Strong leadership, policies, and technology are important for thwarting attacks. However, It isn’t enough to focus on preventing hacks (Reduce your Firm’s Cyber Security Risks); you must stay vigilant and constantly check for the possibility that cybercriminals have breached the network despite all your preventive efforts. In most cases, that involves subscribing to tools that will periodically sweep your network and detect unauthorized intrusions.
This should be done at least on a quarterly basis, although many organizations feel more comfortable running them monthly or even more frequently. If a team member is adept with networks and security tools, he or she can run periodic checks. If not, it’s best to have this done for you by a professional IT provider.
There are several good suites of network security tools to choose from to help with this recurring task, at a variety of price points. Some are even free to use. Here are some of the more popular tools: Rapidfire Tools, Spiceworks, Solarwinds Network Topology Mapper, and HP Network Node Manager.
If none of these seem perfect for your firm, don’t despair. There are lots more similar suites that can provide the functionality your firm needs at a price you’re willing to pay. Consider working with a security expert to find the best fit for your specific needs.
Dealing with a Data Breach
No matter how prepared you are and how vigilantly you try to protect your data, a data breach incident may still occur. Knowing what to do when it happens can help limit the damage and keep a bad situation from becoming one that’s truly terrible. The first hour is the most critical, so it’s important that your organization have an incident response plan (IRP) in place beforehand. This should be a part of your security policy, and one that’s best formulated with the help of a security expert.
Tony Rushin, Vice President for Network 1 Consulting, has spent 30 years in high-technology sales & marketing, from IBM to start-ups. Network 1 is an IT support company in Atlanta that becomes – or augments – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. You can reach Tony at 404.997.7633 or firstname.lastname@example.org.