Most companies have computers and networks, and it is important that support staff are proactive about ensuring that all technology is secure and protected. There are a variety of things that network and IT staff need to do to ensure the reliability of networks and computer infrastructure, including: backing up company data, preventing viruses from infecting computers and keeping out hackers and social engineers.
Since network and hard drive failures can occur at any time, it is important that there is a system in place that regularly backs up files on computers and other devices. The most sensitive data, such as financial records and customer accounts, need to be backed up daily. In addition to regular physical backups, companies should also consider redundant off-site backup systems since physical disasters can damage on site backup systems. Using online or remote redundant backup can ensure that data is safe, no matter what happens.
Another important part of proactive IT support is to ensure that computers and networks are virus and spyware free. There are a variety of malicious programs that can attack computers, devices and networks, so firewalls and security software need to be installed on all systems. In addition to ensuring that security software is in place, scans need to be done on a regular basis to ensure that nothing has gotten past active virus scanners since files can sometimes hold malware that escapes the notice of anti-virus software. These scans can be set up to run automatically on the weekend or in the middle of the night to ensure that they do no interfere with day to day business.
It is also important that companies ensure that computers and information systems are protected from both hackers and social engineers. Hackers use brute force and backdoor methods to gain access to computer systems and files; social engineers will gather information from unsuspecting employees to gain access more directly. Both can be incredibly damaging to a company, especially if confidential financial or customer account information is accessed.
Hackers can be kept out by employing security protocols through firewalls and systems that are often present in anti-virus software suites; however, preventing social engineers from accessing networks requires employee training. Social engineers are able to use a small amount of data to acquire more information until they have enough to access computer systems. For example, social engineers may call a company and pose as a network support technician and request credentials to access a server. Employees that are unprepared to deal with this may actually provide this information to the social engineer. Therefore, staff should be trained to understand how these people work and attempt to gain access to computer systems.
Companies that have proactive support teams can keep problems from ever occurring by ensuring that data is backed and keeping files and networks safe from viruses, hackers and social engineers.