Business owners rely on computing technologies to make operations efficient and organized. While computers do eliminate the need for piles of papers and rows of file cabinets, data stored in devices that have access to the Internet is always at risk. No company owner ever wants to deal with a data breach, but it is very important to be able to spot the tell-tale signs that your data is prone to attack before you assume everything is under digital lock-and-key. If you do not know the next thing about looking for vulnerabilities, here are 5 that you want to eliminate so that you are not left dealing with expensive attacks that compromise you and your clients’ information.
Your Servers Are More Than 5 Years Old
Servers can be very expensive, but when you are running on a business network, having updated servers is crucial. Older servers are prone to data breaches because they have not been equipped with the newest and latest features that are designed to improve IT security. To a highly talented hacker, breaking into an older FTP or SQL data server is a cinch. This is because the older versions typically do not have updated firmware. Be sure to replace your servers with new versions and stay up-to-date with security so that this vulnerability is not exploited.
Your Firewall Has Not Been Updated or Maintained Regularly
If you are not familiar with the firewall best practices, you probably do not know that you need to stay committed to keeping it updated and maintained. Firewalls do not take care of themselves and can easily get outdated. When a firewall is outdated, your data can easily be compromised. Be sure to update the firewall policies, review alerts and download updates as they become available.
You Are Still Running an Older Version of Windows
You might be comfortable with Windows XP or even Windows 7, but running these older versions of operating systems could make your company the next victim of a data attack. Old software, which is often called legacy software, is less secure because it was built when the understanding of security threats was much less advanced than it is now. The outdated versions have little or no built-in security mechanisms and may not be able to support updated security programs.
Your Website Was Last Patched Years Ago
You need an updated business website to show your clients that you are in business and committed to its excellence. One way hackers can access data is when your website itself is vulnerable. One way to secure your site is to issue a security patch release. If you have not updated your patch and downloaded the newest version in a year or longer, it could make you a serious target.
Your Staff Have Remote Access to Your Server
There will always be risk when you have employees who can access your server, but there is a much greater risk when these employees have remote access. Remotely accessing a sever makes it possible to access files while traveling or while you are at home, but it can also give the wrong people access to these files when you do not change the access point from time to time. If you have not changed the access point or reviewed where data repositories are exposed, then your info is at-risk.
Company data needs to be secure from prying eyes, and there could be signs that hackers can easily access customer or company data. Review these 5 factors that could be making your network more vulnerable, and then you can take steps to secure the servers.
Informational credit to Norwich University which offers an online masters in information security.