You don’t need to be a tech expert to know that online security in this day and age is a pretty big deal. If you have a business, and you rely on computers for work though, knowing just how much of a risk online threats pose to your systems is more important than just about anything else.
Sadly, online security is still greatly underestimated when it comes to the workplace. Top management does not always see it as something to prioritise, and in many instances, companies are using free antivirus programmes and only the briefest of strategies.
The good news is that you don’t have to fork out a major budget to get your systems secure. There are a few things you can do to ramp things up, without creating an office-wide panic either.
Simple Steps to Better Computer Security
Here are a few ways that you can improve your computer security fairly simply…
1. Get an updated IT policy up and running. You may not think that paperwork will do much against all the latest viruses and threats, but having a clear policy used throughout the company will go a long way in improving your security. Determine which antivirus will be used across all computers in the network, set rules on personal emails, attachments, allowed and not allowed software and anything else that will affect your security. Make sure that every employee/computer user in the company has access to this policy, and that everyone understands why there is a need for such a policy.
2. Make the move to remote server management. If you’re still storing data on old fashioned servers piled up in a spare room of the office, you are putting your systems at risk without even trying. Even without the risk of cyber-attacks, there are more obvious problems such as physical damage, theft, floods, fire and even good old fashioned corporate sabotage (yes; that actually happens in the real world). There’s a reason that servers are going remote these days – better security is just one such reason. As an added perk, you’ll find things a lot easier when it comes to accessibility, uptime and collaboration too.
3. Ensure that your networks are secured and managed. Now that things are looking a lot more secure, what about your networks? Network management is something you ought to be thinking about at least a little bit – viruses can easily be passed on through unsecured networks after all. And you wouldn’t want that nasty attachment from Janet’s Facebook ad to destroy the entire office computer system, would you? While you’re at it, make sure your wireless networks are secured and password protected too.
4. Smarter, safer browsing on the internet. Talking about wireless and other internet related stuff, you should also have some sort of policy or plan in place for internet usage in the office. The easiest ways for viruses to spread is via email and social networks. It takes just one dodgy link to be clicked for havoc to rain down on the entire office – if that isn’t reason enough to get serious about web browsing, then I don’t know what is.
5. Regular software updates and scheduled scans. Don’t you hate those annoying pop-up message boxes that keep hassling you to update your software definitions? So do I, but like it or not, you can’t ignore them. Set up scheduled scans, allow crucial software to be automatically updated, be sure that everything is running in its current version, and you should be a lot better protected. Remember that viruses adapt too – leaving outdated versions is an easy way for attacks to sneak past.
On a related note – who should be responsible for online security? IT managers, company owners, employees or all of the above? Share your thoughts below and let me know what you think.
August 21, 2013 at 10:36 am
I think that everyone (from IT managers to employees) should be responsible for the online security, but of course, the degree of responsibility it’s not the same for everyone.
But everyone should understand the basics about security policy (by the way, the first point about IT policy is very important), because many viruses are spreading through email attachments, like the ILOVEYOU or SoBig viruses, and it takes just 1 employee to open that attachment.
October 1, 2013 at 11:57 am
All five tips are very useful for those people who are unaware of online frauds. Very informative post. Everyone should read this post.