Small business owners often use IT security plans as a reactive move after an attack when in reality a security plan should be a proactive move to secure your customers. You can save your business time, money, and most importantly, your customers.
“Compromises no longer come from hackers,” said Bob Gaines, security and compliance manager at All Covered, an information technology services company. “It comes from virus outbreaks and disgruntled employees.” Even surfing the Internet unsafely can result in a breach in the network.
A security breach can end a business of any size. Word spreads fast and no one wants their valuable information in unauthorized hands and damage relationships with customers or partners who expected their data to be safe.
Unfortunately, installing firewalls and anti-viruses is not enough protection. You should re-evaluate and analyze how your business operates and create a plan that will fit your individual security needs.
While firewalls and anti-virus software are a necessity, Gaines says it’s also important to back up data regularly and encrypt data that the business wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Data can be encrypted in such a way that only a few employees can have access to it. Smartphones are enabling small business owners and employees to become mobile, pushing their data to be at the highest risk. Smartphone users need to ensure the information is encrypted. In the case of an emergency, Gaines advises business owners to make sure company phones have an app that can remotely delete data off lost or stolen phones.
Remember, it’s important that employees and owners have strong access passwords that are changed regularly. What is a strong password? According to Gaines, it should be seven characters or more, a combination of symbols and numbers and include a capital letter. “More complexity added makes it harder to breach.”
While creating a comprehensive IT security plan may be intimidating, it doesn’t cost as much as the aftermath of an attack. The most challenging part is to understand what your company needs are and putting the security plan into action.