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How to really stink at security — the 10 DON’Ts of IT security

How to really stink at security — the 10 DON’Ts of IT security

Maintaining a secure IT network is paramount for any business — especially in a day and age of sophisticated viruses, rogueware, spyware and the many other threats that can compromise the heart of your company.

Unfortunately, many businesses and their employees are simply too busy and tied up with their normal duties of the day that they don’t think much about what they can do to bolster the security of their business’ network. Failing to take the proper precautions can result in a disastrous event that could compromise sensitive data or cause you to lose it completely.

 

Network security — What NOT to do

You don’t have to be an IT mastermind in order to take steps that will help make your company’s network more secure from the many threats it faces. Still, whether out of ignorance or laziness, these very simple things generally don’t get done.

There are some businesses and professionals out there that are simply bad at network and internet security. The following is a top 10 list of practices you should most definitely avoid. Or, if you want to be really bad at security, by all means, proceed.

 

  1. Generic passwords or no passwords

Let’s start out with one of the most common missteps. Leaving passwords as “password” or keeping them blank completely makes it very easy for unintended eyes to access the sensitive data of a business.

  1. Lack of, or no, training

Employees aren’t going to magically know what they should, and should not, be doing to promote IT security. It’s important to rally the staff together and at least go over the basics of IT security.

  1. Failing to update important software

Virus scanners, spyware scanners — these are only effective if they are kept up-to-date. Updates allow the software to constantly fortify any weak areas that compromise its effectiveness.

  1. Reckless internet browsing

Clicking on a corrupted web ad or website can be enough to invite some truly invasive and destructive stuff into a network. Employees all over the network must surf with caution.

  1. Failing to backup information

It’s simply a matter of doing business the right way — all information must be backed up and stored at an offsite location so that, in the event of a disastrous scenario, the data has a better chance of being fully recovered.

  1. Trying to do high-level IT work yourself

Look, we realize that small business owners want to save money, but when IT solutions are not implemented correctly, it’s going to cost a lot more money in the long run if something compromises the network. It’s important to work with competent IT professionals to set up a secure business network.

  1. Relying on out-of-the-box solutions

Consumer-grade products work well enough, but businesses need more stringent security measures. The only way to achieve that is by working with IT professionals that can implement solutions that fit the specific needs of your business.

  1. Failing to test DR plans

It’s important to be prepared for the worst, which is why disaster recovery planning is essential for any business. However, a plan can quickly become obsolete, which is why it must be consistently tested to ensure it remains effective.

  1. Not having a security policy

Or, a business might have a security policy but it is rarely enforced. Businesses need to put a pen to paper on what is expected from employees to promote security and then follow up by enforcing it.

  1. Not recognizing the in-house threat

Talk to many IT professionals, and they will tell you that a business’ own staff serves as the biggest security threat. Now, we’re not trying to make you paranoid about your employees, but it is wise to have safeguards in place to monitor activities and avoid wrongdoing.

 

If you find yourself guilty of some — or most of these — it doesn’t mean you’re a bad business owner or employee. This simply means that you need to get tougher about security in order to protect your business.

DKBInnovative works with all types of small and medium-sized businesses to help them maintain secure, efficient networks. Talk to our team and see what we can offer your business.

 

Stay safe out there!

Keith

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