Keeping your business secure

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IT security risks for businessSMEs face the same security risks as larger businesses and in some cases are more vulnerable.

In the first ever Cyber Crime and Security Survey conducted by Cert Australia in 2012, released in Feb 2013, 20 per cent of 255 organisations surveyed reported having to deal with a ”cyber attack”, despite 90% of them having security safeguards in their systems.

The report also noted that the number of incidents may be even higher than indicated, as some attacks may have gone undetected.

With the continuing increase of cyber attacks globally, it’s imperative that businesses boost their security measures and protect themselves from cyber criminals.

The biggest security risks to your IT System:

Malicious programs

Malware is reportedly the most prevalent computer security issue affecting small Aussie businesses today. Every computing device is vulnerable to viruses, trojans, worms, rootkits, keyloggers, botware, spyware, and adware which are spread through email attachments, files, removable storage devices, and visits to infected websites. And, with the growing popularity of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), you’ll be more at risk of exposing your business to these threats if no security system is in place.

These malicious programs can install themselves to your system and steal critical data like login credentials or personal information. They can also destroy or corrupt your hardware and software, and slow down system performance by utilising memory, CPU, and other system resources.

Cloud computing risks

Cloud computing is especially beneficial for small businesses who don’t have the financial and human resources to invest in their own IT infrastructure. But business owners must exercise due diligence in choosing their provider. Data may be misused by rogue providers or insecurely transmitted, stored or processed.

Wireless Internet vulnerabilities

Businesses who utilise wireless local area networks may inadvertently leave their connections open or use weak encryption, leaving their accounts accessible to other network users without their knowledge. Issues relating to wireless connections include session hijacking, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, and unauthorised access to data on servers.

It’s quite alarming that there are still businesses who consider security as an unnecessary expense. What they don’t understand is that no one is too small to be a target of cyber crime. Cutting costs on their IT budget could do more harm to their business than good.

How to keep your business secure:

Invest in good anti-virus software

 Make sure that you’re not only up-to-date with technology, but also with your anti-virus software. Regularly run your anti-virus to ensure effective virus detection and prevention exists on all systems.

Avoid phishing emails

Communicate with your staff the importance of not opening spam emails and suspicious attachments even if they seem to originate from a reliable source. Put in place a filtering system that helps filter out spams and other malicious emails.

Secure your wireless network

Encrypt your wireless router and use WPA2 wireless security. A firewall is another essential protection your business needs; only allowing authorised users to access the network whilst blocking unauthorised access.

Develop and establish a BYOD policy

This will give you simplified workspace management with complete security and control over devices brought by your staff to work. Limit access of sensitive information to those who need to see it.

Have a data backup system

Be sure to have some type of data storage and backup system in place should your current system go down. By having all of your files readily available to you in case of an emergency, you can be sure your business will continue to serve customers no matter what happens.

Use a reliable IT partner

Trust  your system only to people who understand your business, know how to keep you secured and with whom you have a signed contractual agreement.

Risking your business’ IT security can be a costly mistake you don’t want to make. Know what your business is up against and take steps towards prevention.

If you are not sure how vulnerable your business is, invest in a security audit to determine what data you need protecting and what parts of your business are vulnerable.

With leading experience in IT managed services and IT outsourcing services Sydney-wide, Centrix is happy to provide an obligation free consultation to review your security needs. Let us know how we can we help you.