Whether you are an independent consultant or an employee in a company, good practices exist to guarantee both the performance and the security of your computer data (whether digital devices or “pure” data).
In the era of Big Data, the issue of data protection is more than important. Hence the importance of fully understanding the complexity of current threats in order to better control digital risk. Discover our list of the 10 Information Technology Security Best Practices.
Information Technology Security Best Practices
1. Back up your data
First in our list of Information Technology Security Best Practices is that you should backup your data.
As we mentioned above, digital data has become the bedrock of business activity.
The issue of their protection is all the more crucial as cybercrime is increasingly present. According to a study conducted by Accenture (consulting and technology company), the number of cyber-attacks increased by 25% in 2019 compared to the previous year.
To back up your data, various so-called “backup” solutions exist:
- Local backup: this is a “physical” backup which, as its name suggests, consists of backing up your data on a local server. It can be done using portable storage systems such as USB keys, external hard drives, or CDs / DVDs.
- Remote backup: unlike local backup, it saves data online, on a Cloud or a NAS for example. It allows you to access your files at any time, even when traveling on business.
Regardless of the backup method chosen by the IT specialist to protect his data, the latter must imperatively be centralized and backed up daily.
It is possible to manually select the documents to be backed up to a Cloud and perform an entire system backup on a local server for added security.
2. Take out insurance
Having insurance adapted to IT professions can be very useful in many cases and is included in Information Technology Security Best Practices:
- Data loss/theft
- Performance fault (s)
- Delays in service
Insurance is additional security that protects against security risks (incident on the Cloud server on which you save your data, theft of your hardware while traveling, etc.) and the performance of your business.
It can be just as useful for a freelance IT specialist as it is for a young company and can reassure the first customers.
To find out more about insurance specializing in IT professions, we invite you to discover what the insurer Hiscox offers.
3. Protect mobile devices
Just like desktop computers, mobile devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) must be protected.
For professional use, it is strongly recommended to download only the necessary applications (messaging and Cloud for example) and to use an up-to-date anti-virus.
As for the security options, don’t hesitate to increase them:
- Activate automatic locking to prevent fraudulent use
- Use a PIN code
- Use an additional unlock mode (pattern, facial recognition, fingerprint, etc.)
In Information Technology Security Best Practices the third is Protecting the mobile devices that allow you to ensure maximum security, whether you are in the office or on the go.
4. Focus on the right technologies
Next in the Information Technology Security Best Practices comes the technologies.
Whether you are a freelance IT specialist or looking for a job in a company, it is recommended to clearly identify the technologies and/or the promising fields in the IT sector.
IT, like digital technology, is a constantly changing sector. Hence the importance of continuous training and of being well informed on business trends and those of the market.
The objective is to specialize while meeting the needs of the market.
5. Choose your passwords carefully
The most important thing in Information Technology Security Best Practices is to choose a password.
Whoever says “IT” very often says “identification systems” formed by identifiers and passwords.
Here again, rigor is required since it is often the passwords that will protect access to various devices, applications, and files.
It is important to change them regularly and above all, to use different passwords according to the uses (access to the operating system, to the administrator accounts, etc.)..
6. Update your software
The importance of keeping your software up to date cannot be overstated.
All the more so in the professional field, where otherwise could have an impact on their performance and lead to compatibility problems.
And for even more caution, it is best to download them only from the official publisher sites to avoid malicious links and downloads.
The software is regularly updated by the editors in order to remove any security breach and is another one of Information Technology Security Best Practices.
7. Secure Wi-Fi access
Another Information Technology Security Best Practices is to secure your wifi.
Hackers can quickly detect weakly secure Wi-Fi networks and introduce viruses into them that can have serious consequences for a company’s data.
To secure access, different solutions exist:
- Activate a complex encryption system. Experts now recommend WPA2 or WPA3 which are less risky than the old WEP.
- Change the default identifiers provided by ISPs (identifiers and passwords).
- Regularly update the box
- Activate the firewall function
All these measures help to secure the various Wi-Fi accesses of a company in an optimal way.
8. Use email software with caution
If there is one software that IT specialists consult regularly during their working day, it is messaging!
Again, care must be taken when using it as many hackers use email to send malware.
At first, do not open attachments from unknown senders or whose format seems strange. The same goes for links: do not hesitate to hover over them with your mouse to ensure their consistency before clicking on them.
In this sense, it is strongly recommended to deactivate the automatic opening of downloaded documents, in particular via the messaging software. To share documents with employees and/or service providers, it is preferable to use file transfer software for professionals.
Finally, we must avoid at all costs communicating “sensitive” data by email (bank card number, confidential access codes, etc.).
9. Identify the different types of users
IT Departments are often responsible for defining the different roles assigned to users of their equipment. These roles will define a more or less broad field of action.
In business, it is preferable to reserve the administrator account only for service providers or employees who can legitimately intervene in the overall operation of the equipment.
However, it is important to regularly check which rights are granted to which users (and to withdraw access rights to employees who are no longer part of the company, for example).
And to avoid accidental manipulation, it is better to use a user account when browsing the Internet.
10. Choose an effective anti-virus
It seems obvious, and yet the implementation of an anti-virus remains an essential measure to protect against digital attacks and is another one of Information Technology Security Best Practices!
Anti-malware software is effective in detecting threats and is a good prevention tool.
For professional use, it is advisable to use an “expert” antivirus, with recognized effectiveness. Among them: Avast, Norton, or Bitdefender whose level of protection is evaluated at 99%.
The editors regularly carry out updates to minimize the impact of these anti-viruses on the efficiency of the machines and to use the least possible resources.
As an IT specialist, it is essential to the Information Technology Security Best Practices in your network that will ensure the efficiency and security of equipment and data for your company or its customers. Of course, this list is not exhaustive and if you want to go further, you can take a look at our article “Getting started as a freelance in IT”.