Picture the scenario – you have spent months / years / decades building your company’s reputation. A security breach occurs leading to sensitive customer data getting into the wrong hands. This one breach has instantly set your company’s reputation back to square one or even further. Most people are well aware that at the very minimum they should install an Antivirus program. However just installing an Antivirus program is not enough. Below we have shared some basic security tips that you can easily put in place to significantly reduce the chances of the above scenario ever coming to pass.
- Ensure that the password you use is at least eight characters long formed using at least one symbol and one number.
- It is vital that you check to ensure that your anti-virus program is actually up to date. When new vulnerabilities are identified by Anti-Virus vendors, they update their product and push that update to your copy of the Anti-Virus program. If your copy of the program is not updating correctly then your system will still be vulnerable to attack without you knowing.
- Ensure that your company’s firewall is blocking websites and file types that are known to be a security risk.
- Check that your e-mail provider blocks file extensions that may be malicious and alerts you when a mail has been blocked.
- When installing a program always choose the option to “Custom Install”. Check that there are no hidden extras being installed as part of the install i.e. toolbars / security scanners.
Securing your Mobile Environment
The company data that was once just accessible from one device i.e. your PC / Laptop / MAC is now available on your mobile phone or tablet. Ensuring the security of the mobile devices your company use is something that needs to be proactively secured and managed:
- Simple measures such as putting a pin code on your phone / iPad are often sacrificed for the sake of quick access to mobile devices. Implementing this simple policy in your organisation, is a simple way to start securing your mobile environment.
- One of the most important app’s on your iPhone is ‘Find my iPhone’. This app will give you the ability to find your iPhone. Simply sign into your iCloud account and check that it is working correctly. The app will allow you to remotely wipe the phone should the device become lost or stolen. Follow to this link to setup this feature - https://support.apple.com/kb/PH2697?locale=en_US
- Signing into a Google account on your Android device will provide you with the same service as the Apple Find my iPhone - https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager
- Both Android and iPhone devices can also be vulnerable to virus attacks. It is important to download a security app that will protect your mobile from attack. We would recommend you download Avast, Bitdefender and CM Security, as they are all free and will provide you with peace of mind.
- It is vital that mobile devices are encrypted. Should a device be lost or stolen encrypted data will be accessible.
Your IT Provider should have a Mobile Device Management Solution.
Always be a little suspicious
No matter how good your security system is, there is always a chance that a vulnerability may be exposed. Always stop and think before you open or run any file or program that has been downloaded or sent to your via e-mail or on an external storage device i.e. a USB device.
If you have any doubt (no matter how small) DON’T run or open that file / application. Any document attached to an e-mail from an unknown source is a potential risk to your system.
A good Cloud E-Mail platform will block any suspicious attachments before they get to your inbox.
We will notify you that the mail has been blocked and tell you why. You can then choose to release this blocked mail should it be legitimate.
Always remember to use the ‘Scan’ option before opening / running any files or programs on external media i.e. USB devices. An Antivirus solution will allow you to carry out this security check every time a file is run by default.
BACKUP! BACKUP! And YES you guessed it - BACKUP again!!!
What would happen if your device is infected by a virus and the data on your PC is not recoverable? Besides the disruption caused to your business, how easily would you recover from this event?
Creating a backup strategy is vital to ensuring the continuity of your business should the above scenario occur.
When forming your backup/ disaster recovery strategy it is important to always think of the worse scenario first “Do I have a copy of all of my data offsite if the building goes on fire”.
Below are some tips to on how start to form your backup strategy:
- Backup your data to an offsite location which is easily accessible remotely
- Backup multiple versions of your data – multiple times a day
- Ensure that the time and date from which a backup can be restored is acceptable.
- Test that the time it takes to restore a backup is acceptable.
- Ensure that your phone system can easily be moved to another physical location i.e. that the phones will just plug into the internet and be back online from any location.
- Test the integrity of the data you are backing up at least once a quarter