5 Essential IT Security Steps Businesses Should Be Taking

Many businesses will think solely of anti-virus when they hear the term IT Security. The truth is, there are various protection measures that businesses should be considering to successfully prevent against the increasing rise of cyber-attacks and data breaches. With an estimated 4,000 malware attacks taking place daily in 2016, and with data breaches accounting for three-quarters of business financial loss, it’s vital to take IT Security seriously and show your clients you are invested in protecting their data.

Improve Patching

Patch management is the process of using software to update a computer program, to make sure it’s protected against bugs, vulnerabilities, and is running to maximum performance. Patches today can be applied to software programs over the global IP network; they no longer must be sent on external media. This is the age of automatic addition of software patches and upgrades.

Performing regular patching will put any potential vulnerabilities and risks to the computer at bay, and will also help spot any issues that need addressing to protect the computer from a malware attack.

CCTV

CCTV may not seem like the obvious choice of protection against IT threats, but it’s important to recognise that threats to your internal infrastructure can come in all sorts of undesirable shapes and sizes. 67% of crime last year reported by businesses was external theft. When your computers, servers and IT infrastructure get stolen, it’s not just a financial loss you will be facing.

The loss of data will have devastating external and internal impacts, damaging your reputation as a company and potentially getting you in trouble with the law if customer data is breached due to lack of protective measures. Gaining CCTV installations is the sure way to not only prevent and off put potential crime and vandalism, but to also protect your business internally in the event of an occurrence. It’s something worth considering, especially if your business assets are visible and stored in your offices or shops.

Internal Education

Many IT Security breaches are due to staff error. Be it malware infested emails that get opened, or the lack of education over the importance of strong passwords and regular updating of programmes, internal error is a big cause for data loss and spreading of viruses.

It’s vital to make sure staff are educated and aware of the potential risks, and it could even be worth an investment to provide training and awareness courses. The cost of a potential breach or infection that requires whole infrastructure and network replenishes will be much greater than any cost of training provided.

Data Backup

As mentioned, the loss of data can cause huge financial losses for a business. 43% of companies suffering from an instance of major data loss without a continuity plan will never re-open. Having data securely backed up, can mean that data can be fully recovered or partially recovered in the event of an attack.

After all, as the saying goes “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Therefore, ensuring your business-critical data is backed up, safe and securely must be one of your priorities if you want your business to succeed. Through cloud storage services, you will also be able to access your files from any computer in the world through a secure web portal; using the latest in cloud technologies, allowing data-backup solutions to be simple.

Managed Anti-Virus

The key word in the above term is ‘managed’. Countless companies are installing anti-virus and thinking that the job is done. Out of date anti-virus is the number one reason that online viruses through adverts and pop ups can end up infecting a PC. Anti-virus needs to be monitored carefully, with issues spotted gaining a fast resolvent time

Cyber-attacks, spam and viruses cause businesses worldwide millions a year in loss and damages. In the year 2000 the Iloveyou virus caused an estimated 5.5 billion dollars’ worth of damage to businesses worldwide. Although advances in antivirus software and security have been developed to prevent such a wide scale attack from repeating itself, new and evolved viruses are always being developed. The only way to combat these threats is to keep one step ahead of the enemy, with an up to date and top of the line security and antivirus system.

Implantation of these ideas and regular maintenance and monitoring checks will ensure your business is on the road to staying safe against cyber security threats that could devastate your business.