Drive Your Network Defensively

By January 10, 2017Risk Assessment
Preventative Measures to Minimize Exploits

Every 15,000 or so miles most car dealers recommend you bring your car in for an inspection. To some this seems excessive, but for those of us that have maybe skipped one or two inspections, often by that 60- or 75,000-mile mark there tend to be some pretty pricey problems that might not have existed 45,000 miles ago.  What would have been a reasonable fix is suddenly a major undertaking.

Your computer is not so different. While the price tag might be smaller than that car in the driveway, the risk for business technology can be far more substantial, particularly for businesses with large amounts of customer data.  Healthcare providers are especially vulnerable to attacks on computers, mobile devices, servers, and networks.  Because the shift over the last several years to electronic medical records has created a veritable treasure trove of sensitive information, the stored medical and financial data it presents are irresistible targets for hackers to try and crack.

While businesses seek the help of an IT provider when malware or a hack is detected, many companies would benefit from taking preventative measures, staff training, and ongoing monitoring to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place.

A risk assessment can be the most revealing, and easiest first step for companies to take.  A typical risk assessment involves a full system scan, evaluation of possible vulnerabilities, an on-site visual assessment, and a report outlining remedies to the known issues.   This typically takes about one week, and you will receive a great deal of information about your network, even if there are no issues found.  Staff training, for any size company, can be a real lifesaver, and is becoming mandatory practice in corporations.  Designed around how your company interacts with the internet, email, and file storage, staff training provides your team with best practices for dealing with daily operations, data management, workplace habits, as well as how to prevent phishing and other scams.  Staff training can also be done in conjunction with pre-training assessments, where staff responses are gauged against spoof attacks, and controlled penetration testing.  Once these steps are taken, businesses would be well advised to implement regular monitoring of systems, policies, and procedures, a process that can be coordinated with regular software patches and upgrades.

So don’t let your system spin out of control.  By implementing straightforward, cost-effective preventative measures for handling vulnerability and risk in your network, you’ll be cruising along for years to come.