09 Feb 2015
It is almost inconceivable that a modern business would not require Internet access. Consequently, nearly all companies of all sizes are connected to the World Wide Web on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, this also makes businesses vulnerable, as there are no end of threats out there on the Internet. So here is a rundown of some of the most basic security requirements for any business that wishes to connect to the ‘net.
There are a huge amount of viruses and other forms of malware on the Internet, and it is absolutely essential that you protect every single computer on your network from picking up such malicious programs. Dangerous threats on the Internet can include viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware and scareware, botnets and also spyware. You need a reliable anti-virus program, and you need to be running it, and indeed updating it, on a constant basis.
It is essential to not only safeguard passwords very carefully, but also to ensure that members of staff select passwords which are difficult to hack and guess. Truly randomised passwords for your Internet accounts are advisable, and storage via programs such as PasswordSafe or 1Password should be considered diligently.
Additionally, blocking dodgy and malicious websites should be considered a must as well. This can be achieved via browser plug-ins.
A lot of Internet problems can be solved by utilising firewalls. These are security systems that protect your network from being accessed by external sources. There are many firewalls available for PC users, and many perfectly decent ones are free of charge, so there is no excuse for not operating one within your business.
Encrypting data and emails is a surprisingly rare practice, particularly among small businesses, but securing email communication over the Internet when dealing with sensitive information is becoming a necessity. The Signed and Encrypted Email Over the Internet (SEEOTI) initiative aims to help SMEs with this process, and it is certainly worth checking out.
Finally, backing up your data should be considered absolutely essential. In the modern era off the Internet and cloud-based systems, it is far more advisable to use a trusted and high quality external provider for this purpose. Don't cut corners with data backup as such a service can ultimately save your business from an absolute disaster. Companies such as BackupVault who have an excellent reputation of dealing with SMEs, and who provide premium backup services at an affordable rate, should be entrusted with this responsibility.