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Six essential IT security measures to protect your business

Posted October 05, 2016
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Safeguarding your business data is relatively straightforward and something you can accomplish with a few simple steps.

By Colin Morrison, Service Delivery Manager

data_protectionIT security should be a key consideration when it comes to protecting your business. When you think about the volume of data you store electronically, it’s easy to see how a breach could severely damage your reputation. It’s an unfortunate fact of modern life that global cybercriminals are ready and willing to compromise your privacy and steal your data. Because in the wrong hands, your critical information can easily be traded for cold, hard cash. But safeguarding your data is relatively straightforward. It’s something every business can accomplish with a few simple steps.

As your organisation grows, and you acquire more employees and customers, a strong security policy will become increasingly important to your ongoing success. These are the six essential IT security measures that you should implement right away to protect your business from hackers, cybercriminals and identity thieves.

1. Robust Security Procedures

Strong IT security procedures will keep your data safe. Your employees should use robust passwords of at least eight alphanumeric characters that don’t include common words. A combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols is best. Employee workstations and laptops should also be locked when not in use, with hard drive encryption in place to ensure the data can’t be read if the device is stolen.

2. Remote Backup and Storage of Sensitive Data

If your business deals with sensitive data, then you become a target for thieves seeking access to your financial records, or the private details of your employees and customers. Your data is especially at risk when stored on-site, where it can be physically removed during a break in. Regular backups to the cloud or to a remote server will ensure your data is stored safely. But always implement SSL or another form of encryption when transmitting data between sites.

3. Restricted Server Rooms

Your server room should remain locked, with strict procedures in place to control and log who enters the room, ensuring that no one can access your infrastructure anonymously. A surveillance camera will keep a visual record of those who enter, and locked server racks with mounted equipment will deter opportunistic theft. In fact, a comprehensive surveillance system is a cost-effective way to protect your entire premises from unauthorised intruders.

4. Printer Security

It’s relatively simple for modern cybercriminals to download buffered information from unsecured printers, and sensitive printed documents can easily fall into the wrong hands. To protect your fleet of printers, opt for wired rather than wireless connections, disable printer sharing when not required, and deploy printers that can automatically purge their memory buffers. Also, printers should never be installed in publicly accessible areas, and employees should remember to collect their printed documents immediately.

5. Deploy Strong Firewalls and Anti-malware Protection

Firewalls protect your network by controlling inbound and outbound Internet traffic. The firewall can filter access to particular websites or countries, and can block many categories of traffic including java scripts, cookies and advertising pop-up. But in the event that a malicious attack does manage to breach your network, then anti-malware software is your last line of defence. Malware includes Trojans, ransomware, viruses, spyware and worms. New malware is continually developed, so ensure your software is kept up to date. This goes for your other applications and operating systems too – all key business software should be properly patched and updated at all times.

6. Educate Your Staff

Teaching your employees about safe online activity is crucial. Prevention is the key. Educating your staffis a more effective approach than relying on your IT department to constantly resolve problems caused by poor employee decisions. Your staff should recognise how important your company data is, and take care to protect it. This includes being aware of phishing attempts and social engineering, and never opening suspicious emails or attachments.

At Bremmar, we usually know firsthand when attacks are happening and targeting organisations, so we send notifications to clients for them to be alert and share with staff!





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Conclusion

Attempts to steal your confidential data or disrupt your business are very real threats. Although you can never be 100% safe from danger, these sensible security practices will help to mitigate the risk to your organisation and employees. If you’d like further information on the best ways to protect your business from hackers and cybercriminals, then contact Bremmar today on 1300 991 351 or email help@bremmar.com.au

By Colin Morrison, Service Delivery Manager

Our Service Delivery Manager has great experience in project management, process and methodology. He’s constantly looking at every area of how we deliver technology and services to clients and, together with the technical teams, finds ways for improvement. Besides ensuring we deliver the highest levels of service to our clients, he is also known as Bremmar’s first “hired staff” and resident grumpy Scotsman.

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