A common misconception is that managing computer security is time-consuming and costly. While it certainly can get expensive, how much you spend really depends on the type of security you want and need. In fact, there are security steps that even those with minimal technical knowledge can take that won’t cost much in the way of time or money.
Here are four low-cost tactics you can implement to ensure that your business systems are secure.
1. Communication is key
Most companies take adequate steps to ensure that their systems are adequately protected from outside attack. The thing is, many security breaches come from within. If your employees store their passwords openly – for instance on sticky notes stuck to their desks – this is a security issue. It is a good idea to agree with employees where important information will be kept, and ensure the rules are followed.
Beyond that, if you implement security changes or new systems such as virus scanning software, it is important that you talk to your staff to ensure they know how the system works and how they can use it. Effective communication can help to minimize security issues, and best of all, it’s free!
2. Keep track of your keys
To ensure the security of your IT systems and your physical office, you should keep careful control of your keys. That is, both the physical keys and the registration keys for your software (the codes you enter to verify you own your software).
Keep track of which staff members have a key to the office, and if possible, number the keys. The goal is to know where your keys are at any given time, and if a staff member changes employers, make sure you get them back.
Many software keys or licenses are single use only. A good tip is to keep software keys secure and separate from the software itself. That way you can avoid having a software key leave your business along with a departing employee, meaning you have to purchase a new copy.
3. Keep your software updated
Hackers can be a lazy bunch. They will often target users with out of date software, because it’s usually easier to hack. To reduce the chance of being hacked, keep your software up-to-date. This includes your virus and malware scanners, as well as browsers and even software you don’t use often or at all.
Have your staff members perform a ‘software audit’ on their computers on a regular basis. This means going through their computer and properly uninstalling software that they don’t use, while also taking the time to ensure their system is completely updated.
4. Keep important systems off site
Many small to medium businesses keep their servers on site. While this is convenient, it can also create a security issue. One way to minimize risk is to work with an IT partner like Providence who can host your systems or servers off site or in the cloud. While this involves some cost, working with an IT partner can save you money and boost productivity in the long run, as a good partner will ensure that your systems are secure and working properly.