Protecting your IT Infrastructure is very serious business these days, so how can we best safeguard against cyber threats?
With this in mind, the helpful folks from Transcosmos Information Systems put together a few best practice tips to keep your IT infrastructure secure. These include:
A secure password is that it must be at least 8 characters long
Control log-in information and regularly change your passwords
The rule of thumb for a secure password is that it must be at least 8 characters long, combine uppercase and lowercase letters, and at least one number or special character. And Although it’s a bit of a hassle, it is recommended that you change your passwords regularly to keep them secure, preferably every quarter or so.
Change your passwords every quarter or so
Implement two-factor authentication
Whenever possible, put in place a system that requires more than one form of authentication to grant users access. This means that in addition to a password, you can, for example connect your mobile phone to the server and get it to send you a unique code that you must enter to verify who you are.
Adding additional layers of security is recommended to keep data safe
Store credentials in a secure way
The best way to avoid data breaches is securing your credentials securely through password hashing. To hash a password means to transform it into a unique value before storing it in your database. Since this is a one-way algorithm, it’s impossible to turn the hashed password back to its original form.
Always have an encrypted back-up of your data
Delete users and groups you don’t use
Regularly check who has access to your servers. Are they still around? Things change and so should your permissions.
Keep your firewall and virus scanning software up-to-date
Constantly scan for viruses
To catch viruses early before they have a chance to do any significant damage to your system, you should conduct regular scans and diligently update your antivirus software.
VPNs are your friends where it comes to data security
Update software and operating systems
Software is a bit like bread, it’s only great when it’s fresh. You must therefore make sure you keep your infrastructure packages and operating systems updates so they’re in tip-top condition. Regular updates fixes bugs and guarantees there are not gaping holes in your system security.
Security software is a bit like bread, it’s only great when it’s fresh
Fireproof your firewall
Having a good firewall is a must for securing your server infrastructure. It provides an extra layer of protection to your system’s inbuilt security features, through which you can control all the different pieces of software or services that you need to expose to the network. Less exposure = less for hackers to get their mitts into.
Firewalls provide an extra layer of protection to your system’s inbuilt security features
SSH key authentication
SSH cryptographic keys that contain more bits of data than a typical password, making them more difficult to crack and less vulnerable to attacks. It also saves you having to remember your passwords. Win-win!
SSH cryptographic keys that contain more bits of data than a typical password
Use private networks and VPNs
Virtual Private Network (VPNs) keeps your browsing secure, and your internal communication private.
Virtual Private Networks keeps your browsing secure and your communication private
Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt ….
Encryption – the process of translating sensitive electronic data into unintelligible code – means that only those with authorized access can access and decipher your data. All the cool kids are doing it.
Encryption is the process of translating sensitive electronic data into unintelligible code
Install good security software
It is worth investing in packages from sources you know and trust rather than trying to cut corners, as these might provide a backdoor through which hackers can access your systems.
Find your vulnerable spots before hackers do
Test your vulnerabilities
Regular network vulnerability scanning can help you identify weaknesses in your server and address issues before hackers get to them.
If you can afford it, hire a professional to help keep your commercial IT systems secure
Keep secure and encrypted backups
Your data may well get lost or corrupted at some point, and if that happens, you definitely want to have a plan B to allow you to quickly get back on track.
SSH keys also mean you don’t have to remember loads of passwords
Get a Pro to have your back
In this increasingly complex security landscape, it pays for companies to have an IT expert on their side to keep on top of security.
Header image attribution: blogtrepreneur
Alice Bonasio is a VR Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio and @techtrends_tech on Twitter.