This is a guest post by Jane Smith.
In today’s world, technology and the internet are used to complete just about every task in the book; including the operations of most small businesses. According to statistics provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance, 69% of businesses handle sensitive information online, including customer data; 49% store financial records on computers; 23% have intellectual property stored on an office computer and 18% handle intellectual property belonging to others outside of the company.
This data shows just how important it is for businesses to monitor and secure all computer data and internet activity. Furthermore, the NCSAM says that this fact is even more imperative for smaller businesses, which are often attacked by cybercriminals because they have a weaker defense system than larger companies.
If you are a small business entrepreneur or manager, you probably know about the basics of internet and computer system security. You have probably also purchased the best virus protection program on the market, but there’s more you should know.
Sometimes the greatest threat to your business’ network comes from the inside (from your employees). Even worse, you could be threatening your security without even knowing it. Here are four network safety concerns that are often overlooked by small businesses:
1. Plugging outside devices into company computers: USBs and other external devices can contain malware (viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware, worms and rootkits). An employee may own an infected USB and not even know it. For this reason, most businesses are now banning the use of USBs on office computers and choosing to share and transfer documents through the internet via company email or online document sharing sites, like Google Docs, which usually scan documents before acceptance.
2. Wirelessly connecting outside devices onto the company network: Most employees now own smart phones, computer tablets and other devices that can connect to the internet wirelessly. These devices can be infected with malware (again, without the employee even knowing it), which can be transferred to your network. Although there are virus protection systems, it would be very difficult to verify that all employees have secured their personal devices. Unless it is an approved company device, refrain from giving employees the network key and password for Wi-Fi access.
3. Not requiring substantial verification before accessing a company computer: To ensure that your business’ computers are only used by approved employees, request that a username and password be given before even gaining access to the desktop. In addition, request a password for access to other programs used by your business.
4. Using unsecured sites for online banking and shopping: Online banking and shopping aren’t just for individuals; many businesses use the internet for banking transactions and office purchases. Before using a site, check to see if the web address is preceded by “https://” or “shttp://”. The “s” implies that the site has taken an extra step to ensure the security of your information.
By paying attention to these things, you can build an extra wall of security for your small business’ computer network. For more information about internet security, visit the National Cyber Security Alliance’s website at staysafeonline.org.
About the Author
With knowledge of the best background check companies and tactics, Jane Smith provides vital information and tips throughout her blogs. Email her your thoughts or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.