data securitySmall to Mid-Sized Businesses (SMBs) are natural targets for the criminally minded. SMBs have limited resources and are more likely to have gaps in their security because there just aren’t enough funds to spread around. The flip side of that issue, though, is that these smaller operations often represent the entirety of the owner’s assets, which makes loss and theft potentially catastrophic. Here are five key areas where a little extra protection can go a long way in preventing loss.

    1. Strong Internet Security This is your first line of defense against online attacks, so the “free with purchase” version of whatever antivirus came with your PC is probably not going to cut it. If your budget is really tight, then use the free as the base, but then select the upgrades with more thorough monitoring. If your business is run heavily online, then consider a more robust antivirus/antimalware platform that is remotely monitored by professionals.
    2. Thorough Security PoliciesThe humans on your network are your biggest security weakness. This risk can only be managed if you properly inform them of the appropriate way to use the network and how to be aware of threats. This teaching should include guidelines on using personal devices, company network access, social network use, proper use of company hardware, as well writing strong passwords, how to detect a SPAM email, and how to protect company data if they need to take it from the building. Also give new hires concise instructions on security policies as soon as you bring them on board. Violations of these policies should not be ignored. A policy without teeth is likely to ignored.
    3. Updated SoftwareYour software providers are constantly advising you of updates and patches. These are not to be ignored. They are often created in response to detected weaknesses and vulnerabilities, especially when it comes to your OS and antivirus. If your software is out-of-date, your protection is potentially useless.
    4. BackupWith ransomware attacks on the rise, your antivirus may not be enough. The only way to ensure a strong chance of data recovery in the event of theft or disaster is regular backups. You can backup your data daily to an external drive or take advantage of one of the many online automatic data backup solutions available. Read our post How to Choose an Online Backup and Recovery Solution to get some helpful advice in your search.
    5. Physical SecurityGuarding your valuable business information takes traditional security measures as well. An alarm system monitored by a 24/7/365 service is always a good idea. There are also security cameras that are easy to install and use via a mobile app on your phone. Be sure any valuable files or paperwork are locked up in your absence as well.

If you think you can’t afford the cost of thorough security measures, consider the cost of neglecting them. All it takes is one malicious email and a click of a mouse to lose all of your data to a hacker. We’ve been a trusted IT partner to many businesses in Northeast Ohio, and nationwide, for over 30 years. We make it a priority to evolve our services to keep current with the trends and threats in the IT space. If you’re looking for a data security partner you can trust, call us. 

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