4 Inexpensive Ways to Enhance IT Security

IT securityA growing number of businesses have found themselves compromised by cyber attacks as hackers get craftier and viruses, malware, and other security threats become more dynamic. More than half of small and medium-sized businesses report experiencing a cyber attack during the past year, according to a recent Ponemon Institute report. Additionally, 50 percent of SMBs had data breaches involving either employee or customer information during the previous year, and they spent $879,582 on average as a result of damage or IT asset theft.

Luckily, there are ways for businesses to minimize the risks posed by IT security threats. These commonly overlooked preventive steps will not only help your business fend off hackers and avoid data breaches but are also simple and inexpensive to implement. Using a proactive approach to safeguard your company could make a big difference in terms of productivity, finances, and your ability to deliver quality customer service. Follow these four steps to make your business more secure.

1. Train your staff and give them the tools they need to succeed. During the HR onboarding process, it is important to ensure new hires know your restrictions concerning how end users handle and work with IT. Additionally, since employees might forget this information after a while, managers should regularly review it during meetings.

End user restrictions might include the following:

• No data can be sent to non-business email addresses or uploaded to non-business cloud storage sites.

• Remote access should be limited and be handled according to a strict process that only allows access to specific approved information.

• Update passwords regularly and don’t publish them on your desktop or store them using files that aren’t encrypted.

• USB and hand held devices should have restricted access to company data.

• Review email procedures and keep an eye out for phishing and ransomware attempts. It’s simple: Don’t click on links or attachments that you aren’t 100% certain aren’t malicious.

2. Use a spam filter. As businesses move to cloud solutions such as Office 365 and Google for Business, they might gain a false sense of security. Remember that although these solutions have simple front-end safeguards in place to handle spam, it’s still a good idea to implement a true hosted or on premise spam filter for maximum security.

3. Enact Web filtering, content filtering, unified threat management (UTM), and DNS filtering. All of these solutions play a crucial role in IT security by preventing end users from visiting websites that could lead to malicious programs infecting their PCs, which in turn could affect other machines and the company’s entire network. Some businesses’ internal firewalls can take care of filtering and UTM. However, those functions might either not be set up, require a subscription, or lack the intelligence needed to identify all threats. As a result, a hosted DNS filtering solution can make a difference as a second line of defense.

4. Update your firewall. Businesses often think they can just “set and forget” firewalls. However, based on how intelligent hackers have become, ensuring you have the latest firmware downloaded on your firewall is crucial if you want to combat the new security threats coming out regularly and thwart hackers using new means to compromise firewalls.

Ultimately, IT security threats will continue to evolve and hackers will keep getting smarter. If you want to avoid disastrous data breaches, it’s important to take steps to ensure your business is as secure as possible. If you’d like to learn more about IT security solutions, contact us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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