At Neuways we are always looking for helpful ways to translate things out of tech-speak, and into everyday terms for everyone to understand. Stop us now if you think we’re patronising you.
We do this because getting to grips with your IT network and the way it functions can be difficult if you’re not a techie. Ideally, you know enough about your IT to get the best out of it on a day-to-day basis, allowing you to focus on your core business.
However, failing to grasp how it all works and links together can have a negative impact on your cybersecurity and business processes – so we’ve put together (and extensively tortured!) a metaphor to put the workings of your IT into everyday terms!
Your corporate IT network is like your home
Your corporate network is like the outer walls of your house – it keeps important stuff inside, separating you from the outside world and any network nasties that may want to get in. A house without walls, without locks on the windows and doors, and without an alarm system would be pretty useless, right? You’d be exposed to the elements, snoopers and burglars.
Similarly, a corporate network without appropriate security measures is going to leave the contents of that network exposed to the wider Internet – meaning you need strong perimeter security.
The first layer of this security should be an enterprise-grade device with security capabilities – at the most basic level, a firewall. A basic router is no longer secure enough for your business network security. Companies who settle for this will have some degree of protection for their “IT home,” but will be vulnerable to cybercriminals who target those with the weakest or most widely used security measures. Nearly 50% of network-based attacks are unstoppable by anything other than advanced threat protection, so the most conscientious businesses choose to use the best network security, with defence-in-depth protection.
Your email is like your letterbox and doormat
Are you used to finding unsolicited marketing materials on your doormat at home? What about spam in your inbox? Your email inbox is the principal means whereby correspondence from the outside world enters your corporate network – and cybercriminals know it.
Because email is an almost universally used service, it’s a principal target of cybercriminals. This means phishing, spam, whaling and email account hijacking are amongst the most commonly used cyber-attacks.
Your existing inbox has a degree of security, but the reality is that many security threats can still be delivered via email and make it past the security measures in place on providers such as Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 or Gmail. What you need to prevent these threats is a comprehensive email security solution.
Get a good postman in the form of an email security solution
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a postman who ensured your mail was safe and filtered out the unsolicited marketing flyers? It’s completely possible to have this service for your email – and it’s advisable. Neuways can provide your business with email security that blocks spam, phishing, and ransomware-laden emails reaching your inbox.
This solution is significantly more effective than the inbuilt security offered by email providers, and it can also provide other features such as Data Loss Prevention, which can prevent people without authorisation from sending protected data outside of your business either accidentally or maliciously. We can also provide you with email continuity, allowing you to retain 100% email uptime even if your server or cloud provider suffers an outage. Finally, we can provide archiving, which stores a secure copy of your emails for you in a separate location, in the event that you lose your email data. It’s like having a separate, private vault down the road from your home where an extra copy of your mail is stored for safekeeping.
Home Insurance: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Every business takes backups, right? They’re the corporate IT equivalent of your home insurance. Like insurance policies, different backups offer you different levels of protection – you need to decide how much you want for your business.
If your home was flooded, your insurance company might cover the cost of replacing your damaged furniture and appliances. Your backups serve a similar role for your business; if your data is lost or destroyed, you can restore to a backup and carry on (almost) as if nothing happened – in theory at least. The reality is people do not backup as frequently as they may like due to the performance impact or hassle. That can mean restoring to backups from significant time periods ago, losing all the business data created in between. Even in the event of doing regular, successful backups, you’ll often find they’re time-consuming and temperamental, requiring lots of human input.
Not all backups are created equal either. Some will only restore your data – and if your server is suffering an outage, what are you going to upload that backed up data to? The best backups come with a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) component that allows you to immediately virtualise your infrastructure moments after disaster strikes. In this sense, it’s like your insurance company not only covering the costs of replacing your appliances but also providing you with temporary accommodation whilst repairs are made. Given that the lead time on acquiring a new server can be a number of weeks, trying to make do without this component in the modern day can lead to your business suffering crippling reputational and financial damage.
Is private security excessive for your home? Not for your business – you need a Managed Security Service Provider
A private security company managing and monitoring your domestic premises might seem somewhat over-the-top. It might also be unaffordable. However, for your business, it is neither of these things. Management and monitoring of your cybersecurity should be carried out by IT security professionals.
A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) is an IT support company that manages your cybersecurity – it’s like private security for your business. MSSPs allow you to outsource your cybersecurity to professionals, which in turn allows you to focus on your core business.
Given that cyber-criminality is increasingly pervasive and professionalised, and that even rogue nation-states are getting in on the act and targeting Western businesses, you need to consider getting cybersecurity professionals on your side in order to combat the increasing threats facing your business. One way of doing this is by employing them directly, but it is often significantly more cost-effective to turn to an MSSP. Companies who do neither must accept the fact that they are embracing a significant amount of risk that could lead to damages.
Making your corporate network a happy home
Hopefully, we’ve helped you better understand the areas that make up your corporate IT and the security concerns and best practices that surround them. We thought about torturing the metaphor further, but that’s probably enough for one day. Check out our handy take-away infographic for your business, and as always, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!