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Production 201: Data Security

Mark Nichols Mark Nichols Director of Information Technology
Katherine Gouldin Katherine Gouldin Brand Communications Associate

In today’s digitally diversified data environment, coupled with our complex world, security can appear to be a large endeavor to build and integrate into an organization. Our world is filled with words like “cloud technology”, “Firewall” and “Ransomware” and organizations are now faced with ever changing business initiatives, technological advancements, and automation. Further, there is an ever-increasing pressure with clients and suppliers for highly efficient, and cost-effective results. So, what does Production Solutions do when “IT Security” looks massive? 

Well, it’s like the saying: Don’t look at the building, look at the bricks. Production Solutions takes protecting our client data very seriously.  

PS understands that having the required security measures in place (e.g. firewalls, antivirus protection, antispam systems) was not sufficient to meet the ever-growing and changing threats of cyber criminals. We had to create a security program that would elevate our security posture, be: systemic, all-encompassing, and integrated into the fabric of the organization. Therefore, PS spent 90 days creating a high-level strategy that would place our company on a never-ending journey designed to protect our client data now, and into the future. 

So, what did PS do? Here are some of the highlights: 

From a perimeter standpoint, PS only allows Secure FTP connects to our FTP site, PS increased email security to include Data Loss Prevention (DLP) scanning for Credit Card and Social Security information, we increased our secure email messaging requirements, we deployed web-security controls for company devices, and we employed encryption on all company devices.  

Internally, PS decreased our PII data storage reducing it down to 90-days, updated and increased our IT Security policies from three to 14 total, tighten access to central IT systems, implemented Multifactor Authentication (MFA) for email as a requirement, increased password requirements and built a risk committee composed of technical, management and executive staff.  

For the staff, PS increases security awareness through consistent education. We have regularly scheduled email security training, required yearly video training, and required IT policy review.  

From a physical layer, PS has increased our security monitoring in our office space and LAN room and implemented new requirements for visitors and guests.  

All these items facilitate the protection of client data from multiple levels now and can be expanded upon as PS grows and as our clients’ data traverses our network or is resident. 

This year, PS is headed even further in our passion to create a more secure environment for our client data through our IT Security Program. Items on the horizon are: implement a SEIM (24x7x365 security log monitoring and alerting for internal systems and end-staff devices), deploy Mobile Device Management (MDM), implement Multi Factor Authentication for all connections to our environment, and much, much more.  

Data security is a top priority for Production Solutions, and our clients should rest-assure we are making large investments into people, technology and structure to build a secure environment that is designed to be infinite. 

About the Author

Mark Nichols
Mark Nichols Director of Information Technology

Mark, our Director of IT, has been serving with PS since 2007.
Mark is from Fairfax, Virginia, and he telecommutes full-time
from Trinity, Florida. Mark enjoys spending time with his three
children, building and fixing almost anything, working on
classic cars, biking, watching sports, camping and watching
live comedy.
Mark has over 16 years of experience in IT consulting, and
working with various technologies, proposing, designing,
implementing, documenting and maintaining within the SMB
market space across the United States. Mark manages PS’
overall design, support and maintenance of internal
infrastructure and external service providers. He fosters a
learning environment with his work ethic and he promotes
value in all his work.

Katherine Gouldin
Katherine Gouldin Brand Communications Associate

Katherine is PS’ Brand Communications Associate and she has been serving with PS since 2019. Living in Great Falls, Virginia, Katherine loves writing and reading about self-improvement topics, practicing mindfulness meditation, trying international cuisines, and learning about people’s stories. Katherine is passionate about philosophy and spiritual development, she lived in Italy for five months, and she has been skydiving twice and highly recommends it!

Responsible for supporting and executing internal and external communications for PS, Katherine ensures consistent brand messaging and engagement. She supports PS leadership by writing the company Win Report and newsletters, gives a voice to the incredible work being accomplished at PS through blogs, manages social media and supports sales enablement activities. Katherine loves contributing to a mission that has purpose and makes a powerful impact.