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Information Technology (IT) Security

Security is not merely a product or service. It’s a multi-layered process consisting of hardware, software, people, processes, and policies. When designed with layers like an onion and professionally managed over time with software and firmware updates and round the clock monitoring and responding to threats, this security model provides strong protection that adapts to newly discovered threats and vulnerabilities.

With the recent device explosion and remote workforce migration, keeping things secure has become increasingly difficult to maintain because the threats continue to evolve at an alarming rate and increasing sophistication.

Add repeated attacks on the human firewall, and your digital security becomes an ever-moving target. LeeShanok understands this challenge for Arizona based businesses, and, using Cisco’s Security Portfolio, we offer a robust suite of Information Security solutions customized to meet those needs.

Network security is a multilayered process that includes:

Hardware

Hardware-based security is built-in to networking devices and must be kept up to date with available firmware and software updates to the hardware devices. This is a benefit, but if used alone it can also be a handicap. It uses components such as processors to place a shield around the computer system which can be effective. These are nearly impossible to bypass unless someone has a direct connection to the firewall. Traffic can only access the network if someone operating within it invites it in. However, if a user within the network downloads infections to their computer, their entire system, and the domain to which it’s connected can become breached. Hardware blocks major attacks and is very effective in doing so. But once past the hardware gate, viruses and hackers can run wild.

Software

In many ways, software picks up where hardware leaves off. Most antivirus solutions provide protection from dangerous URL links and infected downloads. Software may also have logic in place to monitor activity within the network and alert a security team to suspicious activity on multiple levels. We recommend upgrading to supported software versions when yours goes End-Of-Support, like with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 on October 13, 2020, we recommend upgrading to Exchange 2016 or 2019 or migrating your email server to Exchange Online, part of Microsoft 365.

People

It’s common for people to debate and discuss the first two items listed here at length. With a precisely tuned combination of hardware and software, many businesses feel secure in their ability to repel any attack.

While it’s true that these items are very important, even the well-informed among those businesses may fail to remember that they are fighting, not against machines and code, but against people--intelligent, adaptive, and well-equipped people seeking financial gain from their illicit pursuits. The only way to consistently win the security battle is with your own team of intelligent, adaptive, and well-equipped people (human firewall) or with the help of a capable and trusted Managed IT Service Provider like LeeShanok. The human firewall can be equipped and strengthened through training and verification of skills.

Software is meant to be monitored as it can have undiscovered vulnerabilities that need patching on discovery, and software has a limited life cycle of support and patches by the manufacturer. Decisions need to be made, decisions about what to allow, and what to reject. And if a hacker does get through, you’re going to want a skilled team of trained experts to restore the security of your network and devices.

Processes

Threats have moved from the gross to the subtle. Attacks have grown more clandestine and even gradual, with hackers gaining access very slowly, looking to find footholds within a network. With a team monitoring your network, it’s beneficial for there to be processes in place to watch for unusual activities. That team should also have a plan in place to understand and respond to any issues that arise. Failure to plan is planning to fail, so your security team should know in advance what processes they will follow to solve a crisis should your defenses be compromised.

Policies

Your industry may have policy requirements in order to remain compliant and satisfy periodic audits. Medical clinics are subject to HIPAA requirements and one such requirement is the presence of a HIPAA Security Policies and Procedures Manual. The US Department of Homeland Security has published the Cybersecurity and Privacy Factsheet on their own programs to provide security policy. Your compliance organization may have templates you can use to develop your own IT Security Policies and Procedures Manual, and LeeShanok’s team is prepared to assist you at any stage of development.

It’s always a good idea to educate the team of people operating within the network you’re trying to secure. Institute policies on what is acceptable to download. Inform individuals on ways to identify potentially detrimental links or emails. People are only as empowered as they are knowledgeable. Equip your team to be a proactive and preventative part of your security solution, rather than the cause of security problems. LeeShanok offers in-person and webinar-based IT Security Awareness workshops to educate your staff and satisfy your compliancy requirements. Contact your account manager to schedule a workshop at your office.

These elements function at their best when they are combined properly without any weak links. LeeShanok Network Solutions can advise your company on how to put each one to work for you. See our IT Security Flyer for more information.

LeeShanok partners with our clients to develop advanced IT Security solutions, using Cisco Security options, in a multilayered process involving Attack Continuum awareness, Next-Generation Firewalls, IPS technologies, Multi-Factor User Authentication, Mobile Device Management and Protection, Advanced Malware Protection, and Network Threat Assessments. At LeeShanok, we know information security.

Information technology