Security is Everyone’s Business

You’ve probably seen movies in which a spy moves silently through the dead of night, slipping through security cameras and laser beams to slide a USB flash drive into a computer in the center of a fortress. It’d be so much easier for companies to protect their data and customers if all they needed to do was invest in defending one computer from some caper, but IT security is far more often a semi-clever attack targeting your employees or partners through social espionage or cyberattacks.

The best encryption and a brilliant security team are extremely valuable to any company. However, developing training and protocols to empower EVERYONE who works at your company is mandatory to manage the very real security risks.

Everyone, really?

Yes, everyone is needed to protect data. Security breaches can often seem like no big deal until it’s too late. The angry, urgent call demanding that an administrative assistant provide the information on a printer is all that’s needed to get into a network without notice. Given enough time, the hacker can use the point of entry from the printer to work deeper into the network. Or someone coming into work might find a USB drive in the parking lot, put it in their computer to see if they can return it to the rightful owner, and end up infecting the whole network with a virus. If a company is interested in protecting its data, it’ll empower all its employees to protect the company.

Okay, fine—but how?

We’re so glad you asked. There are several things a company can do to empower its staff. Here are our top ten tips:

  1. Communicate with your staff about their responsibilities, accountability, and authority in their position. Empower all employees to act like owners over their space, data, and jobs.
  2. Provide organizational data to your staff. It’s important, especially in larger companies, that staff can see who works at their organization and who their bosses are. That way, staff members can verify requests and questions before giving out information.
  3. Trust your gut. Tell staff that if something seems weird, they should report it immediately. Situations that arise where an employee feels unnecessarily pressured or has someone new asking for something unusual can be flags indicating that someone is trying to get information they shouldn’t have. Encourage employees to trust their judgment.
  4. Create security protocols, share them with staff, and publish them somewhere accessible to everyone at your company. These protocols should have clear paths for each staff member to stop a possible attack and escalate the issue. In tech departments, this can be a challenge. No one ever wants the network to go down but trusting a tech to pause service and escalate to the security team is much better than losing banking or personal information.
  5. Train and test your staff. Provide information on ways they can take ownership in protecting the company. Have your security team run white hat challenges to see if retraining is needed to empower all employees to protect company data.
  6. If possible, provide corporate devices for employee work. A separate work phone keeps the network more secure and not subject to the emails and applications staff put on their personal devices.
  7. Teach and practice good technology management by keeping browsers updated and patching networks for known issues.
  8. Have a security team on hand or work with a security firm to assess and troubleshoot your current network setup.
  9. Encourage staff to be thoughtful about the email attachments they open or the links they follow from email.
  10. Practice like a breach is inevitable. This is one area where defense is the best offense. 

There isn’t much a company can do to prevent attacks, but there is a lot a company can do to empower its most valuable resource—its people. When we work as a team to secure the company, we can stop attacks or respond faster with better outcomes.


Leading the Charge in Environmentally Friendly Data

In the early 1980s, businesses were hopeful that office computers would decrease our dependence on paper. However, the quick processing time and the concerns regarding long-term data storage led to backing up more data on paper. By the 1990s, it was obvious that computing had improved a lot of things, but conserving paper wasn’t one of them. This situation reaffirmed an old truth about all innovations: despite our hopes for idealistic outcomes, every new idea comes with benefits and consequences.

That’s why we not only look for innovative approaches to environmental sustainability, we also test and refine our efforts to identify and minimize undesired consequences. Then, we take additional steps to make sure that these approaches are sustainable at scale for our users.

Here are some of our current approaches to providing environmentally sustainable technology.

To the clouds

Cloud computing has clear environmental benefits. Providing data centers that allow our users to share the most powerful servers available takes the financial burden off users and maximizes the usage of the servers. Fewer servers need to be made and less energy is taken up at each business. This increases your office’s computing capacity and allows us to work strategically to power our data centers through the most environmentally sustainable methods

Sustainable partnerships

Our data centers are all designed and built using thoroughly tested technological solutions that reduce waste and limit detrimental emissions. Currently, ten of those data centers are powered entirely by either solar or wind farms through our partnership with KinetEco, Inc. Another ten data centers are targeted to move to sustainable energy sources this year. Building and operating our data centers to be energy efficient has us on track to meet our 2030 environmental sustainability goal.

Power of machine learning

Red30 Tech machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms are elegant to say the least. We use them to analyze data, storage, and energy usage. So far, these algorithms have helped us change how we consume power and save 5% of our operational budget through implementing the suggestions. Furthermore, in a few of our buildings, we’ve installed smart devices that allow the machine learning and AI processes to act in real time. We should have the results of these studies to share in a white paper coming in Q4.

What’s to come

Right now, we’re doing more research into vendors that are developing recyclable technologies or technologies that don’t rely heavily on mining. This is a challenge, as most technology depends on rare earth elements that aren’t often found in large concentrations, which means extensive mining that impacts the abundance of nature. Today, that means we’re continuing to buy products that involve mining. We’re also continuing to support and perform research and development until we can find the right combination of materials and people to create the technology needed in the future.

We feel privileged to work with and for you to make environmentally sound technology choices. It’s through our business partnerships that we can pool our voices and push for the technology we and our planet deserve.