Network and data security are two on-going challenges businesses are faced with, and in the workplace company data has never been more valuable. New threats are emerging all the time and businesses need to be in control of their security.

We now have online access to an abundance of information. The dark underside from this growing freedom is the unique openings it provides cyber-criminals, who are constantly evolving their methods and technologies to steal confidential data from individuals and organizations. Where previously the targets were large institutions, today hackers seek out all sorts of personal information.

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Safeguarding your private data can be a constant challenge and is becoming increasingly important. Today’s information technologies present us with countless ways to communicate and collaborate. We now have online access from practically any location on earth to colleagues, clients and partners, online shops, and banking services. However, this provides an opening for malware to infect your computers, by simply opening an e-mail attachment, or visiting the wrong website.

Good network security will prevent hackers from accessing a computer or network, and it will also keep information from being sent out from your computer without your knowledge, keeping personal information safe.

Network Security

Firewalls

A firewall is simply a program or hardware device that filters the information coming through the internet connection into your private network or computer system. If an incoming packet of information is flagged by the filters, it is not allowed through. Without a firewall in place, computers are directly accessible to anyone on the internet. A person who knows what he or she is doing can probe those computers, and try to make connections to them. Firewalls don’t prevent virus attacks but in some circumstances, they can stop viruses from sending information from an infected computer.

The firewall can implement security rules, and gives a company tremendous control over how people use the network. For example, one of the security rules inside the company might be: Out of the 20 computers inside this company, only one of them is permitted to receive public remote desktop traffic. Allow remote desktop connections only to that one computer and prevent them on all others.

A company can set up rules like this for Terminal Servers, Web Servers, individual PCs and so on. In addition, the company can control how employees connect to websites, whether files are allowed to leave the company over the network and so on.

Antivirus

Eliminate threats, and protect yourself from malicious programs, worms, hacker attacks, spyware and spam, without slowing your PC down.

Viruses can come in all forms and have characteristics. Some collect information, while others install malicious software, otherwise known as malware or spyware onto your computer. You can get one simply by using a peer to peer sharing program, opening an e-mail attachment, visiting the wrong website, or responding to a spoofed LinkedIn or Facebook request.

Many viruses are hard to detect. In fact, in many cases, you may not even know you have one. Spyware and Malware are both very good at disguising themselves and have evolved into serious threats. Many of today’s viruses have evolved to a point where they are capable of taking down large networks. They can gain access, slip in unnoticed and disable any security measures it may encounter. Just as it went unnoticed in the beginning, these viruses continue to go unnoticed for some time. And, worse, they can block or re-route outgoing web searches for removal methods, block you from visiting antivirus sites should you finally suspect a malware or spyware program.

Having virus protection is important, of course, but just as important as the virus protection itself, is keeping that program or application updated. Viruses, adware, spyware and malware are created and released into the wild every single day. Keeping those virus definitions programmed for daily updates and updated as quickly as possible, ensures that contamination is contained, and counters potential threats.

Content Filtering

Content filtering is the process of preventing access to certain items, which may be harmful or inappropriate if opened or accessed.

The most common items to filter are emails or websites. A content filter is a piece of hardware or software that acts a shield between the internet and a user’s computer, blocking access to potentially malicious or offensive material.

In a business environment for example, you may want to lock out internet access for a certain group of users, only allow it at certain times of the day, or block any sites which aren’t business related. You can also filter out unwanted emails, helping to stop your inbox filling with spam email messages.

Content filtering works by matching strings of characters. When the strings match, the content is not allowed through. Content filters are often part of internet firewalls, and in such scenario filtering is serving a security purpose, but content filtering is also used to implement company policies related to information system usage. For example, it’s common to filter websites containing inappropriate material or social-networking sites unrelated to work.

Most content filter manufacturers compile a list of sites they deem objectionable and classify them under different profiles, for example gambling sites, or social networking sites. These lists are editable, with more sites ‘blacklisted’ to stop access, or ’whitelisted’ if you know the material is safe. Access can be managed by giving groups of users’ different levels of access.

Antispam

Protect your business from damaging virus and spam attacks. We provide a hosted cloud-based email security service that protects email against the latest spam, viruses, worms, phishing and denial of service attacks. By not having to install software or deploy hardware onsite, your emails can start to be filtered in a matter of minutes. Users can access their own message log to deliver quarantined emails, or whitelist senders to ease the burden of administration.

Optimised IT provide us with an excellent service. They go the extra mile to give us an efficient, professional, dependable and personal service without any ‘techno babble’. We would highly recommend their services.

Trafford Leisure
Sale

Optimised IT set up our network to cater for the installation of our web booking system. They explained everything to us in a very clear and understandable way, and everything went very smoothly from start to finish. Their service is friendly, personable, and we would definitely recommend them.

Gymetc
Leyland

We have always found Optimised IT to be reliable, trustworthy, efficient and more importantly, always contactable. They are easy to deal with and explain terms which is very refreshing.

Hyde Park Corner
Hyde

Optimised IT are extremely efficient and capable IT consultants who respond promptly and diligently to all requests for assistance in a clear and jargon free manner, in an industry that is sadly full of expensive, poorly performing outfits. They are a great find and come highly recommended.

JD Doors
Winsford

We have always found Optimised IT to be a conscientious, highly competent company that has always shown determination to give the best support possible to the client. A great service that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Cool Logic (service) Ltd
Rochdale

We used Optimised IT Ltd to advise us on our network and their advice has greatly improved its performance. We found them helpful, efficient and friendly, and would have no problem recommending them to others.

Heywood Shepherd Chartered Accountants
Macclesfield