8 Ways to keep your IT systems safe
Since the digital shift began, there has rarely been a week without news of big businesses falling victim to some strain of cybercrime. From ransomware and phishing through to huge data breaches, online security remains a critical issue for the modern-day business owner to face down, irrespective of their size or stature. Here we will take a look at 8 ways to keep your IT systems safe.
1. Password strength
Let’s begin with the basics. One of the easiest and most powerful ways to level up your security is to ensure that your passwords are difficult to crack. Long gone are the days when we could get away with ‘Password123’ or using personal information like pet names or favoured destinations that, despite our confidence, are often easy to guess. Passwords should be long, contain a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, include symbols, and most importantly of all not be shared between different services and platforms. Try to make your passwords unique.
2. Beware of WiFi access
While it might be tempting to hop on to the WiFi and do an hour of work in your local coffee shop, it’s wise to keep your guard up. Not all WiFi services are built to the same standard of security, and where possible you should make use of VPN technology to mask your activity. Especially if you’re working with sensitive data.
3. Training is essential
Many of the worst corporate security breaches have arisen from unsuspecting and poorly trained staff. Without proper knowledge of the risks and vulnerabilities of working online, it can be far too easy to open a suspicious attachment or link and accidentally open yourself up to serious damages.
4. So is access control
One of the most commonly overlooked vulnerabilities is access. There is rarely a reason that an entire cohort of employees should have access to every single file and folder. Limiting access according to needs and seniority can be a great tool in damage limitation. There also needs to be a strict checklist protocol for when an employee leaves your company including password changes and any necessary suspensions of access.
5. Keep your hardware and your software up to date
Patches and updates are released for software and hardware for a reason. They often address weaknesses in programmes that could provide a pathway for criminals. So if you snooze update notifications and reminders then you may well be leaving yourself vulnerable.
6. Guard your valuables
It may seem obvious, but you should always keep a close eye on your laptop when travelling, or working remotely. Leaving your hardware unattended just spells trouble, so keep it with you, and even if you leave it for a moment make sure the screen is locked.
7. Remember your liabilities
Businesses have responsibilities when it comes to the management and storage of personal information and data. Keeping personal data only for as long as it is required, and ensuring that files are deleted in a secure manner is critically important in order to protect yourself from damages.
8. Keep data backed up
Are you prepared for the worst? If you were to undergo a serious security breach that resulted in data losses, would you know where to begin and what to do? Working with your IT security provider to prepare a disaster recovery plan is something that every business should seriously consider. Data backups and cloud solutions could well provide a lifeline should your nightmare scenario come to fruition.
ECL recognises that every client is different, and every client has a different IT support requirement. Whatever the size of your business, we can offer a support scenario to suit your needs.
Whether your business already uses Cloud services or you’re considering the Cloud as a possible way forward, talk to us first. We can provide anything from fully hosted IT infrastructures on our own ECL Private Cloud, to simple on-line backups. We can also give expert advice on Office 365 and other Cloud platforms.
How would losing access to your IT systems and data for days, or even weeks, affect your business? For many if not most companies this would be a nightmare scenario, with potentially very serious consequences.