The recent increase in rates of cyber-attacks across a variety of sectors has highlighted how important it is to be aware of IT security best practices. Below are our top four tips for staying secure, which could save your business valuable resources and enhance productivity.
1. Invest in security software
Using security software that provides real-time protection from viruses, spyware and malware is a must in any business. Threats such as computer viruses evolve very quickly so it is important to stay vigilant.
It is scary how common it is that software is not configured to receive regular updates and/or the computers aren’t scanned regularly. If you have multiple computers in your business you should consider having central management for your security software.
2. Have a backup and recovery plan
Modern business relies heavily on data. A loss of this data can adversely affect your business, and incapacitate your systems. For this reason, backup and recovery plans are essential. A robust plan will help your business survive and recover from both physical and online disasters efficiently and effectively. A backup plan should include details such as how the backups are made, locations, scheduling, and testing to ensure recovery will be effective in a worst case scenario.
A recovery plan defines how a backup can and will be restored and should include a likely scenarios. Online backups are increasing in popularity and should be seriously considered by any business that is dependent on their IT systems. Having backup data stored remotely is ideal in a disaster recovery plan. In addition, online backups minimise the human risk of handling errors (i.e. no need to remember to change a tape or disk).
3. Consider access controls
Do you know who has access to your data? Whether you think you know or not, reviewing employee access to certain data should is a must. Data segregation and access control lists can and should be strongly defined. An access control list should be established to allow or deny particular permissions by a single individual or group of users. A role-based access control list defines permission levels based on the user’s position in the organisation.
A little confused? Think about it this way – an administration assistant should NOT have an authorisation level identical to that of a company director.
The proliferation of cloud-based systems is particularly challenging for system administrators trying to keep track of access.
Employees have access to multiple business accounts (e.g. Salesforce, Xero, Sharepoint etc.) therefore as a business owner it is incredibly important that you have access control over all of these cloud based platforms. Single-sign-on solutions are our hot tip for centrally controlling access to external systems.
4. Conduct staff security training
Information security is the practice of protecting infrastructure from cyber attacks. In the past, to keep information secure, businesses relied on specialised individuals to monitor system integrity. Instead, we recommend that you provide training to all staff so that they are aware of the security risks. This training allows non-technical employees to identify and prevent common attacks which are not only more cost effective, it means you have more people keeping an eye out for possible issues.
The costs of ignoring IT security issues are too great for any business. As hard as it may seem to implement these systems and procedures, we can guarantee it’s much harder to recover from something going drastically wrong. Need help with your IT security? Contact us now or firstname.lastname@example.org
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