Data breaches seem to be a dime a dozen lately. With multi-national corporations, health insurance providers, and even the government coming under fire for faulty security, it is easy for small businesses to throw up their hands in despair when trying to keep their data secure. If these entities, with their money and access to advanced technology, can’t protect their systems from attack, what chance do the little guys have? In truth, your business might be in a much better position than you think for two main reasons.
For one thing, you don’t have the same target on your back that bigger businesses do. In addition, you have a lot less hardware and files to protect than your larger brethren. Even though you don’t have the same resources, you should consider outsourcing to a reputable managed services provider to gain the professional help you need to avoid an IT disaster and keep your data safe. Here are a few steps you should take in order to avoid an IT disaster and keep your data secure.
Secure data storage. There are two ways to store data: onsite or off-site. Both come with advantages and potential risks, but in both cases, you can mitigate risks by hiring professional IT support services. For example, you could procure remote services for server monitoring if you plan to keep your own data storage equipment onsite. Or if you prefer, you could hire IT support that provides cloud hosting services so that you don’t have to keep your data storage at your place of business. The added benefit to the latter is that IT data storage facilities tend to offer not only extra cyber security, but also additional physical security measures at their location. Does your business have surveillance equipment and a security force to keep you data secure? Many data centers do.
- Create a backup. Whether your file storage is on-site or in the cloud, it’s wise to have an off-site backup for your data. There are two good reasons to procure this type of IT service. First, you obviously want to protect data from attack by virtual threats like hackers and malicious software. You also need to consider the possibility of physical harm to your system. What if your equipment fails, destroying data in the process? What if your building suffers from a fire or flood? When data is backed up, you’ll still have access to your data even if originals are lost or damaged.
- Install protective software. You can certainly purchase your own antivirus/anti-spyware software if you choose, but why wouldn’t you want to use a company that offers this as monthly service? You can take advantage of established industry partnerships to get the best protection for your system at discounted prices. Plus, having a professional advise you on how best to keep your data secure and avoid catastrophic breach or failure is an added benefit.
- Web filtering. Believe it or not, the biggest threats to the security of your data could come from the inside. In most cases, your staff is not trying to be malicious – they simply open questionable content or they don’t have the wherewithal to avoid clicking suspicious links. Proper training can put your employees on the right path, but a reputable technology service can do a lot more thanks to web filtering (content control) software and services. If you want to keep data safe, keeping viruses, spyware, and hackers out is top priority. Your IT servies provider can not only install web filtering software that blocks questionable content, but they can also monitor usage and report back on employees that put your system at risk.
- Monitoring and maintenance. It’s not enough to have the right hardware and software in place. Once you’ve gone through building your infrastructure, it’s time to hire a company that can offer ongoing computer and server maintenance. Keeping your system up-to-date is important, as is monitoring usage to streamline operations and watch for threats. You may still need on-demand tech support – there will be times when equipment fails or software conflicts arise, even with the best monitoring and maintenance. When you have appropriate IT support services in place, though, you can avoid major disasters that plague competitors and keep your data as safe as possible.