Corporate Network Security – What You Need to Know

Corporate Network Security – What You Need to Know

Corporate network security is much like indoor plumbing; you don’t really think about it until it stops working. While a leaky faucet or a stopped drain may be annoying, failures in corporate network security are much more threatening. A single breach can leave a company wide open to identity theft, intellectual property theft and even total loss of network operations. The news reports every day intrusions proving to be detrimental to even the largest organizations in the world. At this very moment hackers are invading computer systems with profound effects on corporations, individuals and the world as a whole.

Although the media paints a dark, gloomy outlook on network security, there are many things managers and small business owners can do to prevent themselves from becoming a “digital statistic.” These five suggestions provide a good starting point for developing an enterprise-wide strategy for protecting one’s corporate network:

1. Corporate network security is a serious matter.

Although some people choose to remain in denial about many of the difficult challenges life throws at them, corporate network security should not be one of these. Unlike a personal pet peeve or bad habit, corporate network security is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. The sooner one realizes this the better, as corporate network security transcends the borders of one’s own office. Theft of physical office supplies is one thing, but intellectual property theft is a completely different matter. While insurance can replace office desks and file cabinets, how does one get back trade secrets copied off of a “secure” network server? How does one recover tax returns, personnel records and sensitive customer data? The answer is simple: you don’t.

2. Just one time is enough.

All it takes is one time for a hacker to penetrate a company’s network, violate its privacy and, perhaps even worst, ruin its reputation. Just ask Google, Sony or Citibank to confirm this. A company who takes network security seriously and approaches it with the right attitude is in a much better position from the start than one that doesn’t.

3. Corporate network security is an on-going process.

Corporate network security is not a “fire and forget” sort of procedure. It is an on-going process that requires attention on a daily basis. In the old days, people wholeheartedly welcomed air conditioners, automobiles and computers as novelty items. Less attention and care was given to them as they became more routine. This is normal, as people come to depend on things that “just work” without requiring constant attention. While it is typically a good thing that one’s network discretely operates in the background, its lack of a spotlight should not make it any less important than routine service for any other component vital a company’s operation.

4. Learn to grow properly.

When it comes to securing one’s corporate network, the key is to learn to grow properly. The needs of a small company differ drastically from those of a large company. Apply the tools and techniques needed for your level of sophistication and step up gradually as needed. Obtain network consulting from a network security specialist who is ready to deliver expert guidance to you.

5. Assume they know more than you.

Network security isn’t your primary business, but hacking is certainly the primary line of work for “the bad guys” out to steal your data. The best you can do is to be aware of general threats and delegate the responsibility to the guys on the front, namely your IT personnel.

Perhaps you either lack an IT department or just don’t enough staff on hand to handle everything. Don’t worry; you don’t have to go it alone. Leave it to IT Direct to help keep your network secure. IT Direct is the leading authority in Connecticut for designing and securing corporate networks. Contact us today to see what we can do to keep your data in and the hackers out.

How to Choose an IT Consulting Company

How to Choose an IT Consulting Company

Choosing an IT consulting company to help with one’s information technology issues can be a daunting task. Running one’s business is tough enough without having to decide what IT consultancy will be capable of providing all of the right tasks on time and within budget. Although it is impossible to predict the future, below are a few criteria that can help small business owners choose the right IT consulting company for them:

1. Experience. Contrary to what many new college graduates may believe, experience really does matter when it comes to choosing an IT consulting company to help solve information technology issues. Small businesses choose to hire qualified, experienced IT consultants because they want the job done right and done right now.

While it is possible to save money hiring a young intern to perform many duties, one runs the risk of time delays, wasted money and even make matters worse. Although technology changes almost daily in the IT world, the principles involved with developing IT solutions for small business are age-old.

2. Pedigree. Experience shows what a consultancy has done in the past, but are they keeping up with the present and the future? A company actively engaged in industry-recognized certification programs demonstrates a firm commitment to staying informed with modern technological trends. This commitment also demonstrates an IT consulting company is committed to providing their customers with the latest the market has to offer.

An IT consulting company who trains its consultants and certifies them in the skills and technologies needed by its customers is more likely to provide its clients with top-notch service when compared to those who do not.

3. Reputation. When a business outsources to another company, their own credibility becomes linked to that of the company performing the outsourcing. When choosing an IT consulting company, it is important to research the company’s background.

How long have they been in business? What are their specialities? Are they capable of developing the solutions they claim? What do other customers say about them? Do they stand behind their work? Choosing an IT consulting company with a good reputation not only provides peace of mind, it also keeps one’s own reputation above board.

4. Costs. Although everybody wants to have their cake and eat it, in reality compromises have to be made. Small business owners are well aware of their budgetary requirements, and as such need to choose an affordable IT consulting company. Making the choice to outsource IT work is definitely a step in the right direction, as hiring such specialized expertise in-house is most often an unaffordable option for small businesses.

However, small business owners are cautioned not to “go cheap” when it comes to selecting an IT consulting company to augment their computer and networking needs. When it comes to weighing the costs of hiring an IT consulting company, it is important to try to compare “apples to apples” whenever possible. Some companies may boast low hourly rates to attract more customers. These “teaser” rates may ultimately prove disastrous if the above suggestions about experience, certification and reputation are ignored.

Try to take a holisitic view of the costs involved whenever possible. Assess a consultant’s entire approach to your solution, including equipment, design and support. Although one proposal may initially look more expensive than another, it may turn out to be cheaper in the long run. Small businesses rarely invest in IT solutions for just a few days of temporary use; the budgetary decisions involved with IT solutions should likewise be given thought for the long-term as well.

Hiring an IT consulting company can be a rewarding task, leading to one of the best business partnerships one could possibly make. The Technology Consultants at IT Direct are very familiar with these and the many other issues small business owners are faced when seeking the services of a reputable IT consultancy. IT Direct is a computer and network support provider with the experience, skills and reputation small business owners seek in an IT consulting company, all at a cost that won’t break the bank. Contact IT Direct to schedule a consultation today at (860) 656-9110.