The most important part to any structure is its foundation. Without a solid foundation, the rest crumbles. The same principle can be applied to a business’s IT infrastructure. All IT infrastructure needs a strong starting block to build upon, and just one crack can cause the whole structure to fall part.
As a multi-site business, your security infrastructure is essential to your operations. There are many tools and options at your disposal to ensure your company remains protected. Here are some of the key areas you should consider when building or updating your business IT infrastructure.
1. Secure Your Network
Cybersecurity is a major concern for business owners. It’s estimated that cyber-crime will cost victims $10.5 trillion per year by 2025. To combat this issue, it’s essential to secure the network your company’s devices and data live on. Otherwise, you run the risk of leaving holes in your system, granting access to hackers, and posing a threat to sensitive data.
Some effective ways to secure your network from cyber threats are:
- Monitor your network and devices for threats. There are multiple proactive and reactive services that can be bundled with a monitoring program to create the right management solution for any networked system.
- Secure each network element. Switches, building management systems, the computers you log into, and every device in between should be secured to avoid a security breach.
- Consider a managed broadband solution. For companies with fewer employees or little time for managing their network, a trusted network provider can provide continuous network management.
2. Integrate Reliable Security Equipment
Once your business is connected to a secure network, the next key to the equation is integrating reliable security equipment to keep your physical assets and employees protected. There are many options are your disposable to serve various purposes. These include:
- Video cameras to keep an eye on employees and patrons. They provide live video feeds you can stream from your smartphone, tablet, or desktop, allowing you to check in on suspicious activity from anywhere. A video verification service can also be applied to reduce false alarms and ensure swift action during an emergency.
- Monitored alarms to deter theft, which emit an audible alert when your property or specific areas are breached.
- Access control systems to restrict entry to special areas. Photo identification systems and access cards are two ways to control who can enter certain places within your business.
- Fire and smoke detectors to adhere to local regulations and federal laws and to protect your employees and company from the deadly signs of fire.
- Environmental monitoring solutions to notify you immediately in case of an environmental emergency, such as a CO leak, burst water pipe, etc.
3. Utilize a Secondary Network
Dedicating a secondary network within a business’s IT infrastructure is a pivotal strategy for bolstering both network reliability and security. In an era where digital operations are at the heart of almost every organization, safeguarding critical assets and ensuring uninterrupted connectivity are paramount. By integrating a secondary network, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with relying solely on a single network connection.
Separating critical operations from less secure ones allows businesses to apply tailored security measures to each network, reducing the risk of a single breach compromising the entire network infrastructure. Segmentation enables better control over access permissions, traffic monitoring, and threat detection.
Likewise, when diversifying network connections through a secondary channel, businesses can ensure their critical operations remain operational even during secondary connection failures, maintaining businesses continuity and mitigating productivity loss in the process.
4. Implement an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
Without a backup power source, your security system will become inoperable in a power outage. Most systems support some type of battery backup, but other equipment in your facility may require a UPS to provide emergency power.
It is important to review every component that connects or supports the security system(s) to determine whether backup power is required. Overlooking a single network switch, for example, could have the effect of completely disabling security communications when power fails.
Other equipment that may require backup power includes:
- Access control systems and lock power supplies
- Alarm systems
- Internet modems, routers, and switchgear
- Digital video recorders (DVRs)
- Emergency communication systems
- Surveillance cameras
- Network storage devices and servers
- Telephone switches
5. Educate Employees on Security Issues
It’s a critical responsibility to teach employees the importance of security best practices. Not only does education improve understanding, but it also fosters a work culture dedicated to maintaining the safety of the company. An informed workforce is a strong workforce, so it’s always in your best interest to ensure they’re up to speed with the latest trends, practices, and work policies.
As for specific workplace policies, you should consider implementing:
- Password and antivirus protection on all devices: It’s especially important if you have a BYOD policy, as employees tend to be more lenient when using their own devices.
- A clear remote work policy: Remote work is an excellent benefit for employees, but it creates opportunity for connecting to unsecured networks and potentially stolen devices. Encourage safeguards, such as password protection and the use of virtual private networks (VPNs).
- Training sessions: At least once a year, remind the entire staff of your company security policies and educate them on new developments. Occasional training videos are also useful, and videos are generally less intensive and cover specific security scenarios that apply to real security concerns for the business. Additionally, all new hires should fully understand corporate security policies and policy training should be part of their onboarding process.
6. Partner with Trusted Security Experts
Not every business has the resources or expertise of an experienced security team of their own. Whether you need someone to act as your IT team or help alleviate internal security workloads, a trusted security provider like Vector Security Networks can build your business a strong security infrastructure and help manage it for you.
From building a complex physical security apparatus that covers every inch of your business to ensuring your business network is equipped to handle all current and future challenges, we have the tools, technology, and expertise to get the job done. But don’t just take our word for it. Contact us today to learn more about how we help create an IT infrastructure that inspires confidence in your business.