Security Best Practices

What is a secure database?

A secure database prevents others from tampering with your recipients’ email addresses and related personal information.

How do I secure sensitive data stored and passed over the internet and network?

To secure sensitive data stored or passed over an internet or network connection, follow these industry best practices:
  • Enable reputable firewall hardware or software to protect your network.
  • Allow remote access only through secure networks, such as Virtual Private Networks.
  • Encrypt your wi-fi network, and hide its SSID; require a password for access.
  • Encrypt files as they are transmitted over networks.
  • Continually install and update security patches for your company's internal network.
  • Install and configure antivirus/malware protection software; update regularly.
  • Log and monitor significant computer and network security events, including password guessing attempts, hacking and virus incidents, and changes to system software.
  • Require strong passwords to access company information systems, including laptops, smartphones, networks, and accounts.

What are best practices for strong passwords?

To create strong passwords, follow these guidelines:
  • Require at least eight characters
  • Require the use of special characters (!, &, ?)
  • Limit similarity to previous, current, and future passwords
  • Limit password attempts
  • Force password changes every 60-90 days
  • Require numbers and the use of upper-case and lower-case letters

How do I keep physical data secure?

To keep secure sensitive physical data, follow these industry best practices:

  • Train your employees about your data security practices.
  • Document and post your policies, and review them with all stakeholders.
  • Limit access to sensitive information on a need-to-know basis.
  • Ask employees to only open attachments or download software from trusted sources.
  • When disposing of data, shred papers, and wipe out hard drives.
  • Install encryption on all devices that contain sensitive information.
  • Lock laptops when not attended, store files and removable storage devices containing sensitive information in a locked placed.

What is a secure system?

A secure system prevents malware from breaking into your infrastructure. It also prevents open proxies or relays to allow unauthorized content to be sent from your IPs.

How do I keep access to my servers secure?

Make sure access to your servers is on a need-to-have basis. To do this:
  • Share access to your outbound email server with as few people as possible.
  • Require strong passwords to access company information systems, including laptops, smartphones, networks, and accounts.
  • Use two-factor authentication where possible.

How do I configure my server to keep my systems secure?

To help keep your systems secure, configure them to do the following actions:
  • Check DNS-based blacklists (DNSBLs), and reject email from any domains or IPs listed.
  • Check Spam URI Real-time Block Lists (SURBL), and reject email from any messages containing invalid or malicious links.
  • Maintain a local blacklist: a blacklist of IPs that target you, specifically.
  • Keep total, simultaneous, and maximum connections to your SMTP server limited to prevent DoS attacks.
  • Configure your system to default to a second MX (mail exchanger record) for each domain, in case one fails.

What else do I need to do to keep my systems secure?

Along with the other best practices, do the following actions to keep your systems secure:
  • Remove unneeded server functionality by disabling any unnecessary default settings.
  • Continually install and update security patches for your company’s internal network.
  • Encrypt POP3 and IMAP authentication; use SSL and TLS.

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