Ensuring your business is secure doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you know what steps to take.

If you are a business owner, the possibility of an IT disaster probably isn’t something you like to think about too much. However, it’s also something you have to think about, because if disaster does strike, you need to be prepared to deal with it.

Data security and reliability is an important factor for any business, especially in today’s constantly connected society, so you need to have all the protective measures in place. Preventing a data disaster is a lot easier than fixing one, so here are 6 simple steps to improving your business’s security.

Create the right team
First thing’s first, you need to ensure you have the right people around you. A business is only as good as its team of employees, so you need to be sure that your workers are smart and savvy enough to know how to avoid risk areas. This is particularly important if your business has a dedicated IT team, as they’ll need to stay constantly up to date on how to boost security across all networks and devices in the workplace.

Put a first line of defence in place
An effective firewall should be every business’s first line of defence when it comes to data security. Having a separate firewall front-ending your network ensures that all devices are shielded, including online printers, media players, scanners and any personal devices that your employees use if your office promotes a BYOD policy.

Be password smart
Passwords are designed to increase security, but they often fail to work as effectively as they should because we find them so difficult to remember. As a consequence, we tend to use the same password across a range of different accounts. In fact, a recent study by Ofcom found that 4 in 10 internet users use the same password for most sites. This means that once one site is hacked, your entire online security is jeopardised. Try coming up with a few key variations of your password for different sites.

Make encryption part of your email etiquette
In any busy business setting, firing over attachments via email is a regular occurrence. However, we don’t often think to encrypt these files, but we should. Encryption or even just password protection on documents means that if your documents fall into the wrong hands, it’s much more difficult for their contents to be accessed. Make this part of your usual email process, especially with more sensitive material.

Lock your devices
If handheld devices like smartphones play a significant role in your business, take care to ensure that every device is secured with a password and fingerprint scanner. You should also alter the settings on smartphones so that they have a reasonably short automatic-lock time, and have one of the many ‘find me’ programmes installed in case they are misplaced.

Train your staff
It’s all well and good knowing the ropes yourself when it comes to security, but as the business owner it’s also your responsibility to share this information with your team. Make sure everyone knows the simple steps they should be taking to boost security, including how to spot spammy emails. Give everyone plenty of time to digest the information and ask any questions if they aren’t sure. One afternoon of security training is a small price to pay for avoiding a full-scale data disaster.

Looking for more business advice and support? You’re in the right place.
Get in touch with TEDCO today by calling us on 0191 516 61 02 or email us at enquire@tedco.org.

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