With large company data centers being attacked, hacked and millions of sensitive records and files being stolen, and email boxes being filled with a steady stream of phishing attempts and scams, Internet hacking has made headlines recently.
Christopher Vlachos is an expert on data center security having implemented and managed data integrated centers for large hospital groups and major corporations.
“Some of these solutions require assistance from third parties but others are very simple and usually just require reminders added to your calendar” said Vlachos, “It doesn’t have to always be complicated.”
Here are Vlachos’ top five tips on keeping data centers secure that businesses of all sizes can learn from.
1.) Protect data centers from threats that cannot be stopped by other security devices
Firewalls are used to protect the data inside the firewall; unfortunately they cannot prevent brute force attacks from outside sources. Brute force attacks are coordinated attacks where multiple attempts are made by automated bots try to gain access at the same time. The bots will find a login page and try thousands of different combinations in order to gain entry. May login pages now incorporate a simple logout plug-in. If five unsuccessful attempts are made to log into an account, the account is frozen for a specific time period, perhaps an hour.
2.) Secure the availability of the most important asset: the data center services
It doesn’t matter how safe the data is inside the data center, website, cloud, etc., if users can’t access it because of online attacks, it is virtually useless. Redundancy at different locations becomes critical in order to ensure that your data is accessible and safe at all times.
3.) Protect the data center infrastructure and connectivity as well as customer services and data
Denial of Service attacks can occur at any time. A DoS attack is essentially a massive number of requests to access a server, servers or a data center. Microsoft’s Xbox servers and Sony’s Playstation servers were attacked on Christmas day leaving many frustrated gamers who were unable to play their new games. Now take the same scenario and apply it to business. Your provider can’t prevent this from occurring, they can however partner with Internet Service providers and Managed Security Service Providers to stop a large scale attack.
4.) Provide much needed visibility at the data center edge and inside data centers
Large data centers try to stay on top of these issues. Smaller businesses can address these issues by staying on top of simple housekeeping chores such as making sure that the platform used to manage and run your website is kept up to date with the latest versions. Some platforms will update themselves automatically while others require a manual upgrade which usually amounts to a few mouse clicks.
5.) Utilize Secure User ID’s & Passwords and Change them often
‘Admin’ is not a secure user ID. At the very least, an email address should be used as the user ID. Passwords should always include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Special characters are those found above the numbers and toward the right side of the keyboard. Change your password every 30 days and keep your password in a secure location. Whatever you do, don’t write it down and leave it on a Post it Note!
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