When running a business, many invest in website security and try to limit liabilities while online. Unfortunately, this does not always translate into the real world as some do not truly secure their workstations, file servers and other devices people use to access the Internet and files.
Without a doubt, this is only going to get more important as most businesses want to avoid big data breaches where they end up with a PR and marketing customer relations nightmare. With this in mind, here are a few tips for a company looking to secure a business online. With this information, one can save their company plenty of money and time in the long run.
1. Secure the Office Network
First and foremost, a company should have a secure office network. To get started, the IT staff should set up a password on the wireless router. Sadly, some skip this step as a way of saving time and keeping things easy for visitors.This is not wise as people with antennas can access a network from a long range. The password should not be easy to guess and must not be related to the company or address.
Now, to take this further, people who sit at a desk all the time should access the Internet and network via an Ethernet cable. Not only will this eliminate some problems, but it is faster and more efficient to use a wired network rather than a wireless one.
Finally, while it is smart to have a password, one also remember to change it occasionally as an old vendor or employee may use this information to harm the business in the future.
2. Watch and Limit Internet Traffic
While it is beneficial to look the other way and allow staff to access social media and other sites, one should not allow their workers free range on the Internet. By limiting access, the company can prevent its workers from landing on sites filled with viruses and malware.
Ideally, one should opt for a software solution as there are plenty of programs which allow the user to block certain websites or search terms. With this simple step, the organization can ensure that workers do not land on websites which cause harm to machines and networks.
3. Talk to Employees
Some workers will not know how to use a computer in a smart and safe fashion. For example, when landing on some pages, a user will not realize that the site is a scam. To avoid serious issues in the long-term, the IT department should sit down with employees and discuss the dangers of the Internet.
With this proactive and simple approach, one can avoid annoying issues when a worker downloads a virus or lands in hot trouble in other ways. Remember, a network is only as strong as its weakest link and one employee can unknowingly wreak havoc on the rest of the computers.
4. Inspect Machines Often
While on a network, one computer can bring down the rest and create havoc in the office. To make sure this does not happen, the IT team should look at each workstation a couple of times a month. When inspecting the machines and looking for updates, one can ensure that no security flaws exist on the workstations.
Since small issues can quickly escalate, this is an easy way for an organization to spot potential problems before they grow out of control.
5. Internet Browsers
Unless necessary, a firm should not use Internet Explorer. Instead, by using more secure browsers like Chrome or Firefox, a user is unlikely to download a virus or malware. At the same time, it is pertinent to download security patches and updates when needed. This will go a long way in preventing future issues as an old or outdated browser is bound to cause problems at some point.
One must fully understand that issues will mostly arise from the Internet, and it is wise to secure the most important and vital piece of software that one uses to get access to the Internet.
6. Minimize Programs
Finally, a company should minimize the programs that employees require. While this might seem like overkill, it is an easy way for the firm to track computer users and avoid downloading a program full of bloatware. Not only that, this makes things easier since employees can rely on a few, basic programs.
Finally, when using a program, a company should always make sure to pay for the product and register it with the company. Remember, while it is often cheaper to find a freeware program, one should opt to buy the full version and avoid illegal sources as this is an easy way for hackers to insert viruses or spyware in the download package.
7. Anti-Virus Solution
Now, operating systems provide some anti-virus solutions. Sadly, this is usually not enough, and an IT staff member should set up the right anti-virus software. To enjoy further protection, one must remember to set the updates to auto-install as it is easy to forget to check for ones all the time.
When setting the computers to do routine checks, the organization can catch small virus issues and delete them before they cause more problems.
8. Skip the Cloud
It is often easy for a company to sign up for a cloud account. While this is a great way to save information, it is not safe. For this reason, if a company opts to use the cloud, it should only store information that will not harm the company.
Simply put, when storing customer information, a company should opt for an on-site approach as it will prevent serious and annoying data breaches.
While running a business, most do not think enough about their IT and online security. This is not wise as one mistake can render the entire network useless. Furthermore, when looking at huge breaches like the one involving Target, one will see that it is too costly to ignore.
So remember, with a proactive and simple approach, a company owner can prevent most of the serious data breaches.