Setting up a new business venture is hard. Let’s not beat around the bush, taking a brand new idea through the incubation stage, implementation, and then getting it to succeed as a viable business is no mean feat, and one that takes a lot of time and energy to get right.
When we take those first steps to get our new business off the ground, it is easy to forget about some of the less glamour aspects of running a business. One of the areas that often gets ignored while an SMB continues to push for sales and brand recognition, is tech security.
Even businesses that are based in the tech sector fall foul of this from time to time, and it’s easy to see why. Picture the scene, you are halfway through a long day of coding for your new app. Suddenly a system update reminder appears in the corner of your monitor. Do you put down your tools and risk starting an update that may last an hour? Most of us will put that off for a later date, which may or may not ever materialize.
So how can we make sure to stay ahead of the game when it comes to online security, without spending countless hours dedicated to it? Well, there are a few simple steps that once adhered to, can save you a lot of time, and keep you and your company data safe from the bad guys.
Automate Your Software Distribution
The first port of call when it comes to simplifying your security needs is to automate your software distribution. There are services out there whose entire objective is to allow an IT professional within the company to quickly and easily deploy software and security patches, while maintaining a birds-eye view of which devices in the company network are up to date, and which are still vulnerable. This is all visible through a web portal, allowing your IT manager free reign over when software deployment is executed, and to whichever devices he or she chooses.
An added bonus is that management tools such as this will also download software updates once, and distribute it within the network at your discretion, meaning that there is no need to download that 1 GB download for each device. Simply download once, and let the cloud management solution distribute the update over the network to each device. For those with limited bandwidth, this facet of the service alone can be a game changer.
Strong, Computer-Generated Passwords
Weak passwords are a hackers dream. If you happen to be one of those people who employ numbers, letters, and symbols, in all of your work-based application passwords then pat yourself on the back. The cold hard truth is that not all of your fellow coworkers will be as diligent when creating theirs.
It is an unfortunate reality that the top 3 passwords of 2018, are still ‘123456’ ‘password’, and ‘123456789’. This, quite frankly, is unacceptable in the modern age. If any of your employees are using such easily guessable passwords, you may as well hand over the keys to your safe, and tell the bad guys to take what they want. One weak link in the chain is all a hacker needs to gain access to sensitive data that can lead to ransomware, fraud, and possibly worst of all, lawsuits heading in your direction. Cut the chances of this happening by deploying a password manager.
These services will create, encrypt, and store complex passwords so that your team can stop leaving their own less secure passwords on stick notes on their desks.
BYOD Can Mean Bringing Your Own Set Of Risks
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a strategy that many SMBs employ to cut down on the costs, especially when the company is in its fledgling stage.
While this can indeed save on initial startup costs during a time that is notoriously unprofitable, this strategy comes with some rather big drawbacks. Firstly, controlling what else is lurking on an employees personal computer is problematic for obvious reasons, but not only do you have to worry about what is on your current employee’s hard drives, but also whether any sensitive data is still floating around on ex-employees devices.
Unlike a workplace that provides devices for staff members, BYOD style companies don’t have the ability to wipe data from devices that get handed in whenever staff leave the company, which can lead to issues down the line should a laptop with sensitive data be compromised in the future. If you are using a BYOD strategy, try to make sure your work data is cloud-based. In doing so, you will maintain the ability to ‘lock out’ ex-employees, and keep your company data out of reach.
These simple but effective rules of thumb will keep your vulnerability to a minimum, while also taking some responsibility away from team members who would rather be getting on with their job, than sorting out their own cyber-security. Once implemented, you can relax in the knowledge that when it comes to cybercrime, most criminals will look for a company with a weak link. If yours doesn’t have one, they will most likely look elsewhere. Make sure you aren’t the ones who look like a potential victim.