Intranets are networks used exclusively for internal purposes, and are meant to give employees quick and easy access to commonly used resources and applications, such as communication tools, file sharing, HR information, research, and more. The video below compares the features of intranets and the internet.
Just like any other internet setting, intranets are vulnerable to a range of security risks, and there are some additional risks that they are exposed to. As such, it is crucial to understand the concept of intranet security, and the necessary steps that can be taken to ensure the network remains safe. What measures can be implemented to safeguard an intranet’s security?
Elucidate on the Idea of Securing an Intranet.
Contrary to popular belief, intranets are not entirely secure just because they operate within a private network in a company setting. Even employees with nefarious intentions can introduce potential dangers to the network. To prevent internal and external security threats ranging from security breaches, network security threats to malware from causing harm to the system, this article presents some of the best practices that can be implemented to secure the intranet.
Implement Expert-Recommended Security Measures for Your Intranet
Automated processes handle a significant portion of intranet security, but users are also accountable for ensuring the security of the network. To enhance the protection of the system, users should strictly adhere to the recommended security standards.
Passwords. Despite repeated cautionary advice from IT experts, many people still use weak passwords. To ensure the intranet passwords offer greater security, they should be at least 12 characters in length and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Secure authentication protocols. The utilisation of Lightweight Directory Access Protocols (LDAP), Active Directory (AD), and Single Sign-On (SSO) permits convenient centralisation of the authentication procedures and facilitates safe access to mobile devices.
Digital certificates and signatures. This technology enables operators to verify the identity of their users. The documents encrypted with digital signatures or certificates are highly secure and can only be accessed if both sender and recipient have the correct password.
Validating a business transaction. In the context of intranet security, authentication involves sending a written or digital message to confirm the genuineness and finalisation of a deal.
Enforce Stringent Regulations on Data Collection
It is crucial for intranet data to be visible to administrators who manage it. Employees must receive clear guidelines on what is acceptable to share online. Unauthorized dissemination of confidential information, inappropriate remarks, and malicious software can all disrupt the efficient operation of an intranet, thereby exposing it to potential security and liability problems. As such, it is vital to eliminate these applications to ensure the seamless running of the intranet.
Access control pertains to the process of identifying the specific individuals within an organisation who can access certain files. It is crucial that employees are only able to access information that is relevant to their role. A robust system for roles and permissions is necessary for implementing access control in your intranet platform.
Assigning individual team members to specific roles based on their responsibilities enables the appropriate privileges to be granted. This strategy also minimises the exposure of employees to irrelevant information.
To safeguard personal information and prevent potential legal ramifications for the organisation, managers should be granted restricted access to employee data. Misusing such data may lead to discrimination and must be avoided at any cost.
Encrypting documents in the browser can offer added security for sensitive data. This level of protection is critical when enabling employees to access confidential documents like pay slips, 401(k) statements, and medical records covered under their employer’s insurance. The browser settings must be adjusted appropriately to prevent the display of cached data.
Protect Electronic Devices
It is crucial to keep in mind that physical hardware stores digital assets, and it is equally important to secure this equipment against theft and unauthorized access. For instance, if a computer’s storage media like a hard disk or USB thumb drive is stolen, hackers may obtain confidential information and login credentials. Implementing video surveillance and access control systems is advisable to prevent unauthorised access.
Having the appropriate cyber security training in place is crucial for organisations to ensure that their employees efficiently utilise the established processes and procedures. Employees must comprehend the rationale for these systems and how to optimise them in their work environment. Password creation, secure login and logout, and the use of digital certificates are among the topics that should be included in the training curriculum.
The same security measures necessary for general cyber security, such as steering clear of links and attachments from unknown sources, not sharing login credentials, and verifying unfamiliar requests from people claiming to be company representatives or other authoritative figures, must also be applied to the intranet. To uphold these standards, appointing an IT staff member as a liaison to troubleshoot any problems and monitor progress between training sessions is advisable.
Sadly, several employees seem to lack excitement in improving their understanding of cyber security, including intranet security. If feasible, devise compelling and enjoyable methods to educate staff about these concerns, such as employing games or quizzes. Teams of employees could compete with one another to achieve the highest score. Interactive and continuous learning is most effective.
Post Organisation’s Intranet Policies
Creating a comprehensive manual is crucial to specify who is responsible for which tasks and how to implement the strategies effectively. The manual must take into account the safety of remote employees using the company intranet and any mobile devices linked to it. Additionally, it should outline the required procedures to handle a security breach and how to assess previous efforts in light of new threats.