Security

In today's current climate with news reports of computer systems being compromised it is important that everyone with a computer makes sure their IT security is up to the task. At MITS we take your security seriously but we ask that you also take it seriously. There are multiple levels of security starting from absolute basics going through to enterprise (no not the starship Enterprise but big business Enterprise)

n.b. These lists are provided as a free service.

Absoute Basics

It may seem obvious that the following suggestions are the basics of keeping your PC secure but many people ignore the basics so I will make these suggestions. After this point it is assumed you know the absolute basics of security.

Minimum (for business)

Over and above the suggestions above there are other securty measures that are recommended for IT systems that are critical for business, and even home, users. These are:

Recommended (for Business at least)

Many professional bodies (e.g. Legal, Medical) have standards that members must comply with when it comes to their IT infrastructure. Can you imagine the litigation if a Legal Office or a Medical Practice IT system was compromised and sensitive information was released to the general public? I'm not going to go into details here of what is required because each professional body will have information packs available to members of the bare minimum that is required and what the recommended level of security is. Suffice to say that it is up to each business to ensure they not only have the necessary security measures in place but also have a copy of the requirements in an easy to access location for their IT Security Manager. At a bare minimum I would have all of what is listed in the previous 2 lists as well as:

Down to the nitty gritty

Most, not all, of the time computers get compromised they get compromised because the person using it has done something to enable it to be compromised. Alot of the time Social Engineering is used to get you, the user, to do something that allows malware, or hackers, to get into the system. Social Engineering plays on your fears, or desires, to get you to "click" on an advertisement, that doesn't look like an advertisement, or to add a free program to the program you are already downloading (which in itself you probably don't need but you want because others have it and it looks "cool"), or to give out potentially sensitive information (as shown in the food example discussed above). Social Engineering is well known, the latest and greatest fads are all socially engineered by professional marketers to get you, or your children to pester you, to buy something or do something you wouldn't normally do. At the shop you may lose a few $$$$$$, on a computer you can lose everything (including your identity).

Now that the very descriptive warning is out of the way the point of the lists above is to provide you with options to upgrade your security stance and limit potential damage. All the things listed above in the Absolute Basics list are easily done by the home computer user.

Idealy a certain level of redundancy (from a Scientific point of view) is required for security to work. Individuals have more than 1 copy of files that contain cherished memories so if 1 copy is lost (e.g. because of hard drive failure or Ransomware) another copy is still available. Business' have more than 1 server for the same job so that if 1 server breaks down the other can be used to keep the business operating. These are examples of redundancy. Redundancy requires planning. If you don't have a redundancy plan your security will not be up to the task you require of it.


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