Small businesses don’t have the luxury of dedicated IT teams who are responsible for ensuring security. Despite this fact, they face the same security threats as large corporations. If you accept sensitive financial information through your website, or store it on your servers, your customers naturally assume that their data is safe. But is it?
Data breaches are an expensive ordeal to go through, and many small businesses don’t recover after such an event. Even a malware attack that destroys all of your data can be a death sentence, unless you have a reliable backup and a disaster recovery plan in place.
These network security tips can help small businesses keep their networks safe from various types of cyber attacks.
Managers Should Know Where Data is Stored
Whether you store data on-site in your own servers and workstations, or you’re using a cloud service to ensure that you have a backup, all of your data storage, access permission, and data processing should be documented. If you don’t have an in-house IT manager -- which many small businesses simply don’t have the budget to accommodate -- it’s highly recommended that you work with a managed IT services provider who can handle these things for you.
Malware Isn’t The Only Threat to Your Data
Obviously, malware can destroy your important data. But malicious software isn’t the only threat. Physical occurrences like a fire in your building, or an earthquake or hurricane that causes extensive property damage, can also damage hardware -- and the information that’s stored on it. No matter how well-trained your employees are when it comes to things like phishing and malware, and how many precautions you take, there’s little you can do about natural disasters and other forces beyond your control. An automated backup process that stores data offsite through a cloud service protects your business against damage to your in-house hardware and software.
Educate Your Employees
Talk to an IT professional, and chances are, they’ll have many stories that boil down to “user error.” This is especially true when it comes to malware. Sure, some of us are relatively tech-savvy, and can see a phishing scam from a mile away. But you’d be amazed how many smart, hardworking people simply haven’t been informed about how to spot security threats. Seemingly obvious malware attacks and phishing attempts have tricked many workers into unwittingly compromising the company’s data security. They’ve never learned about things like why you should look at URLs and file extensions to make sure something is what it claims to be. If a supposed document attachment is a .exe file, it’s an executable program, not a word document. But for many people, especially workers over 40, this isn’t a common knowledge.
It’s important that your employees are aware and informed about the latest security threats. Many business owners mistakenly assume that cyber-criminals are only interested in “big fish,” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether it’s an attempt at stealing financial information from your customers for identity theft, or a ransomware attack that demands payment in return for file decryption, it can happen to even the smallest local mom-and-pop business.
Spam filters can be a first line of defense for filtering out phishing attempts and other dangerous emails. It’s also a good idea to have web filters in place that protect against malware. A managed IT services company can provide IT consulting services to help you and your employees stay protected against potentially devastating malware attacks.
Network Security Services in the GTA
Today’s network security threats are always increasing in both number and complexity. There are many tactics intended to breach your company’s security, and it’s all too common for employees to unwittingly let the malware in. At Lanetco Computer Networks Inc, we work with small and midsize businesses in Mississauga and the GTA to provide network security services that leave malware out in the cold. We offer firewalls, VPNs, SSL certificates, managed antivirus, web content filters, and other protections that keep your company protected against even the most clever attacks. To find out more, call us any time at 905 660 4118, or fill out our contact form to get in touch with a helpful representative.