Computer security services and your business

Computer security services are an essential requirement for businesses today. Every business in the developed world uses computers, and most of them are connected to the Internet. However, this technological revolution brings with it its own problems in terms of information security: there are threats from the outside (hackers), from the inside (accidental or intentional misuse) and from natural hazards (fire, power outages, etc.). For the first time, many companies therefore have to make use of EDP security services from specialized providers.

There are four general types of computer and network security services. Every business owner or manager should analyze their information security needs in relation to these four areas to get a clear idea of ​​what kind of specialized service is needed.

• Computer Security Consulting Services: An information security consultant will review your organization’s existing security arrangements (if any) and offer advice and recommendations for you to implement. The security company is only hired for a short time and the result is a written report, possibly also an oral presentation of the results.

• Security Management: With a longer-term agreement, the consultancy can also implement and manage security systems on your behalf. This can be done in two ways: either the company provides an interim manager for a defined period of time, or you outsource the ongoing safety management part-time to them for a significantly longer period of time. In any case, your company will benefit from technical expertise and at the same time avoid the considerable costs of a permanent full-time position.

• Security testing: From time to time, independent testing of your organization’s information security management system will be required. This can be done by hiring external security testing services. There are different types of testing services as follows:

a) Penetration testing of a computer network and network devices, including wireless networks.

b) Application testing of web-based or other applications (e.g. mail server, FTP server, etc.).

c) PCI DSS scanning by an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) to demonstrate compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

d) External auditing (possibly against the ISO 27001 standard for information security): This is particularly important for companies wishing to be certified against an official standard.

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• Vendor-specific security services: Most companies use Microsoft Windows software, and some run Active Directory on their own servers. There are many computer security service providers that can help you make the most of the existing security features of this software to avoid the expense of purchasing other software for this purpose.

Of course, there is a very wide range of computer security services, and it is important to be clear about your organization’s needs for one or more of these service types. A larger company will be able to cover at least some of these areas with its own staff, but smaller companies may need to outsource their computer security service needs to specialized organizations. In any case, the person responsible for the information security of your company should ensure that all IT security services comply with industry best practices and current international standards where appropriate.