When it comes to protecting customer information and other critical data from hackers, it is crucial to understand that layers of security are necessary. The following steps will help you preserve the safety and security of your network while allowing personnel the access they need.
Switch to the Cloud
Cloud Storage systems offer numerous benefits for small businesses. Data migrated to the cloud is stored on an off-site server, housed in data centers that boast security most of us cannot afford. A mobile or remote workforce can access information regardless of their locations and your sensitive data will remain secure.
Secure Remote Access
For many businesses, the cost of cloud storage is not budget friendly and they prefer to have their data onsite, while still supporting a mobile or remote workforce. By choosing a business grade firewall that includes virtual private network features, you can restrict remote access to only those authorized to connect to your computers.
If your employees are using their kids’ names, birthday, or anniversary dates, dogs names or any word found in the dictionary as passwords, they are weakening the security of your business as a whole. Proper passwords are key to ensuring remote access is restricted to only your employees. Passwords should be at least 14 characters long, include 1 capital letter, 1 number and 1 special character (e.g. @, !, $, etc.). It is good practice to change passwords every 30-60 days and use unique passwords for each website and application.
Business Grade Email
Securing email communication is key to protecting private information. Email should be hosted by a site that specializes in business grade email and provides spam and anti-virus protection. Businesses should use email with their own company domain name and not a generic domain from an email provider. Email addresses should not be just a first or last name. If you must send personal or legal information via email, such as social security numbers or a federal tax ID, consider an email hosting service that includes encryption.
Monitor Virus Protection
Viruses and malware still present a serious risk for any business and having remote employees amplifies the threat. Many would-be hackers target off-site workers’ computer systems because they tend to be neglected and less secure. Once remote employees connect to the company’s network using an infected laptop, tablet or desktop then the malware can be introduced and allow hackers access to your internal network. Regularly review anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall consoles to verify the software is being updated and all computers are protected. Also, review the detection logs to determine if any computers show signs of significant infection rates.
Talk to an Expert
If computer security is not what you do for a living, invest in a relationship with a professional company that does, and request an Annual Security Review. For any questions you have about your remote access or network security contact a DCR sales rep.