IT Security

Picture the scene…

You were out of the office yesterday, but back in today to a full inbox, lots of questions to answer, a task list as long as your arm, and you need to crack on with getting your jobs done.

You’ve still got yesterday going around in your head and now you have today to deal with!

IT security is on your list to think about, but for now, all is well, the computers seem to be ok, and because nobody is complaining, it’s best to keep quiet; there are after all other priority jobs to complete.

If you’re like most small business owners, you will be busy and won’t want to talk about IT security but a bit like Murphy’s law, IT issues have a nasty habit of cropping up when you are really busy – and they force you to make time to resolve them.

At R&A we get it, IT security doesn’t float many people’s boats and has even been described as “boring, however IT security is an essential part of your business, whether physical or digital.

What would you do if you couldn’t get on to your computer – this could be for many reasons – it won’t start, it’s having a ‘strop’ or heaven forbid there has been a security breach restricting your access?

Should the unthinkable happen, you need to be confident that you can run your business, using minimum downtime to restore business critical documents and folders. Therefore, you need to protect your data, not just from cyber security threats like malware and hackers, but from human error and system failures too.

To be able to successfully protect your data, you need to know:

  • Where on your system do your staff save business critical files?
  • Are these locations covered by security and included in a backup?
  • Do you regularly get a report that the backup has completed successfully?
  • Do you verify that your backup is successfully backing up the right data by testing it?
  • Do you know how to restore a specific file, files or folders should they become corrupted or if they are lost?
  • Who in your team needs access, and to what; to do their job?
  • Do you know who has access to, for example, confidential senior management documents?

We hope that by now, most business owners reading this blog will have a backup in place, but in our experience, very few can positively answer the questions above.

Security is not just about knowing what needs to be done, but why it needs to be done. If you answered ‘No’ to any of the questions above, contact us today for a chat about your IT security processes (or lack of them), or arrange Our free IT MOT. It will show you areas of vulnerability and risk but also areas for improvement to help you save time and money. You’ll get a short actionable plan, not a huge list of jobs to add to your (already far too long to-do) list

Backups

Many small businesses think that a cyberattack won’t happen to them, because they think that hackers have bigger fish to fry – larger companies make better targets, right?

This is a myth!

Most cyber-attacks these days are of the ‘phishing’ variety. Yeah, we know that’s jargon but it’s not hard to understand – Think of it like a thief going down a street trying all the front doors until they find an unlocked one. The easiest house to rob is the one with the unlocked door.

This is why you need to ensure that your system and office computers/devices are ‘locked’ and block any unauthorised access.

Your data is a major business asset, so you need to take steps to protect it, not only from cyberattacks, but from system failures, human error, viruses, and malware.

Should something happen whereby you cannot access that business-critical data, you need to be sure that your business will soon be back to normal with minimal disruption and inconvenience to both you and your customers.

Think of your backup as a safety net for data, it is there just in case your systems fail, for whatever reason.

Security

Of course, having virus protection is a good start. But there are other nasties out there too, such as malware, spyware or phishing.

Your system needs protection against all types of cybersecurity threat, not just viruses. Similar to the above analogy, it’s not enough to only lock the front door, you need to lock the backdoor and side doors too!

Some business owners think that they don’t have information that attackers would want. But ransomware isn’t just about the importance of the information to an outsider, it is about its importance to your business.

Ransomware works by denying you access to your own data until you pay a ransom to get it back. But, be wary, even if you pay, there is no guarantee that you will regain access to your data.

If you require constant access to your data, and you obviously do! You should ensure you have systems in place enabling you to retain that access.

Security should be implemented on all your company’s devices as well as the network – PCs, laptops, tablets, and phones, whether your staff are in the office, working from home or out on the road.

Staff training should also include what to look out for to try to prevent the issue in the first place i.e. a security alert or suspicious emails/activity on their device.

If you are unsure whether your company’s devices are protected, why not book our free IT MOT today?

Disaster recovery plan

An effective disaster recovery plan should include considerations of what data and systems are critical to run your business. In other words, what could you not afford to lose? These are the data and systems that would impact your processes and your ability to do business as normal.

Incluse a procedure for what files are backed up, from where, when and how often; and their recovery.

You need to remember to test the backup and make sure it has:

  • Saved the right data/documents
  • Restored the data successfully so your business can continue as normal

A disaster recovery plan must meet the changing needs of your business, so it should be tested, reviewed and amended on a regular basis to take into account changes in trading conditions, internal/external processes, industry regulations, software and/or personnel.

If you would like advice on putting together a disaster recovery plan, or you are worried your network is not adequately protected against malicious software and external threats, call us today to discuss how we can put your mind at rest by making your system/devices more secure.

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Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

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