For small business owners just starting out, or medium-sized companies growing at a rapid pace, the thought of having to create or improve your IT infrastructure can seem daunting. It may feel even more impossible when you begin to think about how to secure your IT network.

But building a secure infrastructure isn’t really as hard as you’d think. It’s as much about what you want security to look like within your business, as it is the technology and software used to get you there.

Streamlining Processes and Procedures

What good will the best equipment in the world do if your business’ processes and procedures for data security lack cohesion and transparency?

All too often, companies have several different policies and practices for data security depending on the department. For example, Human Resources may secure its data one way, while Finance does it another, and IT yet another.

That helter skelter approach will only confuse things in the event of a real security incident or audit. Even if there hasn’t been an issue with your data, the mere appearance of disorganization could raise security concerns.

At ZZ Servers, we have one security policy and apply that to our entire IT infrastructure. We have the same controls for any employee, any server and any work station across the entire company.

The key to creating a secure infrastructure begins with building policies that focus on common goals for protecting data regardless of the department. Transparency and a consistent approach are key to crafting such policies.

How you model and mold those policies defines how you secure your infrastructure. Once you know what security looks like for your business, then your attention can turn to determining the best technology to help you achieve those goals.

How you use your infrastructure matters

The size of a business will decide details such as how many work stations, servers, programs and logins a company will need. Most IT equipment and infrastructure is about the same. It’s how a business puts that infrastructure to use that matters.

Commercial service software and web service software such as OSSEC (Open Source SECurity) on every work station desk top, lap top etc., can help monitor file logs on all devices through the same platform. Splunk can offer similar support for data logs to any business.

Splunk and OSSEC can even be programmed to interface with each other to support common usage and reduce security complexities within a network. That makes it easier to monitor file and data logs across the different programs. The challenge is, depending on the vendor, not all software can interface with each other. Companies like ZZ Servers can help manage such software, either by integrating them together or creating reports under one silo, for businesses to track seamlessly.

For businesses with 10-15 servers – or more – outsourcing infrastructure security and data monitoring can help streamline information and reduce the tasks of an internal IT department down to one feed for security details. Even for smaller companies with only three or four servers, having that type of support can be worth the extra cost.

An outside IT firm can help maximize security features and reduce overall complexity. That will allow your IT team to focus on the business of running your business.

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