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Know How – Security Considerations For Your Business

15th July 2015

John Volanthen, HNS Technical Director discusses key security and business continuity considerations.

John Volanthen

With the growing and ongoing threat of cyberattack, viruses and bugs many businesses have been re-evaluating the security of their onsite servers and networks.

But security must not just relate to digital prevention. There are equally critical, often overlooked, physical factors to consider too:

· Buildings security – this can often be the weakest link of all. How secure is yours?
· Location of equipment – is it safe from flooding; free from being a potential fire hazard?
· Maintenance of the environment – are servers being sufficiently cooled and energy optimised?

For most businesses, security of data is only half the story. Business continuity is just as vital. Factors such as supply of power, network and environmental services need to be carefully considered, along with distributing information and server capacity in different physical locations.

A popular approach is to turn to the Cloud, however, unless implemented correctly to match specific business’s needs, this could be ineffective and will not ensure security or continuity of service. While the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of using cloud services is brilliant, it is easy to forget that these are often operated using commodity equipment and must be subject to the same best practices to ensure security and reliability.

Also it’s worth noting that your cloud based data could actually be stored on servers anywhere in the world and subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign government. Additionally, attempting to obtain support from a ‘Cloud’, especially during a crisis can often prove frustrating, as can transferring large volumes of data when required.

Whether your data is on your premises, in the Cloud or otherwise, a preventative security strategy is essential. This means knowing exactly where and how your data is secured, as well as knowing you or your service provider have the ability to recover seamlessly from disasters we all hope will never happen.

Taking an integrated and holistic approach to security will ensure both security of data AND its continuous availability. Be sure to include both physical security and access issues along with the more traditional concerns such as firewalls and intrusion detection.

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