By JEFF ROCHE
Orlando Medical News is pleased to present this first in a series of answers to questions from readers dealing with IT issues in the workplace. We encourage readers to send questions they face in everyday practice. Use the subject "IT Q&A" and send to firstname.lastname@example.org Questions selected for inclusion in the October edition will receive a complimentary 300 x 600 pixel ad with animated gif on our website.
What types of things should I be concerned with when it comes to our office technology?
The number one concern businesses should have regarding their IT is not performance, or having the latest equipment - it's security! Having a secure network is crucial to protecting your clients, patients and the integrity of your information system. There are also several regulations (i.e. HIPAA, GLBA) that require a specific level of security, so not only is it crucial for protection purposes, it's a requirement!
How do I know if my network is secure?
This is a tough question to answer on paper. If someone came into your practice asking if they had a broken leg, you typically wouldn't just look at the leg and declare, "Yep! It's broken," you would do further imaging, and tests to make sure your diagnosis was correct. It's the same with knowing your network is secure. There are tests an IT professional can run to rank the security of your network, and pinpoint vulnerabilities. Every network is different and in order to accurately test the security of your network, it is important the IT professional gets to know the layout and functionality of your infrastructure.
What kind of steps can I take to secure my network?
A good start is having a firewall, which helps protect your network at its source of connection to the outside world. Another way is to make sure secure areas stay secure. What I mean by this is how often have you seen employees with a Post-it note on their monitor with their password on it, or a password list on a notepad in their desk. Don't do that. There are many additional steps you can take, however, the steps that are actually necessary depend on the size of your network, whether any employees work remotely, and the type of business you conduct. The best way to figure out what you should do is to contact an IT professional who will know if there are any network security policies or regulations pertaining to your type of business you must adhere to, analyze your network and identify any weak points and make recommendations to remedy the situation.
Jeff Roche is Vice President of Sales for Innovative Network Solutions in Orlando providing IT Support, Web Development and Equipment Sales for a variety of industries. He can be reached at email@example.com or www.insflorida.com