Like it or not, the world’s biodiversity is diminishing. Fortunately, zoos are playing a greater role in preventing the extinction of species in nature—in effect, they have become firewalls against extinction. Zoos provide naturalistic habitats for animals that give the illusion of open access, but both the animals and the visitors are protected. Next-generation zoos are providing much more space both on and off the zoo property. By providing inspiration and enjoyment to its visitors, zoos are encouraging its visitors to become involved in the collective efforts to stop extinction.
Just like a zoo, an organization’s computer systems must have the right boundaries and protection. Typically, this starts where your internal computer network touches the Internet; and a device, appropriately called a firewall, is often put in place to protect the internal computer network from external threats. A strong firewall looks at each and every packet of information that passes through it to ensure that it was actually requested. So, if a hacker comes a knocking, the firewall looks at the request, recognizes that it was not requested by something or someone on the inside, and denies the request. Just as zoo visitors can't be right in the cages with the animals, you don’t want wide-open access to your systems. The IT Radix technical team feels that all businesses should have a firewall in place as one layer of overall security defenses.
Your security and protective measures should not and cannot stop at the front entrance (the firewall) to your network. Many businesses need its staff or others to have access to the information or programs on their internal computer system. In these cases, IT Radix often recommends creating a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection for someone on the outside of your computer network to gain access. Think of the VPN as your ticket to get into the zoo. VPN requires that the outside party (usually an employee) provide the correct security information (i.e., userid/password) in order to pass through the firewall (the front entrance). Once authorized by the VPN, you can access anything that you normally can. VPN does not elevate your internal computer network access, it is simply the ticket from the outside to the inside of your computer network and nothing more.
Your layers of security should not stop at the firewall. Just like at the zoo, users should not be permitted to roam everywhere. Organizations must think about where/what they want their users to have access to and put additional security measures in place to enforce them.
Need help with your network security? Give us a call today to ensure you’ve got the right measures in place to prevent your business’ extinction.
First published in our June 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter