For most companies these days’ data is one of the most valuable parts of a business and if it’s lost or compromised, then quite simply there is no business left. Online security continues to be a regular topic in the media which regularly highlights the threat from viruses, malware and software security holes, making the internet seem like a constantly hostile environment. Here are five simple steps you can take to protect the information that drives your business. Not only will they protect your data from accidental or malicious losses they will also help improve how you access and manage your company data:
1.) Back up your data
It sounds obvious but it is critical to back up important data regularly and store extra copies of this data off site. Even more importantly ensure you regularly restore data from that backup to ensure it has worked correctly. Encrypting the backup is also recommended to prevent unauthorised access.
2.) Put regular checks in place
Create and enforce company policies that identify and restrict applications that can access your business networks. Monitor all network connected computers for signs of unauthorised entry or malicious activity. Ensure any infected computers are removed from the network and disinfected as soon as possible.
3.) Have numerous levels of security
It’s important to protect your business at all levels. Ensure security patches, antivirus and software upgrades are updated regularly, on all desktops, laptops and servers. Consider deploying a personal firewall to help control network traffic to any devices that have to access your network. Make sure you enable the security settings on Web browsers and disable file sharing.
4.) Keep up to date
There are many organisations that publish reports on current security threats and updates that help define the threat landscape for small businesses. These reports are easily found on websites and they are a great way to stay informed about what you’re up against.
5.) It’s not all virtual
Don’t forget that security is also about physically protecting your company data, and there are a number of routine physical security routines that can used to help strengthen your companies’ security. Examples of this would be:
- using the screen-locking feature when away from the computer;
- closing computers down when not in use for long periods of time;
- locking laptops;
- not leaving passwords written down, or if you have to locking them in a safe;
- being aware of mobile devices and laptops which are a popular target for theft.
Your Company data is critical in the modern world where everything is done electronically. What top tips and guidelines do you follow to secure your IT? If you’re one of those companies who don’t practice good security, what would it take to jolt you into action? – the loss of your business?