The long holiday break is a time when your IT infrastructure is more vulnerable to cyber threats. Why? Because your employees may unintentionally leave their computers in sleep mode or may not fully understand the IT security measures you have in place, resulting in your computer network being poorly secured. This exposes your business to increased risk of malicious intrusion, fraud or data theft.
Hackers often target small businesses first. Gaining access to your network becomes a lot easier if it is vulnerable. That’s the reason why you, as a leader, must establish a precise IT hygiene policy to properly protect your company’s data and electronic equipment. Otherwise, in the event of data theft, fraud or intrusion into your IT system, the financial and logistical consequences can be serious!
Here are three good habits to adopt in order to avoid these unfortunate consequences.
1. Raise employee awareness
The main source of IT security breach in a small business comes from within; straight from its employees. To reduce the risk of viruses, fraud, intrusion or cyber attacks, strict electronic management rules need to be put in place. Employees need to know and understand the consequences of a computer attack. In addition, make sure that they develop good “digital hygiene” when it comes to:
- Application download and installation practices for new software: It is essential that any download of external software and programs to company-owned equipment is pre-approved by an IT security specialist.
- Methods of remote access to the computer network: among other things, educate your employees to disconnect completely from the VPN network before taking days off for the holidays.
- Choosing a secure password: Ideally, your employees should change their master passwords before shutting down their computer for the vacation period.
- Fraudulent emails and phishing: Educate your employees on the importance of reporting suspicious messages to an IT security specialist.
2. Secure your computer network
With the pandemic and the upcoming Christmas holidays, you’ve probably multiplied the number of devices connected to your company network to allow employees to work from home. These remote connections further expose your company to cyber threats and cyber attacks. Your network must remain tight to protect sensitive data and confidential business files. Your essential access should be distributed to only a few people in the company and require strong personal authentication. Here are a few tips:
- Provide laptops, tablets and smartphones with effective anti-malware software and keep it up to date;
- Establish strict rules regarding the management of unwanted e-mails (spam);
- Have a firewall and a proxy to protect connections;
- Protect your local network, Wi-Fi accesses and the electronic messaging system (emails);
- Make your partners, customers and suppliers aware of cyber attacks.
3. Opt for cloud backup
This time of year is more prone to meteorological storms, hence loss of electrical power and computer system failures. Businesses, especially SMBs, must now make their IT infrastructures, applications and key data accessible remotely to their employees, as well as their partners, customers and suppliers. Opting for a cloud data backup solution will allow your business to:
- Secure your systems, data and IT infrastructure;
- Have access to your files, documents and business data anywhere;
- No longer having to waste your time on slow servers ;
- Save money by reducing your IT infrastructure purchasing costs;
- Obtain automatic and complete backups hourly;
- Regain access to all your files, folders and documents in the event of equipment failure.
Solulan offers innovative services tailored to the IT security needs of SMEs and large companies. In addition, we offer services such as temporary assistance, technological project development, the improvement of IT infrastructure or full support of your information technology department.