Category : Blogs
As business owners, we have to wear a lot of different hats on a day to day basis. From marketing to web development, business coach and finance guru, we need to take control of every element of our business to make sure it runs smoothly. But one area we often forget about is IT. With so many high profile business targeted hacking incidents recently, we wanted to bring your focus back down to the technical side of things. In fact, we asked some of our members what their suggestions were for keeping their business safe from hackers.
Install Anti-Virus, Web Filtering And Firewalls
Preventing any form of malware or hacker from entering your business in the first place is undoubtedly the best way to guard against attack. The best way to do this is to adopt what is called a ’layered’ approach to security – in other words, lots of layers of protection. In lay man’s terms, this means implementing anti-virus software on every machine and all servers, putting web filters in place company wide and installing firewalls. It’s essential that you ensure each component of this layered approach is accurately configured and kept up to date in order to work effectively and keep the nasty people away from your data.
Use 3rd Party Cloud Suppliers
For smaller businesses who don’t have their own servers, it can be difficult to store all of their data. A great way to get around this, and protect your business data from hackers prying eyes, is to use 3rd party, cloud based suppliers. So maybe you would keep your client contact data base in MailChimp, store your passwords in LastPass and Google Drive to store your backups. Using these off-site systems means that even if your main computer is hacked or becomes infected with malware, this mission critical data is stored safely in a secondary location – and not in your main systems. Because 3rd party suppliers deal with so much of other people’s sensitive data, their security measures are often much better than those we could put in place ourselves, so your data has never been safer.
Back Up Regularly
Of course, something completely out of your control could happen, and it’s at that time that you need your final layer of protection – your back up. As a business, you should be doing regular backups of your full systems – and by regular we mean at least once a day (usually done overnight). Not only is this just good practice, but it also protects you against data loss if the rest of your precautions should fail. Users who find themselves the target of an attack, particularly a ransomware attack will be unable to access any live data, but if their back up data is stored off site and separate, it should be untouched. So, if we take the worst-case scenario and a hacker hits at 4.30 in the afternoon, the business will only lose data generated that day, as opposed to everything. This means that you don’t have to panic – you can focus on addressing the problem, shoring up your defences and restore your data quickly once the systems are clear, so you’re back up and running in no time.
Have An IT Specialist On Hand
If the IT starts going funny in your business, or you aren’t sure what’s going on, who you gonna call? (admit it, you sang that). Odds are it’s not Ghostbusters. iInstead it’s likely to be some sort of IT guru. But I know many people who opt to call a friend or family member who knows their way around a computer, rather than finding a business IT specialist. And while uncle Joe might understand how to set up a computer, he probably doesn’t understand your situation, or appreciate how important it is that your data remains safe and your systems get up and running again. Would you use a random friend to deliver your services, or fix the plumbing? Probably not. So we recommend you find yourself an IT specialist who works with small businesses, who can be on hand when you need them, and not charge you when you don’t. There are plenty of them out there – all you need to do is look.
Of course, there are many different ways you can protect your business from hackers, and these are just the headline points. To really understand not only how to protect your business, how at risk your business really is, you need to speak to a professional. At 10-12, we bring together professional women from across all industries to help support each other and grow their businesses, including in the IT sector. To find out which group your nearest IT guru is in and arrange a visit, just visit our website today.