does a lot with business centers and serviced office space. The article below concentrates on business center operators, but there is no question as to its relevance for all businesses serving end users. I think you’ll find this article useful, regardless of your configuration. Please feel free to pass it on to others who might benefit. These days, business center operators are being asked by clients to take on the role of network management, compliance and security. If your centers are like most that typically means providing rack space, connectivity and switch and router capacity in a spare equipment closet or phone room which is under simple lock and key security. While this may be the easy answer, it is in no means the right one. No matter how “tight” the language may be in a business center’s agreement with your clients regarding release of liability, at the end of the day to provide anything less than a state-of-the-art network solution exposes your company to potential loss of clients or worse, litigation. The number one risk factor for center owners is without question, security. But what do we mean by “secure”? Let’s look at six factors and see how your operation stacks up. 1. Physical security: Are servers, switches and routers located in a data room with 24x7 controlled-access? Are identification protocols and biometric scanners being used to authenticate technicians before permitting their entry into the data room? Is access strictly limited to personnel that need to work on servers or infrastructure? 2. Transport security: Are communication lines between your data room and your clients’ offices made through SSL? This protocol employs 128-bit encryption to protect data in transport. 3. Firewall security: Are all ports into and out of the data room blocked except for the few ports necessary to provide access to your clients’ solution. Do you employ intrusion detection tools for added security? 4. Windows and browser security: Can you confirm that your clients employ the strictest possible Windows and browser lock-down techniques so as to protect against viruses and malware attacking you network? 5. Data and Applications security: Are the various databases and applications that you need to run your business kept completely isolated from client’s networks via separate equipment, strong passwords and strictly limited access? . 6. Virus security: What email, document and file management virus software are you and your clients using and are they being kept up to date? As you can clearly see from above, security must be addressed in all fashions and more often than not, it’s the business center owner that will be expected to comply. The options really come down to just two: Do you build, support and maintain these security systems yourself or do you look outside to a proven solutions provider that focuses on this as their core business. Only you can answer that question. Andy Stack is President of SkySuite. SkySuite is a Microsoft Gold Partner cloud services company specifically serving the office business center and virtual office industries. SkySuite provides software, VoIP phone services and systems, network infrastructure and support as a service. SkySuite allows small and single office companies to deploy enterprise level technology for dollars a day.