In today’s rapidly changing digital environment, cyberattacks have become a significant concern for businesses of all sizes — from SMBs to large corporations. Digital crimes are growing exponentially and have been especially fueled by the shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cyber threat landscape is becoming an ominous one as the patterns of attackers evolve constantly.
That’s why IT infrastructure security has become a top priority for companies across industries and the globe — in both the private sector and the public sector.
Even a small local business in a far-away location can suffer significant losses in case of a well-executed cyberattack, as cybercriminals are targeting all types of organizations across the board. The risk factors for large enterprises are also grave — and can even include bankruptcy.
What do you need to remember to make your IT infrastructure bulletproof? Here are our best practices for ensuring the critical infrastructure security of your organization — and managing the overall digital risks.
Why do you need to secure your IT infrastructure?
IT infrastructure spans a wide array of software and hardware technology assets. These can include internal networks, employees’ computers, and cloud resources.
As your business’s IT infrastructure is your organization’s backbone, it’s logical that it should be protected in the best possible ways from the various cyber security issues out there. This is how you can ensure that your intellectual property and processes will be safe and sound to run your operations uninterruptedly.
How to secure your IT Infrastructure?
What are the best practices for IT infrastructure security? Here’s our overview.
#1. Develop and apply a smart cybersecurity policy
Protecting your infrastructure starts with knowing the risks — and planning how to tackle them.
Your first step should be to create security policies that are tailored to:
- Your industry’s specificities
- Your company’s particular operations
- Your employees’ knowledge and capabilities
Your policy should set clear rules regarding passwords and other end-user credential details for employee and administrative access in your systems, content filtering practices, and the like. It should also outline roles and responsibilities (i.e., security engineers, security architects, etc.) in handling cyber threats.
#2. Use tested-and-proven software and hardware
It can be tempting to opt-in for cost-effective – or even free software and hardware. However, there are hidden risks in making such a choice.
Using validated software and hardware (which often comes at a price, though) means you can choose solutions with an effective security mechanism integrated right into them. It’s also important to avoid downloading tools from unknown sources (gray market products). They may contain malicious software to infiltrate your system and gain unauthorized access to your sensitive data.
#3. Keep your systems updated
New cyber threats appear daily. It can be tough to stay on top of them if you have to manually add new protections for each of them. Software platforms constantly evolve and supplement their protection mechanisms as new vulnerabilities get discovered.
For example, if a new SSL vulnerability in the Mozilla Firefox browser gets discovered, its developers will soon create security patches to address the issue. It’s essential to update the browsers immediately, so your system can get new protection.
That’s why updating your systems is always a good idea. If that’s not possible, your system administrators should be continuously aware of significant software updates, so they can introduce them to your systems.
#4. Protect network devices
Network devices are the building blocks of your infrastructure. That’s why it’s essential to take extra care of their protection, which is the key to effective network management.
Some important aspects to keep in mind in securing your critical devices include:
- Enforce network security encryption at all times, including wireless networks
- Double-check access for different users and administrators (access management)
- Apply complex passwords and require multi-factor authentication
- Keep tabs on who has access to network devices (physical security)
- Set up a backup of configurations
- Continuous monitoring of security controls and settings
#5. Apply adequate network segmentation
Network segmentation is vital in isolating cyberattacks when they have penetrated your systems. This makes segregation of functions a central practice in ensuring your network infrastructure security.
Segmentation can be either through physical devices like routers or through virtual separation. The central concept in creating a secure infrastructure layout is to install ‘switches’ that can be turned off if an attacker manages to gain access to the network, i.e., internal routing and similar.
This is how the impact of an attack can be immediately limited within one segment instead of permeating the whole system of connected devices.
#6. Don’t underestimate firewalls
Firewalls are a crucial element in your cybersecurity strategy. However, many companies fail to install a firewall on the network level.
It’s essential to have firewalls on each employee’s device, but the general systems should also be protected. Setting up a hardware firewall and packet-filtering firewalls is thus highly recommended. It provides an additional layer of protection for your whole network.
#7. Provide cybersecurity training for your employees
Even the best software and hardware protection practices can fail if cyber attackers can exploit vulnerabilities caused by people.
Training your employees to tackle any potential threat is thus an essential part of your IT infrastructure security strategy. In addition, educating your staff to recognize threats will make your organization safe from the inside.
The most critical elements for a wholesome employee cybersecurity training include:
- Learning the most significant cyber risks, such as phishing attacks, remote access threats, social engineering attacks, administrative credentials protection, and similar
- Setting up a system to recognize and report threats (for example, links and emails sent by cybercriminals)
- Securing internal communications, i.e., peer communications
Secure your IT infrastructure with Crashtest Security
Ensuring the security of your digital systems can be a daunting task.
However, with Crashtest Security’s Vulnerability Testing Software, the protection of systems becomes a manageable goal, as you can efficiently run a cyber risk assessment of your company. It empowers you to combat cyber threats before they have affected your organization.
Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you make your systems bulletproof with the proper security measures.