When you begin the company formation process your initial IT requirements are minimal – phone, laptop, fax – however, as your business begins to progress your IT needs grow and your systems become more important to your company’s efficiencies and security. Despite this, many smaller companies choose to ignore their reliance on IT and subsequent need to protect it.
Increasing reliance on technology, leads to increasing vulnerability to viruses and security breaches. If your IT system goes down, you are not only risking the costly inconvenience of lost man-hours, but also potential litigation for breach of the Data Protection Act. This is a particular challenge for the SME sector, as though smaller companies are faced with the same threat as large corporate organisations, they have less time and financial resource to dedicate to IT security. However, there are some simple practical tips that can be implemented by any business which could reduce risk considerably.
The first step is conducting a security review of your current computer operating systems and assessing their vulnerability to potential viruses. As we operate in such a dynamic market and the potential threats are always changing, security audits should take place regularly
Implement Security Products.
It is important that you install anti-virus software or a firewall onto all your IT systems. However, be aware that this not going to remove all risk – it is vital that all security products are installed correctly and regularly kept up to date.
Your company is not only under the threat of internal IT malfunction, it is also at risk from the information you receive. To improve email security try blocking email attachments and certain file applications that are not relevant to your business.
As your business grows, you may need to employ technical staff to handle your growing needs. Alongside this, all companies need clear IT policies and procedures to deal with the potential risk of employee misuse. Consider if all employees need internet access and review the sites you allow them to access during work hours
Fundamentally, an effective security policy is dependant on the participation of all members of your company.