In this day and age of security failures of big business and the ability of hackers to break in and steal data as in the case of Sony and North Korea I must stress that small business must take a more active roll in securing their data. I have been in the IT field for the past 20 years time and time again we hear about big business being hacked. Although big business has a target on their back I must say that since small business is the backbone of the American Economy how much more should small business protect their data. For example, lets look at a small retail business that does about 200k a year selling jewelry & clothing. I know that may times the owner of the business rely on the credit card companies to secure the credit cards of their patrons when they swipe their card. The small business owner also relies on the integrity of their employees and the built in security of their Off the Shelf software. This is about the amount of security that the small business has to protect themselves. Its of utmost importance that small business up their game in regards to how and where they keep their data. Although small business may not have the budget for a cutting edge network there are measures that are more than reasonable that will allow small business owners to protect not only their business but the privacy of their clients. In this article I am going to name three things that small business must do to have the minimum security to be more secure in a stand alone environment which means all their computers are not connected via a domain.
- Ensure that the internet service provider they are using has firewall security on their modem and that small business wireless access points are also password protected. I have seen in my time that not only was their wi-fi network not password protected and open for anyone to logon to but their anti virus was not up to date which leads me to number 2.
- Ensure that all your computers are up to date on Anti-Virus and Anti Malware software. Small businesses really need to understand that both of these services are needed to protect their systems. Many times although you have anti-virus software their are many sites that install software without you knowing that monitors your buying habits or has popups getting you to purchase certain items. These are all the result of malicious software being installed on your computer.
- Ensure that your critical data is being backed up daily, weekly, and monthly. This will ensure that if you have a critical system failure you will be able to access your data once that computer is repaired or replace. I have seen time and time again where the small business owner says I know I should have backed up the system I just did not have time to get around to it. My question back to them,”Is how much is this going to cost you?” After all time is money.
These are just three of the baseline foundational security measure that should be done to get a grip on the security of your data. Over the next several weeks I will be focusing on the steps that small business can do to secure their data, the business, and the privacy of their Clients. I will end with this statement to get you to think. Since small business is the backbone of the American Economy what information do you have that a terrorist can you to wreak havoc with?
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