I love layers. It seems like a silly thing to say but imagine having to choose only one layer of clothing for an entire vacation. Or during the course of a Michigan winter what sheets to use on the bed? One week it’s sub-zero, the next it’s like May. Most importantly, think about a cake with no layers! Only one layer of frosting on my birthday cake, are you kidding me? They’re simple and often ignore, but layers play an important role in our everyday lives. It just so happens that layers play an important part in your IT security plan as well. Here’s how.

Physical security is the idea of putting your important data behind lock and key. Some offices have paper files and folders that are locked in cabinets when not in use. Similarly keeping your file servers and backup devices in a securely locked location is a great start to maintaining physical security.

User security addresses the requirement that each individual user has their own unique user name and password. Furthermore, options like two factor authentication requires the user to know a password, and have something (a key fob, cell phone, or email account) with which they can receive a code to authenticate with. You may have this configured on your AppleID, Gmail account, or other account. Additionally, changing a user password on a regular basis is a good way to maintain secure user accounts.

Disk encryption is a type of file security that puts a password on your data. As the end user you are not aware that encryption is present, but if you device was stolen and the thief tried to read your data they would be unable to do so without your encryption password. This is how many of the ransomware attacks operate. Using software they encrypt your data which keeps it “protected” from you until you restore from backup or pay the ransom.

Finally, network encryption keeps the bad guys away from your data by putting up a barrier of protection between your network and the Internet. This can be done using firewalls with built in security, by filtering DNS, or my co-workers favorite option of just unplugging from the Internet altogether.

Layers. Physical, User, Disk, and Network are all great layers of security to use individually, but when properly paired they can keep your network running safely and smoothly. If you don’t know, or haven’t asked lately what layers of security you have in place, please give us a call. We’d love to discuss security with you.

Author: Steve Van Dyk