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Keeping Your Small Business’s IT Secure

Fire, flood, and burglary are some of the more obvious risks that you will want to protect your small business from. However, it also pays to consider the risks that may not be so visible. In particular, this means online risks and cybersecurity issues. A topic you can read all about in the post below. 

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Provide plenty of employee education 

 

Now you may think that the first issues to deal with are things like firewalls and viruses. However, underlying every part of your IT is the fact that it is a tool that your employees will be using. What that means is you need to make sure they know how to use your systems safely. 

The first part of ensuring this happens is writing and educating your employees on a set of very clear guidelines for when it comes to using devices and systems at, or for work After all, working from home is becoming much more common and you will need to make sure that your business’s safety is protected in such a situation, as well as at your premises. 

In such rules, you will need to set out whether you will allow the use of thumb drives, as well as offering guidance on how to spot phishing emails. The latter being something that is increasingly more sophisticated.

 Of course, the second part of making sure that your security education and rules approach works is that you act in line with your guidance consistently. That means if someone breaks the rules you acknowledge it and follow through with consequences. 

Separate home and work 

Another way that you can effectively protect your small business from an IT security breach is to fence off the devices you and your employees use. What this means is you need to have phones, tablets, and laptops that are used solely for work and that are not shared with anyone else. Something that means there is much less risk of the information on them being compromised. 

Additionally, if you do provide devices that workers can use outside of the office it’s a good idea to make sure security is as tight as possible on these. Actions you can take to improve security and privacy include getting staff to use a fingerprint scan to unlock them and checking that they are using only secure networks and not public wifi. It can even be a good idea to get employees to block cookies and ads on such devices. A topic you can read about at https://setapp.com/how-to/undetectable-adblock-on-mac online. After all, these are often used to track information that as a business you would rather keep private. 

Secure passwords are essential 

Passwords can be something of a stumbling block in a small business. After all, people will forget them from time to time and this means that it is tempting to make them universal or easy to remember! 

However, there is a massive risk involved in doing so. The reason for this is that passwords need to be as strong as possible to minimize the risk of uninvited visitors guessing them, or using software to hack them and thus gain entry into your system. 

To that end, passwords need to be a mixture of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols. They also need to be changed every few months, and they mustn’t be written down or displayed in the vicinity of the device associated with them. 

Protect against theft 

There are plenty of online threats that you will need to protect your small business from, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the issues in the real world. In fact, one of the biggest problems with IT security smaller businesses experience is theft of hardware. 

Of course, this usually ends up as a double whammy of a problem, as not only does it make any information stored on such hardware vulnerable, but thefts can also end up costing your business a great deal of money as well. 

With that in mind, good physical security systems at your premises are important. Oh, and don’t forget to educate your workers on keeping their mobile devices safe when out of the office! 

Install firewalls 

Now we have some of the basics out of the way we can move on to the more technological solutions. The first of these that you need to attend to is installing a firewall. This is a form of protection that watches and controls traffic based on the security rules you have set. 

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The good news is that there are many different types of firewall software to choose from. Although it is worth shopping around and taking some impartial advice like the info you will find at https://www.networkcomputing.com/data-centers/firewalls to make sure you choose the right one for the needs of your business. 

Don’t let nasties invade your system 

Malware, spyware, and viruses are all bad news for the small business. Indeed, they can cause all sorts of havoc from system downtime to losing important information, and even being held to ransom! 

The problem to navigate here is that any device that is connected to the internet is at risk. Although there are some actions you can take to keep this risk to a minimum. The first of these is to make sure you have up to date antivirus software. Also be sure to update any software that you use, as these will usually contain the most recent security protection. 

Always use a backup 

Another important aspect of keeping your small business IT secure is to make sure that you regularly backup data. Indeed, the practice of backing up important information is one that can truly save your skin. 

Of course, you have a choice as to whether to do this manually or automatically. You can also choose to run backups on your own server, or backup important data using the Cloud. 

Encryption is a smart move 

You may have heard the term encryption but not quite know what it is. Basically, as described in the post at https://www.cloudflare.com/en-gb/learning/ssl/what-is-encryption/, encrypted data is coded so that if anyone other than your business happens to get a hold of it, they won’t be able to decode or understand it. In fact, it is a wise idea to use encryption as an additional level of security when backing up your data. 

Watch out for third parties 

In today’s market, many businesses connect to third party providers to run, market, and promote their business. Of course, such providers can offer systems that can help your business be faster, more efficient, and more profitable. 

However, you must have a firm grasp on the type of security that such providers offer. The reason is that once your system is connected to theirs any vulnerabilities they suffer from will also apply to your system. With that in mind, you must, as described at https://www.upguard.com/blog/third-party-risk-management-framework, check their security credential before you begin working with any third-party provider. 

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