IT security continues to concern businesses as high-profile data breaches grab headlines and hackers become increasingly sophisticated. Companies of every size must seriously consider the safety of their information to protect their trade secrets and the identities of their customers. Your business faces these threats, so you must act proactively to keep its information secure. If you don’t act, you could wake one day to discover your customers’ payment information posted online and your competitors employing your top talent. Use the following tips to begin securing your business information.
Change Account User Names and Passwords
IT equipment such as computers and routers come with default usernames and passwords as part of the OEM configuration. Always change your loving information to something other than the default settings to increase the difficulty hacker’s face while trying to gain access to your systems. Additionally, you should implement a security policy that requires the periodic change of all usernames and passwords used by your firm. Doing so will keep your company a step or two ahead of the people trying to steal your information.
Update Software and Firmware
Operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, for example, make easy targets for attackers, so always install updates and patches when they become available. Your routers and other network devices have firmware that can also become vulnerable. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for checking for updates and installing them to keep all your IT equipment up to date. Your antivirus and Internet security software apps also require regular updates to protect your systems from the latest virus and malware threats.
Use Online Encryption
E-commerce companies must use SSL encryption as a fundamental security measure for online transactions. If your website does not have an SSL certificate installed, you expose your customer’s personal information to the world. Make sure that your systems and procedures meet or exceed the requirements specified by your payment processor and the major credit card companies. Doing so will give your business a minimum security level that will discourage hackers.
Set user permissions for all the valuable information in your company to ensure that nosy employees and intruders cannot easily access it. You can set such permissions in computer and server operating systems and some network equipment, so make sure your information goes only to those who need it to do their jobs.
Get Outside Help
Many businesses can’t afford the high cost of creating and operating an in-house IT department, so owners and managers try to fill the role. Get the help you need by outsourcing your IT support and get top notch data security. Firms specializing in network security have professional staffers with the knowledge and experience necessary to counter the latest threats. Such companies can assist with the implementation of safety procedures, and they can manage and monitor your network remotely using the best available tools. Since they simultaneously service many clients, IT support providers enjoy economies of scale that make their services affordable to business customers.
Your company needs the best possible IT support to stay safe in the current online environment. You can boost security on your own by updating your software and operating systems and changing the usernames and passwords used to access your IT equipment. Finish the job by enlisting the help of a third-party support team to keep your network safe.