Your IT Security and Access Control Checklist

Protecting your sensitive data

Do you know what to do when disaster strikes your network? If your answer is 'no,' then this blog post is for you. In it, we provide a basic IT security and access control checklist that will help keep your data safe and secure. We will also discuss advanced solutions that can give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your company's sensitive data.

First, let's cover the basics. This checklist will help you determine where your organization stands in securing your sensitive data.

✅ Avoid suspicious emails and websites that could be infected with malware.

Your company should have a written policy on malware/spyware mitigation that instructs employees on what to look for and avoid to prevent unwittingly putting your network or data at risk.

While your first line of defense should be a comprehensive cybersecurity solution, employees should be on the lookout for suspicious links and attachments and know how to do when they encounter one.

✅ Change your passwords regularly.

You've heard it before, but it still holds true - one of the best ways to protect your online accounts and sensitive data is to change your passwords regularly.

✅ Don't use the same password for multiple websites or online accounts.

As hard as it may be, not using the same password for multiple accounts will exponentially reduce your chances of being hacked.

✅ Create strong passwords for all of your accounts, including email and social media.

Choosing strong, hard-to-guess passwords is always the best way to prevent unauthorized access to applications and sensitive data files. Use a password management tool or check your password strength with a verified password strength checker.

✅ Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

Many online account platforms provide two-factor authentication, making it much more difficult for hackers to access your data. They can be set up for verification code by text on a mobile device or with a verification link sent via email. Take advantage of this feature whenever you can.

✅ Update your operating system and software versions as soon as new updates are available.

Most software, whether installed or cloud-based, has vulnerabilities that may give hackers access to your data. Software manufacturers frequently update their security functionality as new threats are discovered. Taking advantage of these pesky security updates can mean the difference between thwarting a cybercriminal or opening the door for him.

✅ Back up your data to avoid losing it in the event of a disaster or computer malfunction.

Backing up your data is one of your best defenses against data loss. Ideally, this would include replication to remote locations. If there is an equipment failure or other issue, the business will be able to rapidly recover all lost files and resume its operations without losing any time.

The frequency of your back-ups will determine the amount of data that is at risk. The more frequently data is backed up, the less data that is lost.

Back-ups can be performed manually or automatically. Automated managed solutions like Data Backup (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) take the burden off of you and help to minimize disruption to your business when disaster strikes.

✅ Install a firewall.

A firewall is a hardware device that protects against network attacks and is essential to any organization's security infrastructure. A firewall inspects incoming and outgoing data packets to ensure nothing malicious gets through the system. In addition, many firewalls allow administrators to create rules within the software for how traffic flows both inbound and outbound on a local area network (LAN). This helps organizations safeguard against unexpected or unauthorized access to critical data.

✅ Install security software on all of your devices.

To prevent data loss, businesses should use continuously updated security software. This includes software that can encrypt devices and remotely wipe them if they are lost or stolen. They should also have antivirus protection to protect their systems from viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware, worms, etc., which could cause more damage than just the loss of files.

The software should be able to block spam, which can clog up inboxes and cause delays in business communication. It should also have data loss prevention (DLP) to prevent employees from sending emails containing sensitive information outside the company network.

✅ Log out of public computers when not in use.

Another often overlooked security weakness is shared computer access. Many offices have shared devices that access sensitive data based on user login credentials. Allowing an unauthorized employee access to data immediately compromises that data and puts the organization at risk.

Public devices should be set up with limited functionality and access to sensitive data.

While one device can have multiple user profiles to control access, it is important to remember that a virus or malware will affect all users since viruses typically reside on the hard drive.

✅ Control access to your physical space.

While locking down your network and data is critical, controlling access to your facility is also a paramount concern. IT "closets" containing your network servers, switches, storage devices, and certain virtualization and management software need to be secured against unauthorized access.

You know how highly controlled the access is if you've ever been inside a large colocation data center. Security measures include physical barriers, intruder detection, surveillance cameras, 24/7 security guards, vehicle traps, and ID verification or biometrics. And that's just to get inside the building! Once inside, your access will be limited and monitored with your equipment rack located in a private, secured cage or room. All it takes is one person with unauthorized access and bad intent with a USB drive to bring down your entire operation.

Small businesses should treat their IT closets like a colo data center. Access should be limited to authorized employees and vendors in a locked location, ideally with surveillance cameras.

At a minimum, a real-time intrusion alarm system will alert key stakeholders to potential breaches to your equipment room.

Matrix-NDI Security & Access Control Solutions

Matrix-NDI offers advanced integrated solutions that are flexible and scalable as your business needs change. Our team is committed to helping our customers understand the technology available in today's marketplace and how these technologies can be utilized to manage incidents and safeguard your property and assets effectively.

Here is a list of the Security & Access Control Solutions that Matrix-NDI provides:

Access Control

  • Unified platform solutions
  • Third-party integration
  • Biometrics
  • Turnstile and Mantrap solutions
  • Visitor Management
  • Mobile Credentials
  • System design and audits

Video Surveillance

  • Video Management Solutions for four cameras to enterprise-level systems
  • Support for multiple IP camera solutions including HD, panoramic, multi-sensor, low-light, and license plate technologies
  • Mobile applications
  • Storage solutions
  • IP networks, including dedicated and wireless connectivity solutions

Intrusion Detection

  • Wired and wireless solutions
  • Integration with access control systems
  • Mobile device support

Give us a call today at 763.475.5500 or email us at to learn more about how affordable and easy securing your business data can be. We've got a full suite of solutions that will keep your business secure from the inside out!

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