1. Back Up Your Data

In today’s society, with numerous cloud services to choose from, backing up your data should be one of your top priorities. When was the last time you backed up your data? How much would you lose if your current hard drive crashed and you had to rely on your backed up data? Just think about that for a second. Backing up your data could mean the difference between continuing your day as if your hard drive or computer didn’t crash, or starting all over from scratch on everything you’ve accomplished in the last year…or more. Consider backing up on a daily basis.

Some Cloud Services we recommend are AWS, Microsoft Azure or HP Helion.

2. Activate Encryption for Wi-Fi

This seems like a no-brainer as no router in the last 10 years has come without encryption. It’s literally the most important thing you can do to secure your wireless network.

3. Run Antivirus Programs Regularly

Every PC or Desktop/Notebook today runs the risk of contracting a virus and you should have some sort of antivirus software program on a regular basis to ensure that the virus does not hijack your information or wipe out any of your data. We suggest you look into an antivirus program such as Barracuda, Check Point Software, Kaspersky Labs, McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro of Webroot Software.

4. Create Complex Long Passwords

The key to having a complex and robust password is to make it long and include letters, characters, punctuation and even emoticons. Complex passwords will decrease the likelihood that your account is hacked or destroyed.

5. Monitor Security

Consider contracting with a third-party vendor in order to monitor the security of your school or agency’s network. This will help mitigate the opportunity for internal security breaches. MRA International uses and highly suggests Barracuda security, but other great options include Check Point Software, Cisco, HPE or SonicWall.

6. Consider Encryption

Consider encrypting and password protecting all database backups in case your backup media is lost or stolen, it is still impossible for anyone without the password to access the data within it. You may even want to consider encrypting all database traffic in order to protect it from those who shouldn’t see it.

7. Secure Your Database Administrator

A database administrator typically has access to all data in the database and may include sensitive information such as salaries or social security numbers. You should choose a database administrator that you can place 100% trust in, and consider two different people for database administrator and security administrator so no one person has access to everything sensitive in your environment.

8. Plan for a Disaster

New Jersey is not void of natural disasters and with the threats of terrorism, planning for a disaster is only the right thing to do. Prioritize your database applications and decide how long you can afford to be without any of them, how will you temporarily replace them, and how much are you willing to spend to ensure continuous operations. There are now sophisticated technologies that can automatically kick in when your primary machine fails. You can also keep an exact copy of your database in another location to be used in case of power failure or communications failures.

9. Think Like a Hacker

Colleges and universities that prepare themselves by thinking like a hacker can prevent security breaches. In essence, administration of a school should be on the offense, and not just respond to potential threats. Just getting into the mindset that hackers are out there, and thinking through the what, how, and why can help prevent an attack on the network or database.

10. Back Up Your Data…Daily

Did we mention you should back up your database daily already?