Small Business Cyber Security: An owner’s guide to common risks to IT security
As a small business owner, managing all the risks to IT security yourself can make you go gray at an early age. From securing your files, who enters the building, who takes what home with them and everything else, there is a lot going on and a lot riding on small business cyber security.
It’s easy to overlook all of the small business cyber security risks that your company may not be addressing – either because you don’t know it’s a risk, you haven’t encountered it or your current procedures aren’t up to industry standards.
Below are some common risks to IT security and things that you can proactively do about them.
The Rogue Employee as a Risk to IT Security
The problem: An employee leaves your company. He boxes up his stuff and goes home. What did he also pack away? Oh, just a few of the passwords he used each and every day on the job. What will he do with them, you may ask?
The solution: When an employee leaves your company for whatever the reason – change the passwords that employee used. All of them. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Use a secure cloud server for official business rather than a personalized solution your employees have access to through their own accounts.
Revoke access and create a process for user life-cycle management. The release of any confidential information can cripple a company.
BYOD as a Risk to IT Security
The problem: Employees use their personal smartphones and tablets for official company business. While this is an accepted practice among ownership there is no actual policy in place dictating how information is accessed, and shared.
The solution: Encrypt data in transit and encrypt data in rest. That’s essentially the Information Technology Pledge of Allegiance. All devices should be protected with strong passwords, and ideally, 2-factor authentication is also used. Ensure users are on the latest version of their operating system and don’t allow employees to participate in BYOD if they have a jail-broken device. Use a Mobile Device Management service to keep track of inventory and automatically un-enroll employees when they leave the company.
Natural Disasters as a Risk to IT Security
The problem: Fires, earthquakes & floods don’t pair well with physical servers that store all of your company data. You lack a definitive disaster recovery plan and don’t have a suitable backup solution in place.
The solution: A managed backup solution can help get your business back up and running in a moment’s notice in case of a disaster – along with having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. ThrottleNet provides a two-fold managed backup solution incorporating an image based solution for total system protection, along with a streamlined remote cloud-based backup system.
Your Passwords as a Risk to IT Security
The problem: The first line of small business cyber security is the humble password. Maybe some of your folders aren’t protected by passwords, allowing the wrong data to get into the wrong hands. Maybe you have a dumb password, and it’s easy for outsiders to hack their way into confidential information.
The solution: 2-factor authentication is becoming standard. Fingerprints are harder to replicate than any password, and retina scanning is something we will start to see more of in the near future. Regardless of everything else, your password shouldn’t be password, 123456, qwertyuiop or anything else of that nature.
Social Engineering as a Risk to IT Security
The problem: Social engineering attempts – often personable and seemingly reputable are all too common ways hackers can pose risks to IT security. Emails that appear reputable can come in from people asking for things they shouldn’t be asking for or contain links saturated with malware. Physically taking the bait by plugging in a carefully planted USB stick can also pose huge threats to small business cyber security.
The solution: Common sense can help deter 95% of social engineering attempts, and a policy should be in place about what information can be given out via email. Chances are, your business isn’t receiving a grant from a Nigerian prince anytime soon.
Goats are some of the Biggest Risks to IT Security Out There
The problem: At ThrottleNet, we refer to lazy, under-prepared, unreachable IT guys as goats. A goat causes more problems than it solves, distracts employees from work, belittles your IT problems and complains about going the extra mile for your company. Your IT Department should be able to seal off all risks, answer employee questions and work to improve your day-to-day processes and implement new technologies to benefit the future of your company and enhance your bottom line. This isn’t always the case in IT, especially in small business.
The solution: ThrottleNet offers affordable Managed Network solutions for small business, geared towards improving small business cyber security measures, decreasing risks to IT security while always being available to answer any questions you may have while allowing you to properly align your technology goals with your overall business goals. As a full-service IT outsourcing provider and IT Consultant, ThrottleNet is here to help your business succeed. Contact us today & let us evaluate the risks to IT security specifically impacting your company so we can solve them together!