The Human Factor In Network Security

Scott Blake is a Senior Network Engineer with Tech Experts.

As you’re aware, disaster can manifest in many forms. In the past, we have included articles about weather-related events and how to best prepare your business against disasters.

However, there is another type of disaster that’s unlike flooding or fires that can also have devastating effects on your business.

The Human Factor
When it comes to safeguarding your business both physically and virtually, you have the power and controls available to give the edge against company espionage, cyber-attacks, or absent-minded employees.

It comes down to three basic areas: Software, Hardware and People. Once you have a firm grasp and control over these areas, you will have reduced your risk level considerably.

Make sure all of your company’s electronic devices – from company-owned smart phones, tablets, laptops, workstations and servers – are running anti-virus and have a firewall in place.

While some devices are easier to secure and manage than others, this is a critical area, so be sure to make the best attempt to cover all your devices.

Be certain that your data storage devices are running backups and the backups are indeed good. As an added form of protection, encrypt your data being stored, making sure you save the key offsite as well.

Business_People_Group_laughing backupThat way, if your data is comprised either through internal access or external, it will become very difficult to use the data that was stolen.

The size of your company and the amount of sensitive data you have will dictate the frequency of your backup schedule. Remember, it never hurts to be overprotective when it comes to your data.

Have security/firewall devices in place. Make sure they are fully configured for your business and that the firmware is up to date.

A lot of security devices add increased measures through the firmware updates.

They often have the ability to fully lock down your internal network as well. Restrict Internet access to only websites necessary for your business operations.

If your business offers Wi-Fi access for either internal use or guest use, make sure that controls are in place to limit access to your company’s internal network. The best precaution is to place the guest Wi-Fi on a completely separate network.

While Exchange mail servers can increase overhead, they will also add a level of increased security to combat against viral infections being delivered via email and attachments.

I’m sure everyone is well aware of Crypto-Locker and its variants. The majority of Crypto-Locker infections were delivered through infected PDF files sent as attachments.

By nature, humans are (and will always be) the most random aspect to safeguard your business from. It is vital that you run full background checks on any employee that will be given access to sensitive data or hardware.

Restrict the use of portable media such as flash drives and external hard drives while employees are working on or in the server room. Some companies may go as far as banning all portable media devices entirely.

Be proactive in actively monitoring your employees and watch for any changes in behavior, appearance, attitude and tone of speech. These can all be signs something is wrong.

If you have questions or you’re looking for suggestions, call Tech Experts at 734-457-5000, or email us at

(Image Source: iCLIPART)