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6 Steps To Follow To Keep Your Architectural Firm’s IT Secure

6 Steps To Follow

File storage and easy access to the massive amounts of data created by architectural firms can make managing and securing technology infrastructures a challenge. Keeping security patches updated on your servers, local drives and software, file storage backup solutions and ensuring that you’re always sharing information securely are just a few of the ways that you can keep your data secure. Here we talk about these and other steps you can take to secure your data.

1. Apply Software Updates and Patches In a Timely Fashion.

One of the most common ways that cybercriminals get into a network is through loopholes in popular software, applications, and programs. If you don’t install security patches and updates, your IT system will be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Despite how advanced modern software is, it’s still designed by humans, and the fact is that humans make mistakes. Due to this, much of the software you rely on to get work done every day could contain flaws that leave you vulnerable to security breaches.

Many of the most common malware and viruses used by cybercriminals today are based on exploiting those programming flaws. Hackers look for security flaws in software to exploit. They write codes to target software vulnerabilities. An exploit can infect your computer without your knowledge. It can steal data on your device or allow the attacker to gain control over your computer and encrypt your files.

To address this, developers regularly release software patches and updates to fix those flaws and protect users. This is why all of your systems and software, including networking equipment, should be updated in a timely fashion as patches and firmware upgrades become available.

Your IT service company should have a strong familiarity with some of the key software suites utilized by architects such as Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp and Photoshop. Adobe specifically pushes updates on a fairly regular basis, and they can work with you to be sure that you’re not unintentionally allowing a vulnerability by skipping an update or a patch.

Also, be sure to use automatic updating services whenever possible, especially for security systems such as anti-malware applications, web filtering tools and intrusion prevention systems. Depending on your managed service level, your IT service company can automatically apply patches for you, and proactively let you know when they’re available.

2. Use Business Continuity and Backup Solutions.

When you’re working with thousands of details on a large project, the need for both immediate and long-term backups is critical. Losing even a day’s worth of work would be practically impossible to reconstruct accurately.

Your IT company should work closely with your team to develop a hybrid cloud solution that includes a local backup plus a redundant cloud backup to protect against onsite loss as well.

Backup & Disaster Recovery or BDR protects your data to ensure business continuity. It’s your IT company’s responsibility to prepare your IT for a disaster, which can come in the form of a natural occurrence or when a hacker gets access to your data.

BDR requirements vary from business to business. But there are 5 key features that any architectural firm should look for:

1. Hardware Compatibility. Your BDR Solution should offer the compatibility you need across all of your appliances. It should also provide flexibility for your users.

2. 24×7 Technical Support. Disasters occur at any time of the day or night. So you need a BDR solution that’s backed by a provider who will be there for you no matter what time of day or day of the week it is.

3. Redundancy In The Cloud. You need more than just a backup on site. If you can’t get into your office, then you can’t access your backup. Your BDR solution should leverage the Cloud for additional security and recoverability. It must have the capability to keep things running when disaster strikes.

4. Proven Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Downtime is costly. So it’s critical that you can recover your data quickly and easily. Look for an IT provider who can promise that RTOs are measured in minutes, not hours or days.

5. Is a Cost-Effective BDR Solution & Meets Your Changing Requirements. You have to watch every dollar you spend. Your IT support company should keep this in mind. The BDR Solution they provide should meet your needs while not breaking the bank. And look for a provider who can scale your BDR Solution to meet your changing requirements.

3. Enforce Strong Password Control.

Passwords remain a go-to tool for protecting your data, applications, and computer devices. They also remain a common cybersecurity weakness because of the careless way some employees go about trying to remember their login information.

Despite the fact that passwords are the most direct way to access a user’s private information, most passwords in use today are simply not strong or complex enough.

Weak passwords are easy to compromise, and if that’s all that stands between your architectural data in the Cloud and in applications, you could be at serious risk for a catastrophic breach.

Make sure that your employees are using unique and complex passwords to access your accounts. They should use passwords that:

  • Are at least 8 characters long.
  • Include a number and a symbol.

One of the best ways to maintain complex passwords is with a password manager. Password managers are the key to keeping your passwords secure.

A password manager generates, keeps track of and retrieves complex and long passwords for you to protect your vital online information. It also remembers your PINS, credit card numbers and three-digit CVV codes if you choose this option.

Plus, it provides answers to security questions for you and your employees. All of this is done with strong encryption that makes it difficult for hackers to decipher.

4. Use Secure Collaboration Tools.

Architects have an incredibly fluid flow of business, so sharing data and drawings back and forth with your clients must be seamless, painless, and secure.

Your IT provider should offer a range of different options, including Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox for Business and other secure cloud-based file storage options.

They should listen as you describe your flow of business before making a recommendation on a specific technology platform that will meet your requirements and security needs both now and in the future.

5. Secure Remote Access Into Your Network With A VPN.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) will encrypt data to keep your network secure. This encrypted connection helps to ensure that your sensitive data is safely transmitted.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts data channels so your users can remotely access your IT infrastructure via the Internet. It allows your users to conduct work remotely while preventing unauthorized people from accessing their traffic.

A VPN works by encrypting data at the sending end and decrypting it at the receiving end. Essentially, data is sent through a “tunnel” that can’t be entered without the right encryption. It provides secure remote access for things like files, databases, printers and IT assets that are connected to your network.

6. Look For An IT Provider Who Specializes In Cybersecurity For Architects.

Look for a technology services provider who specializes in IT security solutions for architectural firms. This gives you the expertise you need to keep your data safe.

Make sure that they understand the regulations that your firm must comply with. When you work with an IT company that specializes in your field, you can expect more effective solutions, along with services that are customized for your needs.

Working with BIOS Technologies means you’re always a phone call away from a technology professional who understands what architectural firms require. And depending on your level of service, we will actively monitor your network for signs of an infiltration or malware attack. From encrypted email to robust anti-virus software, we have your security needs covered.

We hope you found this helpful. Check out these articles to learn more:

Your macOS Is Under Attack: 2019’s Biggest Malware Threats

Data Security is Vital to Reducing Business Risk

Ransomware’s Cruel Greed: Proven Security Protects Your Business

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