In our world of technology it’s never been easier to run a business through digital means.
Long gone are the days of keeping track of payroll by hand or using pen and paper to calculate budgets.
The advent of the internet and networking has given rise to a whole new way of doing business, but it’s also opened up a whole new world of potential security threats.
“Businesses these days need to be aware of their IT security and take the ability to prevent and bounce back from threats seriously.”
There are a huge number of threats which can cause serious harm to a business.
Some are easy for hackers to carry out, but others require a lot of time and expertise.
Some of the most common IT security threats include:
This is where scammers try to gain access to confidential information such as usernames, passwords and financial information such as credit card numbers. There are some very clever, convincing scams out there that can trick even the most cautious of people into handing over their personal details.
Malware is short for malicious software which can cause serious problems on your computer system. A virus is one type of malware that attaches itself to another file in order to infect it. Viruses and malware can cause major problems such as corrupting files, shutting down networks or websites, or even using your computer as part of a network which carries out illegal activities such as sending spam messages or attacking other computers.
This is when backups fail to be generated or stored properly, meaning that if your system crashes then you lose ALL of your data. This is one of the most serious threats as it can leave businesses unable to function and even cause them to go bankrupt!
Denial Of Service Attacks
This is where a business’ internet or network connection is flooded by too much data, causing it to crash and be unable to function. This type of attack can be absolutely devastating for a company as they cannot receive any orders from customers and lose money every second the service is down.
So how can you protect your business from these threats?
IT security is a vast subject and needs to be treated seriously with constant training on new threats being present, however there are some general rules that you can follow for basic protection:
- Backups of all data should be stored offsite, so that in the event of a virus or computer failure the data is still available and can be restored to working order quickly.
- Enforce strong password rules and ensure that all staff know about these rules. Be wary of emails from unknown sources and do not open any messages if you are unsure as this could be another phishing scam trying to trick you into opening an attachment.
- If a large number of staff members are going to be trained on how to correctly prevent and deal with threats then it is important that the training is carried out by a specialist company, as they will have the knowledge and experience needed.
How do you bounce back after an attack?
In some situations, regardless of all your precautions and preventive measures being in place the worst can happen and you have been subject to an attack on your IT security. In this case there are a number of steps that need to be taken as soon as possible:
- Contact specialist companies as soon as possible for help – they will be able to assess the situation and help advise on how to proceed.
- Alert all staff as soon as possible, so they are aware of what is going on and do not panic. This will also involve your suppliers and any third-party companies that have been affected by the breach in security.
- Contact a legal professional who specializes in IT security breaches – they will be able to advise on the next steps and help draft any statements or press releases.
- Make sure you keep records of everything that is happening throughout the incident, as this could be vital evidence in the future for a court case if a legal action is taken against you due to your security breach.
IT security needs to be taken seriously, which often means spending money on new software or hiring new staff who can deal with threats. However, there are companies who offer IT security services that can help you with all of your needs in one place, allowing businesses to protect their data and networks without needing to worry about it themselves.