From a sole trader or start-up business, to a multi-national corporation, security should be a top priority. This means not only the physical security of your premises, equipment or inventory, but also the security of your data. While the internet has been a fantastic step forward for businesses across the world, it has also created a new type of criminal who will not hesitate the steal or exploit a business’ sensitive information.
If you don’t have an understanding of the risks you are facing and you fail to take adequate precautions, you could leave yourself open to disastrous consequences. To help you get started with improving your business’ security in 2019, here are some key factors to consider.
Create a security plan and policy
It’s not enough to know how you will keep your business secure, you need to have a policy and all of your procedures in writing. This includes an IT security policy and all of your processes written down as reference and training documents. It should include the preventative measures and contingency plans should you have to deal with an attack.
Install protection against cybercriminals
You need to invest in adequate protection for your computer equipment and internal network to prevent malware (malicious software) from damaging your system. This includes a firewall such as those offered by Checkpointdirect.co.uk which defend your network against unauthorized users. Anti-spam software can filter out suspicious emails which may contain viruses, and anti-virus protection can protect your PCs and laptops.
Secure your wireless network
Many businesses now have a wireless network which can be hacked if it is not encrypted, so ensure your network is not visible to potential hackers. If employees are bringing their own devices from home or are working remotely, you need to ensure that the security measures are extended to those devices and you have a BYOD policy. You may also want to introduce a new policy for remote workers including the deletion of sensitive information, location tracking and monitoring internet usage.
Introduce a password security policy
You need a written password security policy. Passwords can still be an effective form of protection against cybercriminals, but it’s crucial that they are complex enough so that they can’t be guessed. They should include at least 8 characters including special characters, capitals and lowercase letters and numbers. Passwords should also be changed regularly, never written down and all your employees need to understand the importance of the policy.
Update software automatically
A system which is out of date is far easier to hack than one which has been updated to the latest version. Every update irons out vulnerabilities and bugs in previous versions, so it’s essential that you update software whenever possible. The easiest way to do this is to set it to update automatically so you don’t have to manually authorize it to do so.
Run regular training for your staff
When all of your policies and procedures are in place, you need to maintain standards through regular staff training. Your employees need to understand the risks involved should company or customer data fall into the wrong hands, and how they can be vigilant to potential risks such as phishing emails.