As hackers develop sophisticated skills in accessing your data, every click of your mouse is leads you closer to danger. Your business’s IT security is all that’s protecting you from having your data stolen, and security is something that should already be included in your IT system’s support capabilities.
It’s only when you have suffered from a loss that you will really understand and appreciate how critical it is to have strong, up to date IT security. But if you can avoid a loss from the start, you may never have it cross your mind. Using IT support companies to handle your security is the safest option for maintaining an unbreakable security fort around your data. Out of sight, out of mind.
For those who prefer to have full sight and full mind on their data’s safety, there are 5 steps you should take to reduce the risk to your company.
From our experience, we believe that these steps will help bolster your IT systems support role and ensure you are covering some of the key areas you need to address to secure your business.
1. Security Policy
Good IT security begins with a reliable policy. Creating a strong security policy sets standards and guidelines for all users of your systems. By implementing this, you dictate the configuration of your overarching rules and regulations, leaving no room for errors or miscalculations. The result of this is a decrease in breaches against your company’s security, such as the DO’s and DONT’s for users, password lengths and standardise practises.
Without a security policy, you are allowing behaviours that can leave your business vulnerable to unauthorised access.
IT security starts with self-awareness. Ensuring critical data is always accessible is an essential step. Ask yourself hard questions and be honest with your budget and limitations.
- What data is critical to your operations?
- Which data can you not afford to be without for 24 hours or more?
Security is worth spending money and time on, so take this into consideration when deciding how you will protect your data.
You know your company best, and this information is key to how you handle your security. Take mitigating actions to protect your critical data is your best course of action.
- Where is the data located; on the premises, another office, on a cloud service?
- In the case of an emergency will you be able to access this data or will it be lost?
It’s important to have a system in place that ensures a speedy recovery of data and servers. Remember: this IT systems support policy needs to match your business’ tolerance level of accessibility.
3. Getting the Basics Right
This is important: You need secure systems.
Of all the steps, this one shouldn’t and can’t be ignored.
Having systems in place reduces the risk from viruses, worms, spyware and malware. All of which can have severe effects on your IT system.
- Malware/Virus Protection – antivirus software currently operating on your computer. They protect against malicious software entering and affecting your systems.
- Spam Protection – protects your emails and cloud services. It’s in place as a shield to stop malicious software before it reaches your Inbox.
Firewalls – block unwanted traffic to your business network and ensure any issues get contained and don’t spread. Ensuring your software and protection systems are regularly updated is critical. Malicious software is constantly evolving and improving; you need to keep up with protecting against it.
If you have equipment gathering dust and coughing up floppy disks in a corner somewhere- get rid of it, securely.
Remember to duplicate any information before you replace it.
Create a system that standardises the offloading of information when you replace devices to ensure that everyone knows the processes. This will prevent losing important data and time amongst your team.
Your mobile device is one of the most vulnerable pieces of technology you own. More and more people are using mobile to access business documents, email and applications. This can lead to some serious breaches in privacy as phones get lost often and are rarely up to date with security software. Management and control of the sensitive data stored on mobile must be a business priority.
Understand who shares sensitive information from their mobile devices and what that data is. Create procedures that protect both you and your client from theft.
What’s the takeaway?
Data security is a conversation that needs to happen with your IT manager.
- Prioritise your Security Policy.
- Your data needs to accessible under any and all circumstances. Being self-aware will help reduce the impact if an emergency does occur.
- Cover all bases, as a minimal action, with a combination of security software.
- Set up offloading systems to make disposal of old technology more efficient.
- Minimising the amount of sensitive data on your mobile device is important.
By following these 5 steps, your sensitive and private information will become more secure.
If you prefer to leave the security of your company up to an IT support company take a look at this guide “Choose the Right IT Support Company” to help you know what to look for.