8 Tips on How to Secure IT Infrastructure

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8 Tips on How to Secure IT Infrastructure

In today's digital world, our IT infrastructure – the network of devices, applications, and data that keeps our businesses running – is really important. But it also faces a big problem: cyberattacks.

The numbers tell us a lot. In 2023, IBM's report showed that the average cost of a data breach worldwide was USD 4.45 million, which is 15% more than the last three years. That's a huge loss for any company.

So, in this situation, you might wonder how to secure IT infrastructure and prevent these costly attacks. 

Here's a short guide: To keep your IT infrastructure secure, —

  • make sure only the right people can access it, 
  • use strong passwords and extra security like fingerprints or codes, 
  • keep all your software updated, 
  • and use strong protections like firewalls and systems that watch for intruders. 

Also, it's important to teach your employees about how to stay safe online.

As an award-winning managed IT services provider, we've helped many businesses secure their IT systems. 

Here, we'll share with you those important tips, facts, and best ways to keep your systems safe.

Why is IT Infrastructure Security Important?

Let's be real, cybercriminals are after one thing: your data. This could be stuff like financial information, customer records, intellectual property, or anything else valuable. Once they grab it, they can do all sorts of bad stuff with it, like pretending to be you, cheating, or selling it to other bad guys.

Why is IT Infrastructure Security Important?

Here's a quick look at the main security problems:

Unauthorized Access

You should know that hackers can try to gain access to your systems through various methods, like phishing emails, malware, or exploiting weak passwords.

Data Breaches

Once they're in, they can steal your sensitive data.

Malware Attacks

Malicious software can mess up what you're doing, ruin your data, or even keep it locked up until you pay a ransom. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says ransomware attacks have doubled since 2017, and now, criminal groups are going after important sectors in the U.S., like emergency services, phone networks, and energy plants.

Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks

These attacks can overwhelm your systems with traffic, which ultimately makes them unavailable to legitimate users.

That’s why the US cybersecurity agency, along with the FBI and the MS-ISAC, has given new advice on how to protect against attacks that flood systems with fake traffic.

These attacks can really mess things up. You might lose money, people might not trust you anymore, and you could even get in trouble with the law. For these reasons, it is mandatory for everyone to have that basic knowledge on how to secure IT infrastructure.

Secure IT Infrastructure: Proven Tips

Now that you know how important IT security is, let's talk about what you can do to keep your systems safe:

Make a Security Plan

First things first, you need a clear plan. This strategy should outline your security goals, identify your vulnerabilities, and define the controls you'll put in place to reduce risks.

Secure User Access

Many breaches happen due to weak passwords or stolen credentials

Here's how to tighten user access:

  • Make Passwords Strong: Set rules for passwords, like making them a certain length, tricky to guess, and changing them regularly.
  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA adds another step to logging in by asking for a second code. You have to always keep this MFA system on.
  • Manage User Permissions: You’ll grant users only access when they need to perform their jobs.

Keep Your Systems Updated

Keep Your Systems Updated

Software vulnerabilities are a common entry point for attackers. Do you know what common software vulnerabilities are? 

These include—

  • Injection flaws, such as SQL, NoSQL, OS, and LDAP injection, 
  • broken authentication, 
  • sensitive data exposure, 
  • XML External Entities (XXE),
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS),
  • and outdated software. 

These all can lead to unauthorized access, data theft, and malicious attacks if not addressed immediately through updates and patches. 

So, to reduce these software vulnerabilities, you’ve to regularly scan for vulnerabilities, give software updates instantly, apply secure software development lifecycle (SDLC), review code for issues, test applications for vulnerabilities (DAST), and educate developers on secure coding.

Implement Network Security Measures

Implement Network Security Measures

Your network is like a door to your data. 

Here are some important tools to keep it safe:

Firewalls

A firewall is kind of a security guard for your computer network. Just like a fence around a house keeps intruders out, a firewall keeps bad stuff from getting into your network from the internet. 

It looks at all the traffic coming in and going out and decides if it's safe or not based on rules set by your organization. So, it's like a protective barrier between your private network and the wild internet world.

Intrusion Detection System and Prevention System (IDS/IPS)

An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is like a watchful tool (which can be a hardware device or software) for your computer network. It keeps an eye on everything happening in the network and quickly acts if it detects anything bad, like a cyberattack. 

It can report, block, or stop malicious activities from causing harm to your network. 

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

A virtual private network (VPN) is an internet security service that lets users browse the web as if they were on a private network. VPNs use encryption to make a secure connection over the public internet.

VPNs help protect company data and control who can access it. They keep data safe when users interact with apps and websites online and can hide certain resources. While VPNs are great for access control, other identity and access management (IAM) tools can also help manage user access.

Secure Your Endpoints

This means protecting all devices that connect to your network, like laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. Install endpoint detection and response security software with antivirus, anti-malware, and firewall protection.

Focus on Cloud Security

If you're using cloud-based services, make sure your provider has strong security, such as a good lock on your data center.  

You're still responsible for securing your data itself, like keeping it safe and controlling who can access it. Check your cloud provider's specific security model to see who handles what. 

By working together, you can keep your data safe in the cloud.

Educate Your Users

Your employees are your first line of defense. Train them on cybersecurity best practices, such as phishing awareness and how to identify suspicious emails.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Even with the best security measures, there's always a chance of a successful attack. That’s why you must regularly back up your data and have a disaster recovery plan in place to get your systems back up and running quickly.

Additional Tips and Best Practices

Here are some extra tips you must consider for the ultimate protection. 

Conduct Regular Security Audits: 

Think of your IT infrastructure like your car. Just like you get regular oil changes and tune-ups, have IT security professionals conduct security audits to find any weak spots in your defenses.

Monitor Your Network Traffic: 

Continuously monitor your network traffic for anything suspicious, like unusual activity that might signal a potential attack.

Implement Data Encryption:

For extra protection, encrypt sensitive data. Encryption scrambles your data like a secret code, which makes it unreadable to anyone who shouldn't see it.

Control Physical Access to Data Centers and Servers:

Physical security is also important. You’ve to control access to data centers and server rooms with security measures like keycard entry and security cameras.

So, Now, What You’ll Gain from Successfully Applying the Above Security Measures

So, Now, What You’ll Gain from Successfully Applying the Above Security Measures

Do you know that a cyberattack can happen once every 39 seconds? In fact, more than 2,000 cyberattacks are launched every day against internet-connected, unprotected systems. 

It is scary, right?

That’s why, if you successfully implement IT infrastructure security, you’ll be able to protect your business data and avoid cyber threats and data leaks. 

This means you'll —

  • prevent data breaches, 
  • keep harmful malware from disrupting your operations, 
  • avoid system failures and downtime, 
  • save money by avoiding stolen data and ransom payments, 
  • and avoid penalties for not following data protection laws.

Besides, check out our insightful blog to learn how to setup IT infrastructure for small businesses

Choose Next Level Connected to Secure Your IT Infrastructure 

You can keep faith in Next Level Connected to secure your IT infrastructure because we offer full protection for your important data, hardware, and software against constant digital threats. 

Our strong security measures use the latest protocols to strengthen your digital defenses. We also provide specialized training to give your team the knowledge and skills to defend against cyberattacks. 

By taking our services, you can relax knowing your business is safe from unauthorized access and digital risks. 

Additionally, we offer cloud computing solutions for scalable storage and better collaboration, network management for optimal performance, and reliable data backup and recovery to minimize downtime and data loss.

Book a consultation today to see for yourself!

Wrapping Up

In the end, you should accept the fact that securing your IT infrastructure is an ongoing process that needs dedication, resources, and a proactive approach to reduce risks. By following the steps in this guide and staying updated on the recent cybersecurity trends and threats, you can strongly create your defenses and protect your organization from breaches. Remember, the cost of a security breach is much higher than investing in proactive security measures. That’s why protect your IT infrastructure now to avoid expensive problems later.

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