Once, businesses and corporations mainly faced threats from the physical world. But now that more and more of our lives are moving online, IT security is just as important as protecting yourself from burglars or corporate spies. Now, even small and medium businesses are not immune from DDoS attacks, ransomware attacks, and other forms of cyber-extortion, which are growing more and more common. Now, just as you would lock up your business at the end of the day and keep employees from bringing important files home, it’s just as important to follow security best practices in your online life. Here are some places to start.
Having protocols written down and accessible by everyone increases the odds that your response to a data breach will go smoothly. Your plan should include clear objectives for every department, and should be updated regularly so that it doesn’t involve any out-of-date software or logins. Some organisations, especially tech companies for whom data security is especially vital, go through regular “war games” in which one team simulates a data breach and another has to save the company’s data. Whether you choose to go to that extreme or not, remember that better communication means more people who know the drill and better planning means fewer decisions made under pressure.
A common type of IT security threat is the ransomware attack, which uses software to break into your servers and lock them down so that you cannot access them. Hackers will demand money in exchange for your files’ safety, but if you’ve backed up your files ahead of time, you won’t be paying up. The most thorough kind of backup is variously known as an image-level backup, bare metal backup, or clone, which duplicates everything on a server, including the operating system and application data, into a single recoverable file. However, lower-tech companies may only need to regularly copy their files onto an external drive, then unplug the drive and pop it onto a shelf at the back of the supply closet. There’s no way for a hacker to mess with a totally offline device.
Knowing who has access to your private data is an important part of knowing whether that data has been tampered with. In general, it’s best if important files are only accessible by the people who need them. That not only makes it easier to know who’s gone through your files, but keeps them safer. It’s not only external hackers, after all, who might have a motive for copying or destroying your data; employees can, as well. Even if you don’t have a spy, saboteur, or other malicious actor within your organisation, restricting access also prevents accidents. Anyone can mistakenly delete an important file if it’s not behind a virtual locked door, so make sure important files are password protected and keep track of who knows the password.
Your time is precious, and the best way to make sure your organization is on the right track to data security is to bring in a consultant to upgrade your procedures and protocols. Managed IT security is the best way to handle time-consuming and difficult aspects of securing your modern workplace, including securing your remote network access, upgrading your firewall, and creating a recovery plan. EssentialTech provides tailored solutions for your business, so that you get the services you need without having to pay for what you don’t. For more information about us and our services, or to book a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts, contact us today.
We listen and learn to understand your business challenges, so we can deliver effective solutions that meet your specific business needs. Speak with an expert now!