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Security Beyond Firewalls and Anti-Virus Software

The first thing that comes to your mind when you think about internet security is anti-virus software and firewalls. Well, they are of course the obvious choices. But what you are forgetting is that there is more to online and network security than these two. One of the growing concerns for security experts, is the approach that budding entrepreneurs are taking with regard to the networks of their new ventures.

The days are past when official records, pay-roll slips and bank account details were stored in the good old ledgers. In today’s world, every organization has its own online network which is literally the backbone of that institution. If any miscreant gains access to the network, they are virtually in the driving seat and have the potential to bring down the company.

Are All Channels of Communication Secure?

Organizations use different channels of communication for different purposes. For example, there is the mail system for all official communication. There might be an IM client solely meant for communication amongst the employees. The website will have a contact form which anyone (the public, in general) can access. Some companies have mobile applications for maintaining their employee payrolls and work assignments. You must understand that all these are access points for someone who might be trying to illegally access your network.

The best way to secure these channels is to have a group of people to monitor all the traffic that goes in and out of your network. You might not be able to instantly pin-point if a line of communication is suspicious or not. But over a period of time, you can establish a trend  based on which, you can identify any anomalies in the network. When you find anything suspicious, don’t ignore it. It might be something as simple as an anonymous social media feed or access through a proxy server. Further investigation will, 9 times out of 10, reveal if your network is at a risk or not.

Keep Yourself Updated

Technology is growing at such a rapid pace that a system you might have implemented today will be obsolete in the coming week. So, make sure that your security team keeps itself updated on the latest developments with regard to network security. Make it a point to implement some, if not all, of the latest security measures as they will be safer than their predecessors. The logic behind the security measure might be absurdly simple, but it will buy you time. The more updated your system is, lesser time is available to the hackers. They will need more time to figure out the loopholes but by the time they do, you might have further updated your security measures.

Keep On Your Toes

One of the things that we can learn from the latest victims of online hacking, Yahoo, or Billabong, is to be diligent. Hackers are like predators stalking the prey and waiting for the opportune moment. If you slightly let your guard down, they will pounce on you and make sure you pay. Even minutes of unauthorized access can wreck havoc in a company. So ensure that your security team is on its toes always.

A Methodical Approach is the Key

According to most security experts, the best way to stay protected online is to keep evolving. Along with being diligent, be methodical in your approach to monitoring traffic. Build models and flowcharts which will help you analyze your system better. Make sure to strengthen your strongholds and fortify your weaknesses. Understand that there is no system which is foolproof. It is only a matter of time before someone finds a way in. So, keep your approach systematic.

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