Measures to protect your critical data

Steven Presar wrote in his article on business data security, that a number of security events has increased by more than 80% in the first quarter of this year compared with the previous three months. This is a bad news for any small business who works with a computer, but the small businesses who base their business on computers should be particularly alarmed.

What measures can you take to shield your small office computer systems and data from malicious activity of any kind?

All good computer data security begins with a regularly scheduled data backup plan. All data critical to the running of your business must be backed up regularly. It is also wise to implement an automated backup system to create backup copies on a regular basis.

Make sure that your computer is protected from viruses and malicious worms. Install good anti-virus software and update it regularly.

There is also another potential threat to your data — a disgruntled employee. Employees should by all means be included in your data security policy. Research has shown the greatest threat to a business’s security is from its own staff. Some businesses forget to ensure that policy and procedures are set up to protect against potential threats such as e-mail viruses, internet misuse and mishandling of personal and private data, which can all lead to an attack on the company’s security, not to mention a mark on its reputation.

You may want to include an external security audit to your security policy. The audit is an ongoing process and should be undertaken annually or biannually or following significant change within your business that may affect security (a disgruntled key employee leaving, office break-in, etc.).

People also need to be audited as well. It is also important to make an audit of each user’s authorization and privilege level so confidentiality of business information is secured and maintained. If this policy is adhered to, then security risks will be greatly reduced. Computer and internet use policies have become popular to various businesses. Many such policies are written into the employment contract of the employee.

Security policy is critical to your business efficiency. It should provide for availability, integrity and security of the information that is important for your business procedures.

This blog is run by the authors of Find Protected, an effective information security solution.

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