Protect your data: Top ten “need to know” tips
With breaches happening on an almost daily basis, it's critical to establish rules and processes to keep your data safe and secure. The following tips, designed to help you build a sustainable path towards data security, were inspired by the FTC.
Don’t Make Security an Afterthought
Think before you collect. Is it necessary and does it add value to capture personal, sensitive information from your customers and prospects? Or does it just open up additional risk? If you absolutely need to collect sensitive information, don’t hold on to it longer than necessary. Set an “end date” and follow through with securely destroying the info. Security shouldn’t be reactive but proactive.
Stay In Control
If you need to hold on to sensitive data (it’s a business must), then how do you keep it safe from prying eyes – both inside and outside your organisation? Answer: limit access. Does your summer intern need wide-open access to corporate IP to do her job? Probably not. Implement a system for periodically reviewing entitlements to ensure people only have access to the information they need. Your auditors will thank you.
Passwords and Authentication, Please
You’ve got sensitive data and want to keep it safe. Requiring complex passwords (by the way, “password” is NOT complex) that include multiple elements (caps, numbers, minimum characters) and changing them on a quarterly basis makes it hard for hackers. Even better: require two-factor authentication, disable access after a specific number of failed login attempts, and protect against authentication bypass to really “up” the proverbial ante.
Share It Securely
Sure, your internal network is secure. But what if you need to share your data outside the firewall? One way to do this securely is with a data file sync and share solution that works with your existing permissions and authentication infrastructure.
Who’s Knocking on Your Door?
Do you know who is accessing what computer at all times? Probably not. So protect yourself – and your sensitive data – in a separate, secure place on your network. Limit access. Even better, continuously monitor your file access activity with a solution that makes it easy to see and address suspicious, unusual behavior before it’s too late.
Isn’t telecommuting great? It allows employee freedom and increased productivity. But it can be a security nightmare. The key idea is to allow remote connections, but restrict the ability to re-login to other desktop and servers. We really want to make it difficult for hackers to leapfrog around your network. This can be accomplished by enhancing security of the Remote Desktop feature in Windows. You can read more about how to do it here.
Keep It Under Wraps
Is your organisation developing a hot new product or solution? Have you thought about how your customers will use it and whether it needs to be secure? Make sure your developers are up to scratch with Privacy by Design principles, and the latest best practices in safe coding. In addition, know thy platform security guidelines – no need to recreate the wheel. Finally, testing is key! While not every threat can be anticipated, testing for common vulnerabilities ensure security at the gate.
Who’s Got Your Back?
You probably work with service providers and other contractors. But do they share your passion for security? Make sure your standards are being met by including your security requirements (for example, encryption, two-factor authentication, data retention limits) in contracts and service-level agreements. Remember to stay active and always monitor your controls to ensure that your security expectations are followed and your users aren’t inadvertently exploited.
Make a Plan, Stan
You’re secure – for now. Unfortunately, security isn’t static and so to remain compliant you’ll need to stay on top of your systems and technology. This means making a plan that includes monitoring third party software, performing updates, and faithfully implementing patches. In addition, pay heed to security warnings and notifications! Develop an action plan! If a vulnerability has been exposed, be proactive and take the steps necessary to protect your data!
Network security is critical. But what about computer hardware, as well as paper files and all the miscellaneous stuff that makes up a typical office environment? Does your company have a security policy for the non-virtual world? Rule #1: keep important papers and other physical IP in a secure place (locked file cabinets, secured server rooms, etc.). Laptops should have secure-login and hardware-level password protection set. What about old computers, servers, tapes, and disk drives? What may appear as trash to you could be a gold mine to hackers.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.