IT is particularly important within business, in many regards. In the majority of modern businesses IT is essential to the running of the business, both in respect to customer experience, transactions and internally in regard to stock management systems as well as staff management and data collection. IT downtime, therefore, can impact a business massively; whether it cause an inability to take transactions from customers or not being able to track stock levels. There are, unfortunately, a number of things which make IT infrastructure vulnerable to downtime; from theft and cyber crime to natural disasters such as flooding or extreme weather. Cyber crime is a growing threat within business and with so much information stored on company IT infrastructure it is important businesses are able to protect their IT systems both online and offline.
From Cyber Crime
It can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses, to employ a specialised IT team to keep check on their IT systems and protect them from cyber threats, however there are plenty of ways to prevent a cyber security breach with simple tactics which can be employed by all.
It is essential that you make regular back ups of key systems and data, just in case the worst should happen at least you’ll still have access to the things you need. It is also essential you keep up to date with your IT security systems; set scheduled updates to be sure as this protects your devices from becoming vulnerable to attack. This should include anti-virus software as well.
It sounds obvious but it is essential to have strong passwords and to use two-factor authentication where possible, and necessary. For each website and/or service you use, consider using different passwords and possibly a reputable and safe password management tool. Make sure to be smart and not open links sent to you via email, social media and unfamiliar websites if they look suspicious.
Make sure to encrypt sensitive data and don’t send passwords via email. Use a firewall and ensure it has the latest firmware installed as well as making sure your Wi-Fi network is encrypted. With so many laws and regulations surrounding data collection and sharing it is essential there be restricted access to things such as customer or employee information.
When discussing theft in relation to IT, it could potentially mean one of two things. Online theft, such as data theft as mentioned above in relation to cybercrime or physical, offline theft in which someone has physically stolen your IT Systems such as computers. Both are equally as concerning and should be taken seriously. We have covered above how to protect yourself from cybercrime, including theft but it is equally as important to know how to protect yourself from offline, physical IT theft also.
If the worst was to happen and you had IT equipment stolen, the steps taken in protecting yourself against cybercrime will help restrict those who stole the equipment from accessing important data however it is essential you do all you can to protect your facility from burglars. This includes ensuring you have a monitored alarm system and CCTV. Make sure that you have identified vulnerable areas and secure them and that doors and locked and secured when not in use.
From Natural Disaster
IT infrastructure is also vulnerable to natural disasters such as flooding. Start by completing a risk assessment and consider what the risks are should a natural disaster occur. This will allow you to identify vulnerable assets and plan what your plan of action would be should the worst happen. Ensure all your documents are backed up on a hard drive which is stored elsewhere so you can still access it if anything happens. Store electrical and IT equipment off the ground where possible as water is less likely to get to it should there be flooding.
MSL Property Care Services can assist with your security and maintenance needs to help ensure your IT infrastructure is as protected as possible. For more information contact us on 0333 1234450.