As your business grows, so does the threat of security breaches compromising your company’s IT systems. For any business, large or small, IT security should always be placed at the forefront of importance. For many businesses, an IT security breach can practically shut a company down for a period of time, sometimes costing millions in repairs, maintenance and lost profits. Review your company’s IT security policies on a regular basis and always have a contingency plan just in case anything bad happens. Consider the following tips for running safe IT systems in your company.
Tip #1 – Educate Your Staff and Enforce Stringent Security Policies
Your staff should be trained to always take security extremely seriously, particularly when it comes to the company’s IT systems. In many cases, it is the negligence of a member of staff, often one who is not familiar with IT security, which opens up the path to a potentially devastating security breach. Always stress the importance of avoiding information leak and see that proper monitoring systems are in place to ensure that your company’s employees are using IT resources appropriately.
Tip #2 – Use Reliable Security Software
Gone are the days when computer viruses, usually designed for the sole reason of causing disruption rather than fraud, were the main threat in IT security systems. These days, there are many other threats too, many of them designed to allow a hacker access to financial and personal information. Security software should be in place on every computer and mobile device used in your company. Good security software provides many features such as real-time malware monitoring, email attachment scanning and much more. To get the most out of your security software, however, it should always be kept up to date. For best results, configure the software to take care of this automatically.
Tip #3 – Use Strong Passwords
Whether it is for a company email account, an online banking account or anything else which requires a user name and password to log in, always enforce a strict password policy in your company. Short passwords containing only letters, or, even worse, whole words, are easy to crack using a variety of methods. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Also, a password which contains a greater variety of characters such as numbers and symbols is even more secure. Alphanumeric passwords of ten or more characters are often impossible to crack within a human lifetime.
Tip #4 – Know What You Need to Protect
Make an inventory of all of the computers and devices in your company which you need to protect. You should always know exactly where sensitive data is stored and take the necessary precautions. Some of the most often overlooked items are mobile devices used by employees. In many cases, these contain sensitive information which is easily accessible to anyone who has the device since most people don’t use password protection on such devices. With the relatively high risk of theft when it comes to mobile devices, it is easy to see why this is a potential problem.
Tip #5 – Always Have a Contingency Plan
No matter how well you take care of your company’s IT security systems – the threat of a security breach will always be there, even if relatively small. For this reason, always keep backups of important data using reliable media which is protected with limited access rights. Having a plan in the event of a security disaster can help you to avoid a lot of trouble later on. Always test your backup systems and their secureness regularly.