Author: Benny Mansfield
March 22, 2018
With hacks appearing more and more common worldwide, data security has become an important area of concern for business owners. When we consider how much data we store virtually, including financial records and client information, it’s easy to see how one breach can cause serious damage to a business.
With a few simple steps, organisations can dramatically reduce the risk of becoming a target for hackers.
Strong and secure passwords within your organisation should be the first line of defence against an attack. Not only is it one of the easiest ways to strengthen your security, it also won’t cost you a penny!
Introducing password policies for staff will encourage them to create good habits when it comes to ensuring their devices are secure. We recommend using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols and should be no shorter than 8 characters. Avoid using any personal information such as a birth date and using common words spelt backwards. We also suggest that passwords are changed at least every 90 days, but should be changed more often where your data is highly sensitive.
Implementing both Antivirus and Anti-Malware systems are vital to any business. It is important to ensure you have both systems working in order to prevent attacks from both modern and legacy threats.
A Firewall will protect your network by monitoring and control incoming and outgoing network traffic. A Firewall will prevent access to unauthorised internet users by blocking those that do not meet the specified security criteria.
Updating and maintaining your software will not only increase security but can also reduce costs. Typically, more recent versions of software are better at guarding against threats which would have been present in previous versions. Increased security will reduce the risk of downtime for employees. Lost data can take time to recover which can affect customer loyalty and staff morale.
We all know how important data is to the smooth running of an organisation – So why wouldn’t you keep is safe? Simply put, backing up your data will make a copy of it so it can be used if the original copy is lost. Now there’s no point in backing up once or twice a year- Your systems and data should be backed up regularly so that the ‘copy data’ is as up-to-date as possible.
Portable devices such as laptops and phones can cause BIG problems for business owners as they are at a much higher risk of being lost or stolen. Therefore, it is important to take steps to protect your sensitive data. Must-haves include encryption software, password protection and remote wiping. Training staff on how to keep their devices secure can also make a big difference.
There is a lot of value in ensuring your teams are following best practice when it comes to your organisations IT security. Offering and encouraging training as well as enforcing policies will go a long way n reducing the risk of a breach or attack.
Implementing regular Penetration Testing will identify any weaknesses in your organisation’s IT systems that could be exploited by attackers. Making these tests a part of your ongoing security plans will reduce the risk from emerging threats or new vulnerabilities, and should be carried our whenever your organisation makes changes to your systems.