Technology is now an integral part of all businesses, no matter what the industry.
Without the right technology, your business is likely to fail, which is why many small business owners are keen to invest in the latest IT systems and electronic devices. This, they assume, will help increase staff productivity, business efficiency and the overall quality of their customers’ experience.
Despite the necessity of having a comprehensive IT system in place, there are problems and issues which your business’ IT presents. There have been many horror stories over the last few years about large companies becoming the victims of hackers; their customers’ private information and business’s sensitive data being accessed by third-parties. What is often unreported, however, is that small businesses are just as likely to be the victim of security breaches as well. In short, although technology is instrumental to your business’s success, it could also be the catalyst of its downfall as well.
To help protect your IT systems, here are a number of areas you need to pay particular attention to:
Viruses have been an IT issue for almost as long as computers have been around. Today, however, viruses have become more sophisticated than ever before and the problems they cause can be much more devastating for businesses than in the past. It is vital, therefore, that you have a comprehensive antivirus software installed that will protect your entire business’s IT system. You should also regularly ensure that all your staff install antivirus updates and that your antivirus software protection doesn’t run out without being renewed or a new protection used instead.
Protecting your customer’s personal details and your business’s sensitive information should be one of your key concerns. When your customers give you their details they are entrusting you to keep these private and safe from third-parties, so if they become aware of you not adequately protecting their details they will lose trust in your and your company, and they may even decide to stop doing business with you.
In addition to this, you need to ensure that your business’s sensitive data is protected from hackers or other third-parties. Most business owners now store all their company’s private information, from financial information to databases which, if it were to fall into a competitor’s hands could prove disastrous for your business. Along with this, as with customer information, your staff give you their private information, including bank details, with the trust that you will do the upmost to protect this information.
Many business owners overlook the importance of educating their staff about online security. However, by ensuring your employees know how vital it is, you are taking steps to provide security in numbers. Educating your staff about the importance of creating strong passwords, changing them regularly, ensuring that sensitive information they have on their smartphones and tablets are protected, and the reasons for certain security processes and procedures in place will be a major aspect of protecting your business from security breaches.
A helping hand
Although protecting your IT system from potential security breaches has become a lot more complicated than in the past, there are also numerous companies around providing comprehensive protection software that will ensure your business is fully protected.
If you are concerned about your business’s IT security you can take AVG’s Small Business IT Health Check which will identify any areas of your IT system that require better protection or maintenance.
Photo credit: elhombredenegro