Securing your Business

These days you have to make sure that your business machinery is protected against the many threats in the online environment.  Laptops, tablets, and better smartphones are making small businesses more productive than ever before.  But with these new devices comes the possibility for criminals to infiltrate account information, financial information, social media accounts, and other things whereby they can get control of important information and even your money.

In this article we’ll look at some of the best ways you can protect your small business from the internet security threats around today.

Tip No. 1: Spring Clean Your Equipment

Your computers, tablets, and laptops must have the best and latest upgrades of security software, the most up to date operating systems, and the latest web browsers.  Just doing these tasks will ensure that viruses, adware, malware, and a lot of the online threats can’t get into your network.  As soon as new updates are released, make sure they are updated and run scans after updates too.

Top Tip No. 2: Train People in Security

Ensure that all of your staff understand the best practice security standards that you expect of them.  They should create strong passwords with different characters, cases, numbers, and symbols, and they should only utilize certain resources online.  They should stay clear of those that pose a risk to your network and you should have policies and penalties for violation of the rules.  Ensure that everything is clear and transparent.

Top No. 3: Secure Your Networks

Wi-Fi’s is commonplace in the business world these days.  Ensure that it is encrypted and isn’t an open network.  Ensure that your router is password protected and you’ll reduce threats.

Tip No. 4: Utilize Firewall Security

A firewall can stop intruders getting access to your network.  Install it, enable it, and make sure it is up to date with the latest threats.  It’s also important that remote workers that access your network or utilize their own systems with important information have firewalls as well.

Tip No. 5: Plan for Mobiles

Mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads are also at risk of security attacks.  If they have important and confidential information on them, then they should have passwords encryption, security applications, and all the good things that you should put on your PCs.  Don’t forget them, treat them as important devices that can pose a threat.  They’re also more at risk of being stolen or simply mislaid and therefore you should have policies in place for your business to ensure that mishaps don’t cause financial or legal implications.

Tip No. 6: Back Up Data and Business Information

Ensure that all your documents, spreadsheets, accounts, files, invoices, plans, and documents are backed up regularly.  If possible have the backups done automatically.

Tip No. 7: Have Restricted Access for Certain users

It’s possible to restrict access to certain areas of your business by having administrative privileges granted to different staff.  It may be that some staff may access certain bits of information but not others and a decent IT team will be able to ensure that the privileges are correct for the level of activity the individuals in your organization are engaging in.

Tip No. 8: Ensure Payment Systems are Protected

By having a clear relationship and policies regarding credit card processing and banking, you’ll be able to ensure that you have the right tools and anti-fraud policies to secure your business.  There’s nothing damaging to a business than financial irregularities even if they are not your fault.  Ensure that there are clear policies that are understood throughout the business.  Make sure that security is tight and develop knowledge within your organization in the IT and risk management functions.

Tip No. 9: Restrict Installation Privileges

Not every individual should be allowed to install new applications on devices within your business.  Have specific people that are tasked with completing this function so that you ensure you get the safest applications in terms of threat to your business.

Tip No. 10: Be Strict on Password Development

Ensure that employees do actually utilize passwords that are strong and enforce the changing of these passwords ever two to three months.  Weak passwords are a fast way into your network and your business so ensure that you take them seriously.

So there you have it, ten ways you can make your small business more secure.  Ensure that you take your data information and finances seriously by adapting stringent security protocols.

Remember that you should always be prepared for threats and should ensure that the information related to your company and your clients should be well protected. It can be seen as negligence if the information falls into the wrong hands and this could lead to some pretty unpleasant legal consequences.

For certain industries the protection of data is more important than others. For example, the financial services industry has a lot of sensitive data.

Processes, Tools and Education

You should think of security in terms of processes, tools and education; with the three linked.

Processes- put in place robust process to ensure that security risks are identified and minimised. The processes should cater for all the activities and equipment in your business. You should also have a process to identify any industry specific threats that come up from time to time so that you can deal with them before they become a problem.

Tools- get the right tools and software into your business to ensure that you have the capacity to keep your business secure.

Education- focus on the people in you organisation to ensure that they understand the processes and can use the tools. Have a formal process for educating them on the risks that need to be managed and the threats that come about. 

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