In the modern world of business, few things are so central to the security of a business as its ability to protect its data. This is obviously true of businesses which operate primarily online and are entrusted with confidential information (particular debit and credit card information) by customers; for these companies, nothing damages their reputation and viability more than the loss of confidence that a publicised data hack can cause. However, even for businesses which only use cyberspace for email and storing their own data, the risks are still very great. Losing confidential information could put you at a competitive disadvantage, it could put you in an awkward position with a client or it could simply leave you having to recreate and rediscover piles of data which you had already sourced and processed. Consequently, it is absolutely imperative that you make sure that your business is as secure as possible. To help you out, we've put together a couple of handy tips.
1. Secure Software
This may seem an obvious one but it is absolutely vital that you make sure any computers or other devices (such as phones and tablets) you use in connection with your business are protected while they're connected to the internet. The best way to achieve this is to get reliable anti-virus software. However, it's also important to make sure that all your devices receive updates regularly as this will enable the software developers who created you operating system (whether that's Windows or IOS) to fix any problems and security flaws that they've discovered. It's also a good idea to make sure that you use a reliable and secure browser. The most reliable browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft's Edge and Apple's Safari. It's also important to make sure that you use the latest version of the browser and update it regularly.
2. Make Sure Access to your Data is Secure
This again may seem straightforward. However, you must make sure that access to your data is secure. This means taking both physical and digital precautions. On the physical side, you should make sure that all of your computers are secure and cannot be accessed by anyone who you don't trust to handle your data. You should also make sure that passwords and usernames aren't written down and definitely aren't within easy reach of the computer keyboard or monitor.
On the digital front, you should make sure that you have secure passwords that aren't easy to guess based on your name or basic information about you that might be available on social media or elsewhere online. It may also be worth encrypting any confidential or vital information that you do have. Encrypting data is relatively straightforward nowadays and there are many programmes readily available which will do it for you.
3. Make Sure your Wireless Network Is Secure
This one is really important. We've become so used to wifi and the ability to connect to the internet at will anywhere in the office that we rarely stop to think about the implications but an unsecured wifi network can be a very easy access point for hackers who can skim data as its sent or even gain access to your other devices. You should make sure that your wifi hub is password protected and consider changing it a regular intervals (perhaps once every few months).
4. Backup your Data
Again, this is really important. Hackers may not just take your data but they may actually encrypt your files and blackmail you into paying them in order to unlock them. Although there are often other ways around this, the simplest way of dealing with it is just to have an alternative copy of the files available to work from instead. Backing up your data can also protect you from other digital threats such as file corruption and hardware failure. A regular backup policy really is a must for any business whatever its size. It doesn't really matter whether you choose to back up your data online using cloud storage services (as long as you use a reputable provider) or you choose to use physical external hard drives (although, these should also be password protected and kept securely).
5. Regularly Review your Security
Perhaps most important of all, you shouldn't sit back and let complacency set in. You should regularly thing about potential improvements to your systems and policies and you should try and keep yourself up-to-date on current security issues. Many anti-virus programmes do provide useful information about which threats are most common in particular areas of the world or in particular types of network. The threats to your data are constantly evolving so you should be constantly adjusting your provisions.
We hope you've found this helpful. If you'd like some more information about how we can make sure that your website is secure then please get in touch with us and we'll be happy to talk it through with you.