With inherent stresses that come with running a business, there is often little time to digest complex intricacies of security software. According to recent studies many business owners eschew notion that their digital assets may be vulnerable to attack. Although an attack or infection can be potentially catastrophic, many believe damage caused by viruses, hackers and worms only happens to others. They consider their data to be of little use or value outside of their organization. Even executives that acknowledge existence of these hazards seldom have time or budget for security audits and/or an overhaul of their workflow procedures to comply with best security practices.
Below are a few simple tools, tips and guidelines that can help your business take a proactive approach to data security. By implementing following, your business data will be less susceptible to financial damage caused by accidents and malicious attacks.
REGULARILY UPDATE YOUR SOFTWARE
Although valiant efforts are often made to write safe software, fact is that no software is ever bug-free. Hackers exploit these bugs for a variety of reasons including fun and money. It is critically important that your software is updated on a regular basis. Most operating systems, firewall and antivirus can and should be configured to receive regular updates.
Update MS Windows visit: windowsupdate.microsoft.com Update Mac OS visit: http://www.apple.com/support/
Firewalls separate one network from another and are frequently used to separate a company’s internal network from Internet. Firewalls not only mask identity of individual computers behind them, they also examine and filter potentially damaging data entering or leaving network. It is good practice to install both perimeter and client-side firewalls.
Some firewall providers include: -Watchguard: www.watchguard.com -Cisco: www.cicso.com -ZoneLabs: www.zonelabs.com
INSTALL ANTI-VIRUS PROTECTION
Hundreds if not thousands new malware programs are released each month. These include viruses, worms, Trojan horses and host of other programs. Symptoms of infection range from annoying to catastrophic. Because viruses can slip through firewalls posing as a legitimate email or program, installation of client-side anti-virus software is important. Install only latest version of your chose antivirus program and make sure to regularly update and scan your system.
Well established anti-virus providers include: -Norton: www.symantec.com/product/index_smallbiz.html -AVG: www.grisoft.com/ -Panda Software: www.pandasoftware.com -McAfee: us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp
PROTECT THE CONTENT OF YOUR SENSITIVE FILES AND EMAIL
Email doesn’t have to be a public announcement, yet private messages often turn out to be. Email and files containing sensitive business information such as strategic plans, contracts, financial information, designs and more all too often spread beyond individuals they were intended for. According to a recent report by Computer Security Institute loss of proprietary data was third leading cause of financial damage to organizations last year.