IT Support and Information Technology Security
IT support services sell all sorts of products and services to businesses of all sizes. So how do you know which ones you really need and when you should they be used? Here’s a quick list of the top 10 most common things with a brief description of each one.
There are two types of IT support – hardware and software. One type provides hardware support such as network hardware, software support such as operating systems, hardware devices, routers, switches, security devices, and storage devices. The other type provides information technology or communications infrastructure such as email, intranet, firewall, switches, backup, data storage, LANs, and telephony infrastructures. If an information technology or communications infrastructure requires repair, then the IT tech support team would provide that service. For example, if a company needs to replace routers because they’ve been broken for a few months, they’d call on a hardware/software tech support team rather than calling an Information Technology Services (IT) support team who would provide a computer network support or a computer networking services.
Small companies often try to do too many functions at the same time. That’s why many information security or audit firms encourage their customers to only buy security or audit services when they’re called on for advice or help. However, an audit or security firm needs to be called on when a small company has its first information technology policy or when it has its first information technology systems deployed. So whether the company has just started deploying computers, is planning to deploy its first network, or is having trouble managing its new system, a security or audit firm needs to be called in.
Information technology departments can suffer a lot of damage, even if a company’s system fails, because it takes time for IT administrators to troubleshoot problems. As soon as a problem arises, there needs to be an assessment of what caused the problem, who in the IT department needs to be contacted, and what steps need to be taken to correct the problem. Not every IT department will always be on hand, so companies shouldn’t depend on their e-mail or electronic storage media backup systems to keep them fully operational when a system failure occurs. If a small company uses e-mail and electronic storage media as part of its Information Technology infrastructure, then it will be difficult and possibly impossible for a system administrator to reach all of the employees in the building at the same time, especially in cases of emergency or disaster.
Information technology departments at a university are faced with much more potential downtime than a home office because of the number of users. Information technology services provided by universities also have the added challenge of defending against intrusion attacks from other campuses, towns, or countries. A university may need to shut down its entire network because of a system failure, or it may need to change the way its information systems work in order to protect itself from external threats. It would be very unfortunate if a university lost a significant amount of data because it didn’t take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of a computer system failure.
Running a university requires a lot of maintenance and upgrading on its information systems. A school’s computer system can run for years without being upgraded, but there are instances where a school must update its operating systems. Although it would be nice if every school had automatic updates available, many schools have to schedule and manage their own upgrade schedules based on what operating system they use.
An information system is only as good as its physical security, which is why many computer systems administrators spend so much time improving physical security of the information systems themselves. Improper installation or configuration of a computer system can leave it vulnerable to an unauthorized third party. Physical security is even more important if the information system runs on a network, because it can be easy for an unauthorized person to cause a lot of damage to a network by compromising the physical security of the devices. Having a secure network means that an information system is less likely to be attacked by a hacker who wishes to infiltrate the network and take control of confidential information. Hacking can also affect other networked computers, so administrators need to make sure that any computers that will be in the network are also protected by a reliable firewall.
The right IT Support personnel can help a university to protect its most sensitive information. If there is ever a problem with a computer system that affects the network, the right IT Support personnel can help the university to resolve the issue. A school cannot afford to lose valuable data because it did not take the time to secure it against hackers. IT Support services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so schools should never be without help when dealing with IT issues. A school should always know that its IT policies are very important to the success of its educational programs.