By Dennis McKonkie
The security of the computers and internet of your company is just as important as the physical security of your building. When hackers infiltrate your systems, they have access to critical, sensitive information like your customers’ credit card numbers and addresses. There are many ways to prevent them from stealing this information. Here are a few ways to protect your data.
Fighting Off Intruders
If malware and viruses seem to be a problem for your business, you will need to install antivirus and antimalware software to your computers. These programs will stop any external systems from launching in your company’s computers that could be a threat and harm your databases. Research which software is the best for the money and if it will accomplish what you need it to. Some brands may be weak in areas you need more strength and others will have more components than you need. Find the best module for your requirements then load it into every computer in your business. Along with antivirus software, you should also invest in a firewall for your network. If your budget can afford, you should have an external firewall to protect the entire system and then each computer should have an internal firewall activated. These will be the first line of defense against criminals attempting to steal your information.
Make a Second Copy
Institute a backup of your servers and any other vital piece of computer equipment and schedule them to do so daily. For less critical information, you can have the system save itself every other day. However, if your program is one that is vital to the operation of your business, you will want to back up that data every day. You can either do this on an external hard drive connected to your computer or to a cloud backup that holds the information offsite. The benefit to the cloud backup is that, if something happens to your physical building such as your San Francisco Office Space, your information is safe in another location. The benefit to the hard drive is that you can access the data quicker than you can the cloud.
Spread the Knowledge To Your Staff
Establish secure internet policies for your company concerning the use of the internet, the confidentiality of the information you handle, and other important processes for your computer systems. Document what you expect your employees to know and the procedures you wish for them to take while they are working. Provide a copy of these regulations either in print or digital and make sure that the realized they are accountable for them. Have regular training sessions on how to maintain themselves where they are working in the system or online and update them whenever a new virus or malware is known to be released and teach them how to avoid it.
Include Everything That Touches Your Network
When you are considering protection for your network, you will want to include every device that connects to your network whether by hard wire or by wireless. Many brands of antivirus software include applications that protect mobile phones and tablets. If you allow customers to use your WiFi, add password protection so that they will need to verify their device before they are allowed on your wireless. Be sure that your employees understand the rules of having their personal devices on the company system so that your computer programs are safe from corruption from something that might pop up on a staff member’s phone or tablet.
Changing Things Up
Institute a change of password every few months so that hackers have trouble finding the one that works. This can be a challenge since many employees are resistant to changing these but the security this switch provides is immense. Make your new passwords difficult enough that hackers have trouble figuring it out. Utilize more than just letters by requiring numbers or special characters in the combination.