Should you consider hiring IT consulting in Miami? An offer to schedule a free IT assessment shouldn’t be your only incentive. Let’s take a look at some critical concerns and ways that security breaches can still wreak havoc on your business.
Every year we hear about another information security breach affecting millions of people. In 2013, Target was hacked and the information for 40 million credit and debit cards used there in late November was compromised. Then, in early 2014, the news got worse: the personal information of another 70 million had leaked.
In September of 2014, Home Depot announced a similar breach in which the credit and debit card information for 56 million of their customers was leaked. 2015 hasn’t been an exception to security breaches, either. Anthem, one of the largest health insurers in the United States, was hacked. The names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and employment histories for between 69 and 80 million of customers was compromised.
Whether you have a multinational corporation with millions of customers or you’re a mom-and-pop shop serving local clientele, you don’t want to fall victim to hackers and the devastation that a breach can cause your business. Fortunately, though, in just six quick steps, you can assess your business’ IT security and find out if you’re in need of upgrades or more IT support services.
1.Ensure that You Have Updated Virus Protection
Most of us know not to click on unknown .exe files and to refrain from opening suspect emails, but even the savviest employee may slip from time to time. Fortunately, anti-virus software is more advanced now than ever. Anti-virus software developers are incredibly creative. Without virus protection software, your business is sitting open to every piece of malware on the Internet.
To protect yourself, ensure that you not only have virus protection software but that it’s also up to date with all necessary patches and upgrades. If you’re looking for a great tool, we highly recommend Kaspersky’s Security for Business package.
2.Verify Your Network Security
In addition to virus protection software, you’ll also want to have all possible security measures in place for your network. For example, do you have a firewall in place? If so, you’ll want to perform a network risk analysis at least every 6-12 months, which will help you identify any weaknesses in your network, make improvements and fortify your system against attacks.
This step actually involves your employees as much as your actual IT infrastructure. Many people reuse the same passwords over and over again. Their passwords are often based on simple words that can be compromised with a fairly rudimentary hack. Teach your employees about the importance of using complex passwords and encourage them to change passwords frequently.
Even with these preventative measures, it’s best to also include password strength tests and requirements. You can set up your network so that it requires your employees to use a combination of numbers as well as uppercase and lowercase letters for passwords. The network can also command employees to change their passwords periodically. These simple prompts can help safeguard your system from potential hacks.
Be sure as well to discourage your employees from writing down their passwords or keeping written copies of them near their workstations. This can present a physical opportunity for a hugely problematic breach.
The idea of an open network without any password protection might seem convenient, but it’s a security disaster. If hackers gain access to your network, they can also get into your network and potentially cause major damage to your business and your customers’ personal or payment information. Setting up the right security encryption (WPA2) isn’t very difficult and saves you a great deal of money and legal troubles.
5.Keep Programs Up to Date
While you may find those pesky software update pop-ups annoying, they can be very useful in keeping your network secure. Make sure that you perform regular, network-wide updates to ensure that all of your employees are running the latest version of whatever operating system you’re running, be it Windows or Mac OS X.
These software updates often come with security updates in direct response to weaknesses and exploits that pose threats to their older versions. Simply staying up to date can do a great deal to improve your security and prevent a breach.
6.Call an IT Consulting Company in Miami
While it’s a good idea to ensure that you have all of your security bases covered before calling an IT company about your infrastructure or IT support needs, you have other tasks to attend to. Call the professionals to save time, money and major problems down the line if you aren’t sure about these six steps or if you can’t identify and correct a security problem.
If you’re not sure who to call or how to choose the best IT support in Miami, download our free report: “Here’s What Every Business Owner Must Know About Hiring an Honest, Competent, Responsive, and Fairly-Priced Computer Consultant”, or check out why people choose our service over other IT consultants.
At Preemo, we happily offer a free IT assessment to evaluate your IT needs and the overall health of your network environment. If you have any security weaknesses or bugs, our experts can find them, explain them to you and make the best recommendations for your business. Then we can discuss service options and what kind of IT support you’ll need on a daily, weekly or monthly basis or any combination thereof. Your network security is essential to your business. Call us today at 305-669-6049 or email us at info@Preemo.com.