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An Illustrated Guide for Building a Secure IT Environment

Posted by: MK CS Team
Category: Cyber Security

IT industry is a cluster of organizations that started from garages. Today these organizations are an integral part of our day to day lives. IT industry works behind the curtain to ensure all our data is transferred to our devices un-sniffed. These enterprises work round the corner safeguarding our interests and making net banking, online shopping, and online education available to us round the clock.

If not for the IT industry, the world would still be transacting manually and buying products from brick and mortar stores. Core banking, online shopping, and cloud computing are perhaps the marvels of the IT industry that has changed the world for better. Going forward Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Robotic Process Automation are expected to optimize our experiences and further simplify our lives.

Is the IT Industry Safe and Untouched from Hackers?

Information Technology is among the top 3 industries most affected by data breaches along with Healthcare and Public Sector organizations. Hackers go behind the IT and Healthcare industry because it provides them with access to data that can be used to hold individuals and organizations responsible and seek ransom in return.

The likes of Yahoo, Facebook, Quora, and Uber have suffered to the hands of hackers and lost money. Small organizations that function with a capacity of 1000-100,000 employees are most vulnerable because such breaches hardly make it to the news but 90% of them are shut within the six months of a data breach.

What is a Vivid Framework for a Secure IT Environment?

If there’s a problem then there has to be a solution. IT industry helped banks overcome their multi-branch banking problems and also ushered the healthcare industry into an era of robust and secure IT environment. Let’s discuss an ideal and secure IT environment that protects users, clients as well as employees from falling prey to challenges like phishing, triangulation fraud, and credit card fraud or decryption issues.

Secure Coding Practices

While compliances and certifications are designed to help IT industries built a safe working environment but nothing beats a team of IT professionals abiding by all the rules. Following secure coding practices diligently will protect all employees and their data from unauthorized access ensuring 100% safety from a breach at the organizational level.

Securing coding practice is a set of instructions that varies from companies to companies. Enterprises that deal with customers regularly will restrict access to users’ data but businesses that work in the B2B segment will encourage employees to study the partner organization and then formulate a selling plan.

A standard secure coding practice manual that will suit every enterprise must include:

  • Restriction to Server Areas: Restricting movement in zones where important data and servers are placed is a must. This one rule applies to all industries and segments irrespective of the size and reputation of the business.
  • Authorized Login: Letting only authorized personnel into varied departments is a must. Anyone from marketing shouldn’t move around with permission to log into the IT arena without any scrutiny. Restricting movement is perhaps the most important aspect of a secure IT environment because 33%of all breaches occur due to internal sabotages.

Compliances

An ideal Internet world was expected to solve problems and help people acquire services with great ease but in contemporary times, we are witnessing an Internet that is full of scams and hackers. Phishing, triangulation, and credential stuffing are the most common scams.

IT industry can overcome these challenges by fulfilling a set of compliances 

PCI DSS Compliance: Designed to safeguard cardholders’ data from unauthorized access, this compliance is managed by PCI DSS Council. The said council includes players like VISA, America Express, and MasterCard. Together these council member looks over the growing technologies and design frameworks to safeguard users’ card data.

In the recent past, IT industries have started leveraging online payment system to receive payment from their clients. Organizations that cater to businesses of all sizes are making the most of the online payment system to service clients. Online delivery of services helps IT organizations offer instant gratification to their client needs.

There are multiple webmasters and small organizations that ask these IT organizations to fix issues with their website or database and pay them online. To ensure that all such transactions are safe from unauthorized access and any triangulation fraud furnishing PCI DSS Compliance is necessary.

ISO Family: ISO Family is a set of certification that helps organizations of all reputation and sizes achieve the following:

Easier Third-Party Integration: Are you running an IT Company that often collaborates or integrates a third-party database with yours? If yes, getting ISO certified prepares you for easy integration. In the age of data breaches and online frauds, organizations are willing to collaborate with businesses that fulfill a certain level of security. Furnishing ISO Certification can smoothen the process of such integration because businesses trust ISO Certifications very much.

The requirement of Foreign Clients: Outsourcing businesses that originate from the US and European countries require businesses to furnish a level of security. ISO Family allows businesses to get over all such certification and compliance challenges. The varied ISO Certification ensures that organizations are functioning within the safety blanket without putting users’ data at risk. ISO is now a globally accepted certification and fulfilling it makes enterprises eligible for acquiring projects that occur in the US and European Countries.

Customers Trust it too: Governments from around the world run campaigns to enlighten citizens about the importance of ISO certification. The Indian government has spent crores in making customers aware of the importance of ISO Certification. Today customers from around the world look for ISO Certification when buying products or services. An IT company that offers such compliance will be the preferred choice of customers in the contemporary world.

GDPR Compliance: Any IT enterprise that sells service or product online needs to fulfill GDPR Compliance. What early started as compliance to safeguard data of European citizens is now a standard for online data protection. From 1st July 2019, Google made it compulsory for websites to fulfill GDPR requirements. Google also mentioned that failing to fulfill GDPR Compliance will invite search ranking penalties.

Final Thoughts

If a healthcare organization wants to maintain a secure IT environment, it will be required to fulfill HIPAA Compliance whereas e-commerce organizations are expected to abide by the 12 requirements of PCI DSS Compliance.

Compliance and Certifications make up for a huge part of a secure IT environment but nothing beats a team of employees that are always abiding by the rules and never putting their data at risk. All organizations must ensure that employees are well-trained and informed with secure coding practices. Restricting access with the use of a biometric system and maintaining a record of all granted accesses helps enterprise minimized hacks and attempts of data breaches.

 

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