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Securing Your Computers Information

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It is no secret that there are computer hackers out there and any information on our computer systems is susceptible to attack. Ensuring confidentiality of sensitive information is critical to any organization. Any compromise of information about your business, customers, employees or partners could lead to very costly consequences.

Various technologies have been implemented to protect our computers and when choosing the right security, one can feel protected. But how much do you know about network security and how to protect your information?

As critical as it is to protect information, industry solutions still remain a bit behind the times. Rare are solutions that can be applied across an entire IT infrastructure, helping to secure both infrastructure and business applications. Many solutions are limited to detecting an anomaly versus preventing it from happening in the first place.

An effective security strategy requires a holistic approach based on a framework that extends across applications, middleware and data stores.

Network security starts from authenticating any user, most likely with a username and a password. Once authenticated, authorization enforces which resources this user has access to across the enterprise system. Though effective to prevent unauthorized access, this component fails to check potentially harmful contents such as computer worms being transmitted over the network. An intrusion prevention system (IPS) helps detect and prevent such malware. IPS also monitors network traffic for suspicious content, volume, and anomalies to protect the network from attacks such as denial of service.

With a large company, managing security policies for thousands of users across hundreds of applications can be a daunting task. Using automated user provisioning and de-provisioning, and self-service user functions such as password resets and delegated administration, dramatically reduces costs and improves security. Various sized businesses, from a home business to a large government operation will each have their own unique challenges. Depending on who you are, your system will have to be tailored to your needs. Below are just a few quick examples of what you should look for within your system.

Small homes * A basic firewall. * A basic Antivirus software like Norton AntiVirus, AVG Anti-Virus or Windows Defender. Others may suffice if they contain a virus scanner to scan for malicious software. * When using a wireless connection, use a robust password.

Medium businesses * A fairly strong firewall * A strong Antivirus software and Internet Security Software. * For authentication, use strong passwords and change them on a bi-weekly/monthly basis. * When using a wireless connection, use a robust password. * Raise awareness about physical security to employees. * Use an optional network analyzer or network monitor.

Large businesses * A strong firewall and proxy to keep unwanted people out. * A strong Antivirus software and Internet Security Software. * For authentication, use strong passwords and change them on weekly/bi-weekly basis. * When using a wireless connection, use a robust password. * Exercise physical security precautions by employees. * Prepare a network analyzer or network monitor and use it when needed. * Implement physical security management like closed circuit television for entry areas and restricted zones. * Use security fencing to mark the company's perimeter. * Provide fire extinguishers for fire-sensitive areas like serve rooms and security rooms. * Hire security guards to help to maximize security.

Government * A strong firewall and proxy to keep unwanted people out. * A strong Antivirus software and Internet Security Software. * Strong encryption, usually with a 256 bit key. * Whitelist authorized wireless connection, block all else. * All network hardware is in secure zones. * All hosts should be on a private network that is invisible from the outside. * Put all servers in a DMZ, or a firewall from the outside and from the inside. * Security fencing to mark perimeter and set wireless range to stay within the perimeter.


About the Author

Stephen J. Richards has 25 years experience in Data Management and Information Technology. This information is provided as a public service by Neon Enterprise Software, a leading provider of IMS outsourcing. For more information, please visit http://www.neonesoft.com.


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-05-16 23:58:02 in Computer Articles

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