Using IT Protection In Your Business
There are dozens of different business IT services available, with specific offerings varying by company. Many of these services are crucial for running a business today, but you may not think initially about how they can assist with your protection and security, or in some cases compromise the same. While there is no way to make your company completely impenetrable, there are some specific ways to use IT protection in your business to make it less likely that you will be hacked or infected with malware.
Here are a few of the most common ways to protect your business.
Firewalls and Security Management
The first step in securing your business is to reduce the risk from outside threats by enabling security measures that protect you IT systems from intrusion. A firewall is a software application that acts as a shield between your IT systems and the outside world, monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic and blocking threats. Firewalls are preventative measures that focus on keeping malicious threats outside of your network.
In contrast to firewalls which prevent outside intrusion to you IT system, anti-virus software works at the file level and regularly monitors activity and scans for threats from data resident on your servers and workstations. Anti-virus software is particularly effective at managing threats from SPAM and malicious email attachments as well as end user introduced files from portable media sources like USB drives. Anti-virus software is only effective if virus definitions are regularly updated so be certain that your software automatically updates.
Anti-virus software has some limitations in detecting malicious attacks like trojan horse viruses that arrive on otherwise innocuous software and ransomware. Anti-malware applications regularly scan file to detect and isolate threats that may have entered your data systems.
Phreedom regularly recommends a layered approach to security for our clients including firewalls, anti-virus and anti-malware solutions to provide the fullest possible protection. If you have only one of those installed, you may be a risk.
“The Cloud” is all the rage today and for good reason – it reduces the dependency and uncertainty of hard IT infrastructure and makes data accessible anywhere. For small and mid-size businesses, cloud computing can often be the most secure way to keep data stored since it leverages expert security solutions from the cloud provider. Effectively using cloud computing though requires support from IT staff who understand the updates, security concerns and implementation of the cloud for storage use.
Everything from social security numbers to employee identification numbers, credit card information and bank account numbers have been stolen by cyber criminals. This can lead to major issues, including identity fraud. When you have information that needs to be secure, it’s best to encrypt it before it hits your system. Using full disc encryption can also offer protection when it comes to third-party access. Importantly, an effective data encoding solution takes only a moment, so you won’t slow down any work.
Upgrade Operating Systems
Whether you use Windows, Apple or Linux, you should make sure they are upgraded at regular intervals. Keeping your operating systems updated today is fairly supported by automatic updates. Not all software updates are stable when first introduced though, so rather than automatically upgrading software at first availability many businesses find that a supervised approach to updates may be a more effective solution. Your IT support team should provide guidance and oversight on upgrades to ensure that systems are up to date without compromising stability.
Small and medium size businesses frequently overlook the importance of regular data backups until it is too late. As a normal course of business, your data should be backed up and stored in a secure location separate from your operation to ensure availability in the event disaster strikes. Offsite storage on external drives, remote server stores and cloud storage are all available ways to store your backup data securely. Many companies also ensure redundancy in data stores as extra protection, with multiple copies stored in multiple locations. Talk with your IT team about the backup practices in place in your business to ensure you are protected.
When it comes to protecting your business, you need to be covered on all fronts. Implementing some of the tips above will make you stand above the rest. You’ll have less to worry about in the future, which will provide everyone with a dose of peace of mind