Find Out How to Secure Your Computer From Hackers and Protect Your Data
According to estimates formulated by information security analysts, 2017 is expected to be a very busy year in terms of cyber crime. In 2015, reports commissioned by tech giant Hewlett Packard estimated that hacking incidents cause business losses totaling more than $455 billion per year, and the financial damages to individual companies have been as high as $13.5 million. So, there has never been a better time to find out how to secure your computer from hackers.
At a time when protecting business data is more crucial than ever, company owners and managers should make information security one of their priorities. Here are four recommendations to reduce the likelihood of cyber crime and to keep hackers away from sensitive data:
Remote Monitoring of IT Systems
Many business owners fail to provide adequate protection for their IT systems because they feel that such measures may involve additional equipment and staffing. With managed IT services, like those you can get with certain Ottawa IT support companies, business owners can easily augment their data security by choosing a remote monitoring solution that effectively outsources the active protection of their company data. In most cases, the costs associated with retaining providers of managed IT services tend to be very reasonable.
A lot of businesses may be reluctant to outsource to an IT service, because they are trying to save money and go for what they might consider to be the more cost-effective route. Instead of outsourcing, they’d rather have the most Tech-savvy employee—even if he or she isn’t even trained in IT—try to work things out.
Yes, doing that might work out, but it will definitely take them more time to figure out all of the issues and get things running properly—costing the company money either way. Just as much as money, time is very valuable because the use of time is what leads to monetary profit.
Office networks that handle sensitive data should ideally be protected by hardware firewalls. These devices serve as protective systems that have various ports to connect to routers, computers and other equipment that is part of the network. With physical firewalls, network analysis is conducted by means of packet filtering, which can be configured by security technicians to ensure that intrusions do not take place and that data stays safely in the network.
Many of the high-profile data breaches that have been taking place since 2010 have been precipitated by social engineering hacks that involve tricking staff members into giving up usernames, passwords or personal data that can be maliciously used to gain entry into systems.
One of the best measures that business owners can take against social engineering is to properly train their staff about the risks and how they can prevent these attacks. Security training is something that should be gone over by every employee and manager at least every six months. Go over the fine details of why keeping certain information in-house is important not only for the security of the company but for job security as well—when employees know that their job is on the line, they’ll most likely be more dedicated to the cause.
Of course, managers shouldn’t threaten their jobs in any type of negative manner. However, employees should be aware that leaking secured company information will have its consequences. Not only that, but they should understand that giving out information—whether or not they mean to—can minimize a business’s value and put everyone’s jobs at risk.
Cloud Computing Systems
Depending on the industry and the type of data handled by their companies, business owners may be able to migrate their entire data structures to the cloud. Most providers of cloud computing services tend to have strong security measures in place for their clients.
The information security systems of cloud data centers are usually far stronger than what the average company can afford to install and manage. If your business uses the cloud, you may want to think about how you can better secure it. What are your weak points? This may be that everyone in the business has access to it and that you may need to create multiple cloud accounts.
How often do you change the password? Passwords that don’t change over time are more at risk of being hacked. Because of this, your company should consider changing all passwords on a regular basis—perhaps every three months. Passwords should also be changed any time a major employee (an executive, manager, etc), leaves the company so that you can be assured that any trade secrets will not be living with him or her as well.
In the end, data security will continue to be one of the most important aspects of business in the 21st century. The recommendations listed herein are just the starting point of data security; it is up to company owners to stay up-to-date and learn more about this business challenge.