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For years, business IT security used to be a simple proposition. Make sure there’s anti-virus protection on computers and that your work is done behind a firewall.

That is no longer the case. Today, hackers use increasingly sophisticated tools to gain access. From phishing emails to exposing website vulnerabilities, hackers have an extensive arsenal of tools at their disposal.

That means your business needs an equally complex layered approach to IT security. At each level, these protections will safeguard data and operations, ensuring that your company stays operational.

At Buffalo Computer Help, we hear from companies every week that have had data breached, systems hacked and websites held hostage until a ransom is paid. All of those companies have had firewalls and anti-virus software.

The layered approach requires having a trusted partner as your computer services company in Buffalo. With the right advice, guidance, and support you can have peace of mind knowing your systems are thoroughly protected. In the case of a breach or disaster, these solutions also ensure that your business can recover lost data and remain in operation.

Here’s a closer look at the layered security solution that will be best implemented with the right computer support in Buffalo.

Layer 1 — Device Level

For every device that’s connected to your IT network — desktop computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, servers, and routers — you need to start with comprehensive malware protection. Anti-virus, anti-Trojan and anti-phishing detection, which is automatically updated and scans continuously help to weed out threats at the ground level of your business.

But device-level protection also means monitoring connected devices. By analyzing behavioral events, such as what software programs are in use and what files are being accessed, you can detect suspicious behaviors and contain them.

Here are two examples of the types of activity that monitoring can detect.

One is mass encryption, a common practice for storing data locally and in the cloud. Hackers can steal the security tokens that are issued to users to access this data and steal information. Protecting and detecting these security keys is vital.

Another way to monitor devices is to look at folder access. Most organizations set access levels for shared folders and then provide authorized and authenticated users with a digital bridge allowing them to see and use data stored in those folders. When that access is co-opted, hackers can have a field day.

Layer 2: Network Level

Network-level security is the threat management of the overall corporate network. It begins with firewalls that surround your network perimeter, providing a defensive stance that blocks unauthorized external access to the network while allowing authorized inward and outward communication to continue.

Today’s firewalls are designed to offer deeper levels of security and include intrusion detection and prevention systems. Firewalls are also monitored, looking or odd network behaviors and patterns. By detecting and stopping this abnormal traffic, these systems can prevent your data from being accessed, stolen or compromised.

Layer 3: Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Disaster recovery and business continuity are related areas of cybersecurity but focus on different components. Both are intended to ensure business viability in the event of a natural disaster or a cyber attack.

Disaster recovery refers to the ability to access data that’s been compromised and is inaccessible by standard practices. It relies on data backups and storage. Cloud and colocation services are two common ways that companies store data offsite. That means companies need a partner to carefully plan out what data needs to be backed up and has redundant systems and locations where that data is stored. These solutions should also include a provider that has high-level physical and digital security to ensure your data is protected.

Business continuity is the plans, procedures, and strategies deployed to ensure that in the case of disaster, the business can continue operating during or shortly thereafter. Continuity planning includes prioritizing data and systems, having personnel who have trained for and are prepared to execute business continuity plans, and providing the right guidelines that will be followed.

Layer 4: Employee Education

Most hacks are the result of unintended user actions. An employee shares a password on a compromised website or opens an attachment they think is coming from a colleague or partner. Instead, these actions unlock the door for a hacker to gain access.

That’s why employee education is so critical. They need to understand the policies around data use and systems, the security procedures that are in place, and most critically, how to identify suspicious activity, flag it and pass it on to an IT professional for an inspection.

This comprehensive layered approach gives your network and users the best chance of preventing cyber attacks and responding promptly and appropriately. Buffalo Computer Help assists companies with the assessment, design, and deployment of layered security systems throughout Western New York. To see how Buffalo Computer Help can keep your data safe, contact us today.

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