Ten tips from the Supreme Team to help make your IT network more secure. Happy reading!
1. Educate your team…
IT Security begins with your team so teach them how to spot malicious emails. I like this article on www.pcworld.com which talks about the 3 signs you should look out for. In short if you receive an email purporting to be from your bank (or supplier, client, booking.com) which you a) are not expecting (hint: look closely at email address – you should be able to spot that the address is not really from who it is claiming to be from); b) is not addressed to you (so rather than Dear Angie, the email addresses you as Dear Customer, Dear Sir or nothing at all) and c) it has an attachment or link which you need to click on to view further information – it is a phoney! Delete immediately.
2. …revoke their rights
This is the first thing we do when we on-board a new client. We revoke local PC rights for all users. This does not always go down well in the first instance but after we explain that the easiest way to introduce viruses to their IT system is by letting their users download unverified content most business owners soon come round to our way of thinking…
3. Employ user account access controls
Just so you can ensure that only authorised users can access you business’s IT systems and information
4. Get a business grade firewall
We are still amazed by how many times during a pre contract audit we come across businesses who use firewalls (router) clearly designed for domestic use. Not all firewalls are created equal so please get a business grade firewall
5. Pay for your anti-virus – you get what you pay for if you go FREE
“You are just paying for the name aren’t you? They all do the same thing!” Wrong! As above not all AV’s are created equal. Pay for your anti-virus – Free is as free does. We will always recommend market leaders (our belief is that they must lead the market for a reason) – their products are tried and tested. If you do implement only one of our advice please do this. Don’t skimp on AV!
6. Move from Exchange to Microsoft Office 365
Another way viruses get into IT systems is via SPAM (unsolicited) email messages. Moving to Office 365 by Microsoft will give you the necessary protection against SPAM for your emails. Plans start from £3.10 per user. You can find out more here
7. Upgrade old software
Do you still have PCs running Windows XP? Are your servers still powered by Windows Server 2003? Microsoft has stopped supporting these operating systems and this means if those shady types find a way of accessing your system through these software then Microsoft will not be releasing a “patch” to stop this intrusion
8. Encrypt your sensitive information
When the word encryption is used many small business owners shudder at the thought of setting up complex and expensive systems. The fact is encrypting your critical business information is not only easy to do but also relatively inexpensive (even free if you know what to do…) Encrypt emails, USB drives and documents. You can also encrypt devices such as laptops, smart phones and tablets in case they get into the wrong hands
9. Physically secure your IT systems
Keep your servers screwed down and locked up if possible so no one can move them. Seriously! We have been to many audits where the “server room” is also being used as the storage room / packing room / general chat room…you get the idea…
10. Get a good DR Solution
Ok guilty as charged. We are DR Fanatics…but prevention is better than cure…