No matter what kind of small business you run, if you use computers and an internet connection, you are always going to be at risk of cyber attacks. Unfortunately, the internet is used so frequently and people have so many days where no viruses or hacks hit their devices that they can be careless and not ready to take action until it’s too late. You don’t have to suffer big financial losses if you’re willing to identify important security areas and use sophisticated software and implement good policies to protect your systems. While every IT area of your business is important, there are three areas in particular you should keep an eye on to make sure your business is protected.
Securing Your Business’s Cloud Data
Many businesses use cloud services for operations they feel are better handled externally whether it’s to save space on their local computer resources, or to cut the cost of hiring more employees. Cloud-based services such as accounting and data backup are very useful, but you definitely need to be aware of how securely it’s being stored in the cloud, and whether or not you’re securely transferring it there. It’s important to check with both a data backup company as well as SAAS companies to see what kind of security mechanisms they use for their platforms.
Making Sure Your Email System Is Protected
Email has long been the target with which to hit both business and personal computers, and although most email providers have taken more advanced measures to weed out spam and detect phishing emails, you still don’t want to let this critical area of cyber security go unguarded. Start with guarding your login methods such as using 2-step authentication which makes it so that you need an additional code texted to you to access your email so that even if your password is stolen, the attacker can’t get in. Also important in email protection is minimizing the chance that someone downloads an email attachment or clicks on a link that could immediately open the door to an attacker. You want to have policies in place and have either a virus scan software installed that can block the access of file attachments and documents without administrator approval, or spam guards that can prevent the opening of links within the email client.
Restricting BYODs On Your Business Network
One of the biggest challenges that businesses will be facing in the near future is the use of personnel devices on business networks. In some cases this can actually be a help for businesses who do not want to deal with constantly upgrading company equipment or having to spend as much training time helping employees get to know a new app. But it still has security challenges that come with it because if a user’s device is compromised, you could put your whole company at risk. Implementing policies detailing whose mobile device can access what is important, and you may want to consider using mobile device management (MDM) software. Mobile devices can be kept clear of important data if your firewall is setup properly.
The bottom line is security software and tools are part of the process in keeping your business secure, but there ultimately is no substitute for education and safety habits such as changing passwords and carefully managing personal devices. Just as you will usually conduct internal audits from time to time on your finances and accounting books, it’s good to do reviews of your business security systems and check devices for compromising activities. It never hurts either to update your security policies from time to time.
Jeremy is a tech and business writer from Simi Valley, CA. He’s worked for Adobe, Google, and himself. He lives for success stories, and hopes to be one someday.hat it brings to your business as a whole.