Small and mid-size companies don’t have the same resources as do their larger corporate brethren, which mean they often have to make do with less when it comes to purchasing necessities like data security products and services. Unfortunately, just because your company is small doesn’t mean it’s not a target for attack by hackers or malicious code. Although hacks on big companies (Sony, Target, etc.) are more likely to make headlines, there are still plenty of small and mid-size companies dealing with the aftermath of hacking.
Before you become a victim, you might want to consider ways in which you could improve your data security, either in a protective capacity or within the realm of recovery and damage control. In truth, you simply might not have the capital on hand to pay for the best security – and you might not need it. However, you should work with your trusted IT support provider to take all possible precautions you can to avoid data breaches and deal with them appropriately when they occur.
1 – Update, update, update. The number of updates associated with your computing hardware and software might understandably annoy you. Luckily, there are two good ways to alleviate the burden of assigning such tasks to employees. First, you can set your programs to update automatically, ensuring that you always have the latest protective measures in place where your infrastructure is concerned. You can also hire a company for computer and server maintenance to keep everything functioning at peak capacity. When it comes time to upgrade system components, a reliable vendor offering IT procurement can help you to cut costs and find suitable solutions for the functionality and security you need at a price you can afford.
2 – Backup files. Okay, technically this doesn’t improve your security, per se. However, you want to be prepared in the event of a security breach that results in stolen, corrupted, or destroyed data. This requires you to have files backed up so that you don’t lose access to the data you need to conduct business. Suppose you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to inform clients that there has been a data breach but you can’t access their contact information because the files have been corrupted. You risk upsetting your clients further by delaying notification and you could end up with fines for failing to comply with notification laws. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. So think about partnering with a managed services provider that can offer you cloud hosting and other secure options for backing up data.
3 – Train employees. Measures like your firewall, antivirus software, and encryption can act as a first line of defense against hackers and malicious code, but the virtual gateway you erect with the help of a service for IT support relies on the gatekeepers to remain secure. In other words, your employees need to be aware of the ways in which their actions could be responsible for a security breach. By training your staff to understand the value of strong (and private) passwords, to recognize potential threats (dangerous websites, emails, or links), and to behave professionally when using your network, you can dramatically reduce the risks posed by workers.
4 – Monitor operations. It’s not enough to hire a company for IT procurement to help you build secure infrastructure, backup files, and train employees to behave in a safe and appropriate manner. You also need to take steps to monitor operations. There are two reasons for this. First, you need to know what’s going on with your network so that you can spot potential weakness and correct it. Second, you want to be alerted immediately when breaches occur so you can take swift and decisive action to mitigate damage. A managed services provider that offers server monitoring can help you with both.
5 – Accommodate a modern workforce. With more employees using mobile devices for work or working remotely, you need to make sure you expand your network protections to secure all existing devices while accommodating employees. By partnering with the right technology service, you can make sure that the security measures you have in place to protect data are capable of meeting the needs of your modern workforce.