Common Mistakes Compromising Your Business’s Computer Security
You don’t have to be an expert in IT security to adequately protect your business from the prying eyes of hackers who want to steal sensitive information you may have in your system. While it is prudent to work with experts, whether bringing them on as staff, or consulting with a third party, some of the most effective measures are the simplest ones that can easily be implemented with a bit of effort and a willingness to be consistent. Here are a just a few mistakes of which to be aware.
Going It Alone
If you are not exactly tech-savvy, trying to shore up your network’s security all on your own could leave something to be desired. Setting up networks, implementing security and downloading all the necessary software can be a challenge. Sure, maybe you are trying to save some money by doing it on your own, but the costs of a sloppy set-up could be much more costly down the line. Bite the bullet, and pay the professionals. It is worth it.
Poor Use of Passwords
This is one of the most common mistakes, and one of the simplest to correct. Easy passwords equal easier access to your network. Create a strict password policy that requires passwords to be a certain length, and contain a range of characters. Many IT experts recommend a password 12 characters in length. You can purchase programs that allow for central management of passwords, allowing you to do all sorts of useful things, like ensuring people are following said policy, and deleting accounts of people who leave the company.
Not Updating Definitions Regularly
All those programs trying to protect you from viruses and other forms of malware are constantly evolving to shore up holes in their operations, and adapt to new threats. If you are not regularly updating definitions, you are not using the programs to the fullest capability, and in many ways, it is like not using them at all.
Ignoring Security Patches
No operating system is perfect, and vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered, and exploited shortly thereafter. If you are not installing the security patches put out by the OS provider, you are leaving gaping holes in your network security. Install these patches immediately.
Not Properly Educating Employees
If you are interested in improving network security, you must do your best to educate your employees about proper use of software, and the risks associated with certain ‘computer behaviors’ This lack of knowledge is a primary contributor to falling victim to phishing attacks, spyware and viruses. We engage in so many behaviors online automatically and generally trust what we see—you want to break this habit, and the only way to do that is to increase awareness through education. Make sure everyone is aware of the measures they are expected to follow.
Not Encrypting Data
Maybe you think your business is too small to be the target of hackers, but you are definitely not off their radar, so your data should be encrypted just like it would be at a large company. If you are not confident in implementing this technology on your own, it is well worth the expense to consult with an IT specialist.