Oxford, like so many towns and cities across the country – across the world even – has undergone a revolution in the workplace over the past 20 years or so. Digital technology is virtually mainstream in every workplace; however, the huge potential this creates for even the smallest business has its downside.
That downside is lax server and network security. With new ideas and new technology emerging seemingly every day, can your business survive, remain secure AND prosper in this continuing workplace digital revolution.
Access all areas
Without technology in one form or another, most businesses could not now operate on a day to day basis. Instant communication with stakeholders is now commonplace. Like a teenager with a backstage pass to all areas of a One Direction concert, consumers, suppliers, shareholders, auditors and others have access to your confidential business data.
Access 24 hours
With access to confidential data on secure systems by way of laptops, Smartphones and other Internet enabled devices, the entire playing field has been changed to accommodate the new rules of engagement. If there is potential for loss of data and/or theft of business secrets, there are weak points within the systems which always should be protected.
The weak points on any business network are the following:
- Internal servers
- Antivirus measures
- VoIP comms hardware
The firewall is the first line of defence in maintaining security of network infrastructure, the hardware and the data which is stored on the hardware. This could relate to servers, desktop PC (a weak link) and data backup. Indeed, it is often the network infrastructure which is the source of all security lapses and inefficient operation of internal IT systems and data flow.
According to FirstLine IT services in Oxford from where much of this information is gleaned, network audits provide clear information on where there is potential for security lapses. Slow data processing, ineffective backup as well as the potential for eavesdropping on VoIP systems via outdated cabling and connections are frequent findings at audit.
Internal servers are another weak link. They have to be accessible for stakeholders but have to remain as secure as possible. The servers may host an e-commerce operation; there may be internal email servers as well as other servers all of which are interconnected. Leave vulnerability and sure as night follows day it will be exploited.
VoIP telephone systems, data distribution networks which serve third parties as well regular software updating all add to the confusion. If software in use on company systems does not have updates and security patches installed, this is another potential for security breaches. Hackers have few (if any) scruples; your data is ripe for the taking, your network there to be invaded.
In short, modern digital systems have never been as vulnerable as they are today. We take for granted that we can buy and sell online 24/7 yet seldom worry about security; after all, isn’t that someone elseâs job to take care of that? It may be the job of someone else for consumers buying the latest fad from an online store, but for owners and executive boards of SMEs the buck stops there.
Business and consumers now operate in an increasingly transparent environment. If your business data environment is too transparent, you could be leaving yourself open to the potential of theft, fraud and ultimately business failure.