Every business is unique with regards to the technology it employs and relies upon to conduct business. For that reason, it is important to choose the solutions that best fit your business needs. Creating a security plan, following through, and updating solutions as technology changes will help protect your business, while you focus on what matters most – running your business successfully.
First, you need to assess your current IT environment in order to help determine your security needs. Looking at what types of technology you use, including prioritizing your information assets will help you determine how to allocate your resources. For example, if your business collects and stores sensitive data such as customers’ confidential information, securing that information should be a priority. After assessing your business’ security needs, the next step is to implement security solutions to deal with the various threats that affect your Internet connections, email, networks, and data.
You can mitigate threats and create a more secure computing environment by both educating employees and installing security solutions to bolster your infrastructure. Areas to address include:
If your business is like most, it relies on the Internet, email and IM in its everyday operations. In order to keep things running smoothly, you should consider installing a firewall to protect your network from being accessed by unauthorized users. Also, when making business purchases online, you and your employees should check to ensure the websites are authentic and encrypted before making the transaction.
Take some precautions when using email. This can include setting up and creating secure passwords for access and refraining from opening unknown attachments, since they may contain viruses. It is also important to protect your business resources from viruses and spam by installing antivirus and antispam software.
Since IM is becoming more prevalent in the business environment, IM security needs to be addressed as well. IM was not developed as a means of secure communication, so it is important to refrain from exchanging sensitive information through IM. In addition, install desktop firewalls, antivirus and antispyware programs on all business machines and devices to create a line of defense against viruses, worms, and Trojan horses that could be transmitted via IM.
Protecting your business network from unauthorized users is extremely important. An unprotected network is an easy target for hackers who could steal important data or trade secrets, or send viruses, Trojan horses, and other malicious code. Network-level firewalls help prevent access from users outside of the network, but can be configured to allow remote employees to have access to your network.
Data loss could be detrimental to business operations and potentially shut down a business if data is unable to be recovered in a timely manner. Proprietary data or unique information such as customer lists need to be protected from natural and other disasters. A newer technology known as disk-based backup is a faster, easier, and oftentimes cost-effective solution to backing up business data. Disk-based backup also offers the benefit of continuous data protection. By installing and utilizing a data backup and recovery system, you are ensuring that your business can continue running despite a data breach or loss.
Most small businesses are probably aware of various security risks and have taken some steps towards dealing with them. However, without an overall strategy, there may be areas that might have overlooked that could be an easy target. By assessing your security needs and implementing solutions tailored to your business, you will be better able to protect your business.