Your company's security precautions should stop any unauthorised use of your IT, protect valuable data and keep your computers virus-free and running optimally
No matter how large or small, continuous security enforcement is critical in any organisation. Viruses don't care how big your business is. They attack indiscriminately. You must be able to handle a malicious attack just as capably as a larger organisation with more resources to throw at the problem.
Protect your data
This means not only keeping your strategic information – like your pricing strategy – secure, but also protecting the personal information of your staff, suppliers and customers. This is especially important as the Data Protection Act enforces data protection and privacy relating to such information.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your IT architecture from outside vulnerabilities.
Security audit and enforcement
Your business must focus on reducing vulnerabilities and enforcing security policies to minimise exposure to risks like malware and viruses. Enforce clear IT policies making it clear what is and is not acceptable and the consequences for breaching the rules. Spot checks can help ensure staff understand and follow the rules.
While you might have policies in place to protect your systems, staff do not always follow them, leaving you open to attack. The situation is made worse by the growing bring your own device (BYOD) trend. This sees staff bringing their own devices - including smart phones and tablets - into the office.
Additionally, your organisation's tech-savvy users may be compromising IT security if they try to solve IT problems themselves with tools and applications downloaded from the internet.
To manage these potential security risks, a layered approach to security is essential. This means the failure of one layer will not open your network to risk.
Keeping your system secure involves going through four stages:
- Know what you have. This means having an up-to-date inventory of all the equipment, data and software that makes up your IT system.
- Test for security holes.You can use automatic scanning tools to check your systems for security holes. It may also be worth bringing in a security consultant to identify weaknesses. Try SonicWALL or a similar tool.
- Fix the problems. Once you've identified any security vulnerabilities, you need to take steps to fix them. This may be as simple as updating all your software – you may be able to do this with a single tool.
- Increase your protection. It's time to get tough on security threats. Consider blocking applications and websites, or locking company computers down so people can't install unauthorised software. This keeps systems running without incident and reduces the time your IT staff spend remediating systems.
In order to protect the individual computers in your business, you could consider installing security audit and enforcement software or hardware. This automatically identifies vulnerabilities and blocks websites and applications in line with your business security policies.
Deal with changing threats
It can be hard to stay up-to-date with and respond to ever-evolving IT security threats. Regular, scheduled vulnerability scanning on your computers can help ensure you deal with new threats before they affect your company.
The same software can often instantly fix problems, isolate security threats before they cause harm, and may make patching and plugging security holes simpler.
Securing your browser
The internet browser often provides an entry point for security threats. Again, good security software can restrict and review downloads and websites, identifying threats before they do any damage and stopping your staff from visiting dangerous websites entirely.
Keeping your desktop computers and mobile devices up-to-date and well managed is the best approach to achieving security protection, and will reduce your organisation's vulnerability to a host of security concerns.
A good all-round security solution for your business may be the Dell KACE K1000.